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What are the steps to becoming a Private Pilot?

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In its simplest form, these are the steps to becoming a Private Pilot:

  1. Take a trial flight - Find out whether flying is for you by booking a Discovery Flight with L3Harris.
  2. Check you meet Private Pilot requirements - You must be at least 17 years and 6 months old, hold a third-class medical certificate, proficient in English, and possess basic mathematical skills.
  3. Complete ground school training - You will learn the theoretical concepts of flying and aviation including Federal Aviation Regulations, radio communication protocols, aerodynamics, navigation, flight planning, and weather. To complete your ground school training, you will be required to take the FAA written test.
  4. Complete flight school training - You will learn how to fly an aircraft. This includes day and night flying, cross-country, and flight maneuvers.
  5. Pass your Checkride - Your practical exam, often called a ‘Checkride’ is the final requirement for obtaining your PPL. An FAA examiner will evaluate your knowledge and skills as a Pilot-In-Command (PIC).

For more information, please read our guide to becoming a Private Pilot.