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The type of intended flying will determine what type of pilot certificate is required. Eligibility, training, testing requirements differ on the type certificate sought.


  • At least be 17 years old, 16 for Gliders
  • Able to read, write and understand English
  • Hold a valid driver license as evidence for medical eligibility

Recreational Pilot

  • Be at least 17 years old (16 to be a private pilot or be rated for free flight in a balloon).
  • Able to read, write, speak and understand English.
  • Pass the required knowledge test.
  • Meet the Aeronautical experience requirements.
  • A logbook endorsement from an instructor.
  • Pass the required practical test.
  • Third class medical certificate issued under part 14 CFR part 67, except for gliders and balloons, medical eligibility not required.

Private Pilot

Is one who flies for pleasure or personal business without accepting compensation for flying except in some very limited, specific circumstances. The private pilot certificate is held by the majority of active pilots. It allows command of any aircraft for any noncommercial purpose and gives almost unlimited authority to fly under VFR. Experience requirements include at least 40 hours of piloting time, including 20 hours of flight with an instructor and 10 hours solo flight.

Commercial Pilot

  • A commercial airplane pilot must be able to operate a complex airplane.
  • A specific number of hours of complex aircraft time, a portion of the examination is performed in a complex aircraft.
  • A complex aircraft must have rectangular landing gear, movable flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller.

Airline Transport Pilot

The Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) is tested to the highest level of piloting ability. The ATP certificate is a prerequisite for acting as a pilot in command (PIC) of scheduled airline operation.

  • Minimum pilot experience is 1,500 hours of flight time.
  • Pilot must be at least 23 years of age.
  • Be able to read, write, speak and understand English.
  • Good moral standing.

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