Private Pilot Overview
A Private Pilot is a fully qualified, although relatively inexperienced, pilot. It is recognized by the ICAO (International Civil Aeronautics Organization of the United Nations) so you can fly almost anywhere in the world. You don't have to ask for permission from your instructor to do anything. If you are in a new situation, it is always a wise idea to seek knowledge from local pilots and more experienced pilots, especially professional pilots.
You can fly into most of the busiest airports in the world. In reality, the landing fees may encourage you to go to a neighboring airport that probably is closer to your destination anyway. The very busiest airports may require a reservation due to high level of scheduled flights. There are about 10,000 airports in the USA and most love to see pilots and are friendly to small airplanes.
There are only a few restrictions, weather permitting. You are not experienced enough to charge for your services although cost sharing is permitted. There are prohibited areas such as the US Capital and the White House that no pilot flys over. Usually large sporting events such as the Rose Bowl will have a minimum altitude so don't attempt to "buzz" them.
Federal Aviation Regulation
Part 61 CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS
Subpart E--Private Pilots - Airplane
Eligibility requirements: General
To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:
(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.
(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.
(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.
(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in Sec. 61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.
(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in Sec. 61.105(b) of this part.
(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.
(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.
(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.
(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
(b) Aeronautical knowledge areas
(1) Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
(2) Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
(3) Use of the applicable portions of the "Aeronautical Information Manual" and FAA advisory circulars;
(4) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;
(5) Radio communication procedures;
(6) Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
(7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;
(8) Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;
(9) Weight and balance computations;
(10) Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;
(11) Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;
(12) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and
(13) Preflight action that includes--
(i) How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and
(ii) How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.
(a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
(b) Areas of operation
(1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
(i) Preflight preparation;
(ii) Preflight procedures;
(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;
(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
(v) Performance maneuvers;
(vi) Ground reference maneuvers;
(viii) Slow flight and stalls;
(ix) Basic instrument maneuvers;
(x) Emergency operations;
(xi) Night operations
(xii) Postflight procedures.
(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least--
(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;
(2) 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes--
(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and
(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.
(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;
(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a single-engine airplane, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test; and
(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least--
(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;
(ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and
(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
(i) Permitted credit for use of a flight simulator or flight training device.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (i)(2) of this section, a maximum of 2.5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section, if received from an authorized instructor.
(2) A maximum of 5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section if the training is accomplished in a course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.
(3) Except when fewer hours are approved by the Administrator, an applicant for a private pilot certificate with an airplane, rotorcraft, or powered-lift rating, who has satisfactorily completed an approved private pilot course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter, need only have a total of 35 hours of aeronautical experience to meet the requirements of this section.
Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.
(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:
(1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and
(2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.
(c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.
(d) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of an aircraft used in a passenger-carrying airlift sponsored by a charitable organization described in paragraph (d)(7) of this section, and for which the passengers make a donation to the organization, when the following requirements are met:
(1) The sponsor of the airlift notifies the FAA Flight Standards District Office with jurisdiction over the area concerned at least 7 days before the event and furnishes--
(i) A signed letter from the sponsor that shows the name of the sponsor, the purpose of the charitable event, the date and time of the event, and the location of the event; and
(ii) A photocopy of each pilot in command's pilot certificate, medical certificate, and logbook entries that show the pilot is current in accordance with Secs. 61.56 and 61.57 of this part and has logged at least 200 hours of flight time.
(2) The flight is conducted from a public airport that is adequate for the aircraft to be used, or from another airport that has been approved by the FAA for the operation.
(3) No aerobatic or formation flights are conducted.
(4) Each aircraft used for the charitable event holds a standard airworthiness certificate.
(5) Each aircraft used for the charitable event is airworthy and complies with the applicable requirements of subpart E of part 91 of this chapter.
(6) Each flight for the charitable event is made during day VFR conditions.
(7) The charitable organization is an organization identified as such by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
(e) A private pilot may be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of:
(1) A local, State, or Federal agency; or
(2) An organization that conducts search and location operations.
(f) A private pilot who is an aircraft salesman and who has at least 200 hours of logged flight time may demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer.
(g) A private pilot who meets the requirements of Sec. 61.69 of this part may act as pilot in command of an aircraft towing a glider.
COPYRIGHT © 2004 Bob & Betty Hales