The General Aviation Pilots Flying Resource

Private Pilot

Private Pilot – Airplane
The minimum required flight time is 40 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.
  • Minimum of 20 hours of dual flight time with instructor.
  • Minimum of 10 hours of solo flight time.
  • Pass an FAA private pilot knowledge test and practical (flight) test.


  • No limit to number of passengers and can share expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenses, and aircraft rental).
  • Fly anytime during the day or night using visual flight rules (VFR).
  • No limits on where can fly except normal airspace restrictions.
  •  Fly in Class B, C, E and G airspace (Class A airspace only with instrument rating).
  • Can fly aircraft less than 12,500lbs (over with a specific type rating).
  • Can fly single-engine aircraft (more engines require multi-engine rating).
  • Engine up to 200hp (greater with a hi-performance endorsement).
  • No max number of seats.
  • Fixed landing gear (other requires specialized training and logbook endorsement).
  • Fixed pitch or ground adjustable propeller (variable pitch requires a complex logbook endorsement).
  • Can tow gliders with proper training and flight time.
  • May demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer if has at least 200 hours of logged flight time.


  • Cannot be pilot-in-command or second in command on a flight that is carrying passengers for compensation or hire.
  • You can fly in connection with a business if flying is only incidental to that 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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