Getting a Private Pilot’s License

A Private Pilot’s License (PPL) is an airplane certification that allows the holder to act as the pilot in command of an aircraft. It is often the first license sought by individuals interested in aviation and flying.

A pilot with a PPL is able to fly any single engine Piston (SEP) aircraft, with no restrictions, at any time, for pleasure or private business. A PPL may also be used to fly multi-engine piston aircraft, but only under certain circumstances. The FAA does not require a medical examination for the PPL, but does require you to hold at least a third class medical certificate if you are flying for compensation or hire. For this reason you must take an FAA approved medical exam before you can be issued your license/certificate. You can do this as part of completing your training by a qualified aviation medical examiner (AME), or choose to do it independently on your own time. Your certificate will be valid for five years, and is renewable every five years after that with another physical exam by an AME.


You must be at least 17 years old to solo an aircraft; hold a current FAA third class medical certificate; be able to read, speak and understand English; have passed all ground school courses; have

The PPL is not a license to fly for hire, but it does allow the PPL holder to carry passengers. The PPL holder may also practice exercises for his commercial pilot certificate.

The PPL requires 40 hours of flight time with at least 20 hours dual instruction and 10 hours solo. There are five areas of study: (1) Airplanes, (2) Aerodynamics, (3) Flight Instruments, (4) Flight Procedures, and (5) Navigation.

The written exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions in an FAA approved testing center. The exam is administered by an “FAA representative” who must be an FAA employee or an FAA approved pilot examiner.

Training for the PPL takes place in either a single engine airplane or a helicopter. The student will receive 8-10 hours of ground school training in addition to the 40 hours of flight time.

The PPL is the most common certification level. It requires at least 40 hours of flight time, including at least 20 hours with an instructor and 10 hours solo, as well as ground school, a written exam, and a practical test (flight exam). Private pilot candidates must be at least 17 years old, be able to read, speak, write and understand English; obtain at least a third-class medical certificate; pass a written test on aeronautical knowledge; log at least 40 hours of flight time; and pass a practical test (flight exam) given by an FAA-designated examiner.

Obtaining your Private Pilot’s License (PPL) is a great accomplishment, and one that requires a significant commitment in both time and financial resources. If you’ve got the passion to fly, however, it is well worth the effort!

To get started on achieving your dream of flight, please contact one of our Flight School locations and ask to speak with an FAA-certified instructor. A list of our current locations can be found at

The first step in becoming a pilot is to take an “Introductory Flight” with one of our instructors. The introduction to flight costs $250 and includes a thorough ground school lesson as well as 20-30 minutes of hands-on flying instruction in the air.

This introductory session gives you the opportunity to experience the Robinson R22 helicopter for yourself before you enroll in flight training. It also allows you to learn more about the process behind earning your Private Pilot’s License from an experienced instructor who can answer any questions you might have about flight training and provide you with details on what we can do for you here at Robinson Helicopter Company.

Once you have completed your initial Introductory Flight, there are several options available for enrollment in flight training:

Your training will start out with a lot of ground school and studying. You’ll be learning all about airplanes, aerodynamics, navigation, and other important topics. Once you have completed the necessary amount of study, you’ll move on to your flight training.

Your flight training will involve a minimum of 40 hours in the air with your instructor. These 40 hours are broken down into 5 different categories. They are:

Preflight Procedures: This includes an inspection of the airplane and its systems before flight.**

Airwork: This includes maneuvers such as climbs, descents, turns, stalls, and slow flight.**

Cross-country flying: Flying from one airport to another with a landing at each stop.**

Night Operations: Flying after sunset.**

Emergency operations: Learning what to do in case of an emergency while flying such as engine failure or loss of radio communications.**

Once you have successfully completed all the requirements for your PPL you will take a practical test (checkride) with an FAA examiner. This is usually done in one day and has two parts; an oral exam and a flight test where you demonstrate all the maneuvers you learned during your training to the examiner.

Step 1:Take a pilot ground school. In order to obtain a PPL, you must first complete ground school. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not require a specific ground school course, so it is up to you to decide what kind of ground school instruction you want.

There are several options for taking a ground school course, including an instructor-led classroom setting, online lessons or self-study with textbooks. You can also take courses that vary in length and depth; some courses are more comprehensive than others. If you choose to take an instructor-led course, be sure that the instructor is certified by the FAA or another nationally recognized accrediting body like the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI).

Step 2:Complete the written exam. After successfully completing your ground school course, you should schedule and pass your written exam at a designated testing center. The FAA offers this test in computerized format at over 700 testing centers throughout the nation. These tests are available on demand, as opposed to being offered on specific dates, so you don’t have to wait until a certain date before taking your exam.

Step 3:Complete flight training with an instructor. Once you’ve completed ground school and passed the written exam, you can start working

The Robinson R22 is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter. The two-seat Robinson R22 was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson and has been in production since 1979. Over 5,000 have been produced, built from composite materials and powered by a Lycoming O-320 horizontally-opposed four cylinder piston engine of 150 hp (112 kW).

The R22 has a two-bladed semi-rigid rotor system with a teetering hinge and elastomeric bearings. There are no rotor dampers or servo flaps to provide damping, nor is there a hydraulic system or swashplate servo to adjust blade pitch. Pitch changes are accomplished by the pilot via a push/pull control connected to the swashplate through multiple bellcranks and steel rods.[2]

The R22 has no form of carburetor heat or induction air heating, so flying at low altitude in cold weather generally requires wearing an oxygen mask. It is not approved for instrument flight rules (IFR) operation and cannot be flown in conditions that would require instrument reference.

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