Private Pilot Certificate

Learning to fly and getting your license is the ultimate expression of freedom. It is a fun, enjoyable experience and opens up a whole new world to you. Once you have your certificate, here is a list of 15 things you can do with your license.

To be eligible to learn to fly you must meet certain requirements. Here are the basics:

  • Must be at least 16 to get a student certificate. The student certificate is required to do any solo flight.
  • Must be at least 17 to take the practical test
  • Must be able to read and write fluently in the English language
  • Must receive a knowledge test endorsement from an authorized instructor
  • Must pass the written test with 70% or higher

On top of this, there are flight experience requirements. At a minimum these are:

  • 40 hours of total flight time. This is time logged in your logbook and signed off by an instructor
  • 20 hours of flight time logged with a Certified Flight Instructor. Including:
    • 3 hours cross country time
    • 3 hours night time with 1 night cross country over 100 miles.
    • 10 take-offs and landings to a full stop
    • 3 hours of flight by reference to the instrument panel
    • 3 hours of flight training within 60 days of the practical test
  • 10 hours of solo time. Including:
    • 5 hours solo cross country
    • 1 solo cross country over 150 miles total distance including landings at 3 different points.

While this is a lot of information, the instructors at Del Sol Aviation have a proven syllabus that they follow to ensure that you meet all of these requirements as well as feel fully prepared to take your written, knowledge and practical tests.

It is important to note that while the above requirements are minimums as listed by the FAA, many students will have more time logged before they are ready to complete the practical test. This is normal and nothing to be worried about.

Contact us at (505) 242-2701 to experience the ultimate in freedom and enjoyment today.

In the mean time, keep reading to get the answers of our most often asked questions concerning getting your license.

What do I need to learn to fly

At a bare minimum you need the following to get started:

If you are interested in pursuing your license you need the following:

  • 3rd class medical. This can be acquired from any FAA medical examiner.
  • Student Pilot Certificate.
  • Headset (while not required as you can rent one of ours, we highly recommend one).
  • Logbook.
  • Aviation Charts for your flight area.
  • E6B (flight computer). This can be digital or analog.

The above list is the barest of essentials for flying. There are other items that make learning to fly significantly easier and more fun for you. Talk with one of our CFIs today to get the full list of equipment we recommend to learn to fly.

How much does it cost to learn to fly

The answer to this varies based on your availability to train, the type of aircraft you fly and how quickly you pick up the lessons. It is recommended to fly at least twice a week while training to help retain your lessons and keep your skills fresh.

Also, the more gadgets you buy the more your total costs are. So while the newest gizmo-headset or flight jacket may look cool, it can significantly increase your cost of learning to fly.

To help you figure it out here is a list of the hourly costs of our planes and instructors.

  • Instructors: $55/hour
  • Piper Cherokee: $130/hour
  • Cessna Skyhawk: $140/hour

Is it hard to learn to fly

No. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, ability and backgrounds have learned to fly. However, like any skill, it requires practice, commitment and sometimes patience with yourself as you learn. Flying is fun and rewarding and opens up a whole new world to you as a pilot.

How soon do I actually fly the plane

You will take the controls of the plane from day 1. There are some areas of flight that your certified flight instructor (CFI) will be in control of until you learn those skills. But you will be able to control the movement of the plane on your first lesson!

Can I bring a friend on my lessons

During your flight training we do not allow additional passengers in the plane. This tends to distract you from the task of safely flying the plane. However, we do allow passengers on the discovery flight for an additional cost.

Is there financing available for flight training

Yes. Check out our post on how to pay for flight training for detailed information on paying for lessons.

How many hours do I need before I solo

The first solo is an experience that pilot’s never forget…and will talk about for many years to come. FAA minimum requirements is 10 hours of flight instruction before a pilot can solo. However, not all students are ready or comfortable soloing with only 10 hours.