Understanding Pilot Certificate Eligibility and Requirements [Video]

Pilot Certificates – Overview of Eligibility and Requirements

Pilot Certificates – Overview of Eligibility and Requirements – Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another training video presented by AeroGuard Flight Training Center. I’m Beth and I’m here with you this week because I want to talk about your pilot certificates and the eligibility and requirements that you need for each rating.

So, maybe you’re just a student pilot and you’re thinking about getting into flight training. You’ve got to make sure you meet a couple things. You’ve got to be eligible and you have some requirements to meet before you solo. Same thing for each rating. For your private pilot or your commercial, you have to have some certain eligibility requirements and then you have other training requirements you have to make for the check ride.

Point of knowing these before you get started is to make sure you’re eligible and you’re even qualified for your check ride, and then while you’re training you’ll know what your end goal is, what your minimums are, and what you can expect and need to do so that you can take that check ride. So, I’ll get into those in a few minutes.

Student Pilots

All right, so this is for student pilots. Maybe you’re just looking at getting into your flight training. Well, you’ve got to make sure you’re eligible like we said. So, that means being at least 16 years old. You have to be able to read, speak and understand the English language, and you need to have a student pilot certificate to solo, along with a medical certificate, and that’s something you’re going to need for each rating that you’re going to apply for. There are different classes and so you’d have to get a different class for each rating, but for a student pilot to solo, a third class will do.

As far as being 16, that’s just to solo. You can still begin your training, you can log flight hours younger, you can sim, you can study as much as you want, but to get that actual solo time and operate an aircraft by yourself, you need to be 16 years old. Now, also to solo, that’s the eligibility, but then the requirements are you have to log some flight training with your instructor and then that instructor has to endorse you. So, they have to give you certain endorsements and all of these can be found in the FARs, the Federal Aviation Regulations, it’s going to be under 61.83, 61.87 and then 61.89 tells you what not to do as a student pilot, like you can’t take passengers when you’re soloing. Defeats the purpose of a solo to take your mom!

So, the point of knowing these regulations, your instructor is going to be able to endorse and sign you off on those, but you’ll know what you need to do, you’ll be able to follow along, and then it might serve you later when you want to be a CFI. You’ll already have that background.

Private Pilots

So, this one’s for my private pilots out there. What do you need to do to be eligible, and what requirements do you need to accomplish for your private pilot check ride? Well, similar to your student pilot certificate, you still need to be able to read, speak, and understand the English language. You also need to be 17 years old this time. So 17, and the English language, and then you need to have some endorsements from your instructor. And so, these logbook endorsements are for a few various things that also meet the requirements for the private pilot. So, they’ll endorse you when you’ve met the requirements, or to allow you to meet the requirements like your written test.

So, for your written test, you have to go through a certain amount of ground school training. That could be through a flight training center here like AeroGuard, you go through flight training and the instructor endorses you for the ground school. Or maybe you do something online and you get an online endorsement. Nonetheless, you get endorsed and you take the written test. Check! That’s one part of a three-part testing system.

You have a written test and then you have a practical exam, which includes an oral and the flight portion. So, to get ready with the flight portion, you have to have proven that you have been taught on some certain maneuvers. We call that proficiency. So, you’ve been taught all these certain maneuvers like when you go out into your local practice area and you work on the stalls and steep turns, or the ground reference maneuvers. Those all have to be met for this rating. Also, emergency procedures. You have to have been taught emergency procedures to progress. So, once you’ve followed through the list of these items that are going to be in 61.107 in the FAR, then your instructor will give you an endorsement for that.

Along with those maneuvers, you also have to have a certain amount of hours in them. So, you have to have a certain amount of solo time, cross country time, night hours, so on and so on. Once you meet those requirements and you have taken a written test, well you’re now eligible for your private pilot check ride! All of these can be found in the FAR 61.103, 105, 107, 109. Something just fun to follow along in your training, keep you up to date with what’s going on and how you’re progressing, and what you need to do. It helps keep you and your instructor accountable, and it might help you again if you decided to become a CFI.

Instrument Ratings

Instrument ratings. This one goes out to those who have already gotten your private pilot or your commercial certificate, and now you’re ready to add on to that instrument rating. Well, to be eligible, and the requirements for this, are all in 61.65. The FAR 61.65 that is. There’re some categories: alpha, bravo, charlie, delta. You can find everything there, and you can get the exact details of what it is, but I’m going to briefly go through them for you. You still have to be eligible and that requires having that existing certificate, such as the private pilot or the commercial, and you also still have to speak and understand, read the English language. You have to have those endorsements from an authorized flight instructor.

So, you go into the bravo section and that is the aeronautical knowledge. Going back to the ground training you received, again from a school like AeroGuard or something you did online, and you received an aeronautical knowledge ground training endorsement, that will let you take the written test. Then you go and you ace that written test. That’s going to be one part of the three-part testing system, remember.

So, you’ve gotten the written test done, and then after that, you have to also have instrument flight training, and that’s the proficiency portion which is under Charlie. That’s going to be all the holds you’ve done, and intercepting tracking radials, flying instrument approaches, the IFR flight plans, that’s all going to be the proficiency.

So, you’re going to have done this proficiency, the maneuvers, for a certain amount of time and that’ll be found in 61.65 delta. This is the hour requirements you need in the certain types of hours like, cross country, the PIC time, the actual or simulated instrument time. So, you’re going to have a certain amount of that and once you are proficient in all of those things, and the right amount of time, your instructor is going to sign you off with a logbook endorsement. Then you’ll be eligible for your instrument rating check ride!

Commercial Pilot

All right, for you commercial pilots out there, what do you need to know? Well, since you’re applying for that commercial rating, I bet you already know, but just in case, I’m going to break it down for you. This is going to be found in the FARs again. It’s going to be in the 61.120s, so 123, 25, 27, 29. You’re going to have to be eligible for this checkride by being 18 years old, still speaking, reading, understanding, the English language, and getting those logbook endorsements.

You’re going to also have to get the ground training you need and get your instructor to sign you off on that, so you can ace that written test again. So now you’ve done that, and then you’ve got to do all of the flight training and the hours. So, the proficiency and maneuvers are going to be some of the same maneuvers that you did in private pilot, and more. You’re going to do all those maneuvers, get another logbook endorsement, and you’re going to have the hour requirements met. Much more hours! The block sum is going to be about 250 hours for a commercial pilot, and that’s going to be in 61.129. Once you’ve met all of these things, and you get the proper logbook endorsements, well now you’re eligible for that checkride!

Good luck, I hope this really helps you get ready for your checkrides, keep you on point and keep your timeline accurate, and if you have any questions please leave them below and as always please like and subscribe! Thanks for watching, see you next time.

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