The General Aviation Pilots Flying Resource

Recreational Pilot

Recreational Pilot – Airplane
Minimum required training time is 30 hours and you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Hold a current third class airman’s medical.
  • 15 hours of dual flight time with instructor.
  • 15 hours of solo flight time.
  • Pass an FAA recreational pilot knowledge test &  practical (flight) test.


  • Can fly single-engine aircraft less than 12,500lbs., up to 180hp, max of 4 seats, fixed landing gear and fixed pitch or ground adjustable prop.
  • Fly solo or with one passenger and can share expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenses, and aircraft rental).
  • Fly during the daytime using visual flight rules (VFR). Three statute miles visibility and visual contact with the ground are required.
  • Cross-country flying anywhere in the U.S.
  • Fly up to 10,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) or 2,000 feet above ground level (AGL), whichever is higher.
  • Fly in Class E and G airspace (and B, C, and D airspace with appropriate training).


  • Prohibited from Class A airspace.
  • Prohibited from flying in Class B, C, or D airspace until you receive training and a logbook endorsement from an instructor.
  • No flights outside the U.S. without prior permission from the foreign aviation authority.
  • May not tow any object.
  • No flights while carrying a passenger, property or for compensation or hire.
  • Prohibited from flying in furtherance of a business.
Note* These descriptions are changed for quick reference only and not intended to replace the complete FARs available at: FARs Pilot Certificates



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