Becoming A Student Pilot
We recommend the first step to become a pilot is for you to get your FAA
Medical Certificate prior to starting any flight training. This way, you'll know for
sure that your physical condition meets the FAA standards. When you take the
physical examination from a FAA Designated Medical Examiner
in your area, we recommend that you apply for a Student Pilot / 3rd Class Medical
Certificate, since this is the minimum required prior to soloing.
The FAA now requires the application for a medical certificate to be filled out online.
You can go to the FAA MedXpress site
and complete the online application process. Be sure to print out the confirmation page.
It will contain a confirmation number that you must provie the medical examiner at your appointment.
In order to hold a Student Pilot Certificate, you must successfully complete
the necessary ground and flight training covering the required aeronautical and piloting
skills necessary for safe solo flight. You must pass the Pre-Solo Written Test,
given by your instructor, prior to your first solo flight. To solo usually takes
between 10-20 hours of flight instruction. Once you and your instructor have
determined that you're ready, you will be given the opportunity to take the aircraft for
your first solo flight! This will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable days you
will ever experience!
After your first solo, you'll still continue your flight instruction with your
instructor on a regular basis. But now you will complement that instruction by
practicing maneuvers on your own to reinforce what you have learned and to gain skills,
judgement, and confidence to operate an airplane all by yourself. This solo time is
necessary towards the flight experience requirements for your Private
Pilot Certificate. As a Student Pilot you are restricted from carrying
passengers, and can only fly in the area or to the airports that your instructor has
There is no flight test given by the FAA as is required for all other