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Private Pilot Certificate

If becoming an airline pilot is your dream, the Private Pilot Certificate is your point of entry into a rewarding career in aviation. Also known as Private Pilot License (PPL), it is the most common type of pilot certificate that allows holders to legally fly an aircraft or act as a Pilot in Command (PIC) of an aircraft.

The main limitation with this certificate is you cannot be paid to fly passengers or cargo which means holders of a PPL cannot be hired by an airline or fly for compensation in any capacity.

Some people obtain their PPL to fly as a hobby. This includes recreational sports flying, flying friends and family, or flying as a means of transportation, including flying to and from work.

Whatever your reason is, the following points are steps to take to obtain your Private Pilot License.

Private Pilot Certificate Eligibility Requirements

  • To earn a private pilot certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age to be issued a PPL (however you can start your training at any age).

  • Read, speak and understand English.

  • Know basic mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

  • Pass a medical assessment.

Private Pilot Certificate Medical Requirements

To exercise the privileges of a private pilot, you will need to pass at least a Class 3 aviation medical assessment issued by a licensed Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Without this pilot medical certificate, you cannot go to flight school or fly commercially.

For aspiring pilots going to flight school in America, Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria, you can book your medicals through our partner Aviation Medical Examiners.

Ground School

When you meet the above requirements, you are officially ready to begin your ground school training. This training can be done online or in-person at our partner flight schools and will focus on flight principles, aerodynamics, weather data, meteorological services, radio communications, aircraft systems, flight planning, night flying procedures, Federal Aviation Regulations, flight maneuvers, and other key areas.

Once you finish with your training, you will be expected to write and pass the FAA written exam to complete this step.

Note: Most of our students complete their ground school online with us before attending flight school, this allows them to get ahead and focus on just flying when they arrive at flight school, making life significantly easier for them.

If you wish to start your ground school now, as you wait to go to flight school, send us an email to

Choose A Flight School

You will need to choose a flight school where you will learn how to fly and receive the 40 hours of flight training required by the FAA to earn your private pilot license.

Your instructor will be teaching you flight maneuvers, day and night flying, solo flying, and cross-country flying.

Not many people are aware, but the flight school you choose will determine how long it will take you to finish, how much money you will spend, how much stress you will encounter, and sometimes how your job prospects will look like when you finish flight school.

You can learn how to select the right flight school and everything you need to look out for by registering for the online Pilot Kickstarter course hosted by Captain Zino.

Checkride (Practical Skills Test)

This is where your instructor signs you off and prepares you for your practical test also known as a Checkride. The checkride is conducted by an FAA examiner and consists of a verbal exam and a practical flight exam that can last between two to six hours depending on your knowledge, performance and the examiner’s method.

Once you pass both the verbal and flight exam, the examiner will assist you in filling your private pilot application paperwork. The examiner will also issue you a temporary certificate which will allow you to start flying as a private pilot immediately while you wait for the official private pilot certificate from the FAA.

Let us walk you through a quick and affordable journey through flight school

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