Before you can finally fly a plane, you need the necessary training in airplane mechanics and flight time experience. Flight school prepares aspiring pilots with the skills they need to fly a private or commercial plane. Learn more about flight schools and training.
What do you do in a flight school?
As an aspiring pilot, you join a flight school to undergo flight training and obtain a license to operate or fly an aircraft. Here you get the ground training and flight lessons, which are requirements for obtaining a pilot license. Ground training gives you the basic knowledge, including how airplanes fly, weather, and other aviation-related topics, and prepares you for the practical experience of flying a plane as well as maintaining crew and passengers. Flight training lessons take place in certified flight training aircraft.
What to expect in flight training
In flight school, you gain the aeronautical knowledge and pilot training necessary to obtain a pilot license. Keep in mind that the pilot license requirements differ depending on the type of license you want. But generally, you need a specific minimum number of flight hours, successful completion of a pilot test, medical clearance, and successful completion of the practical test. Your flight instructor endorses you to do the FAA-regulated test.
What do you need to obtain a student pilot certificate?
A student pilot certificate allows you to fly a plane under instruction by an approved trainer. You need to be at least 16years, read, understand and speak English and complete the student pilot certificate application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application website. Your application is reviewed and processed then mailed to you in three weeks when it goes through.
Types of pilot licenses
There are different specializations in aviation. Let’s look at the various types of pilot licenses you can work towards in flight school.
- Private Pilot (PPL) allows you to operate a single-engine plane mostly in a recreational way. You need a minimum of 40hours of flight experience. You may not earn income at this level, but the 40-hours is a good foundation for additional training.
- A commercial pilot (CPL)- a pilot license lets you operate a commercial plane as you earn income. Commercial pilot requirements include a minimum of 250hours flight time with 100hours as a pilot in command.
- Airline transport pilot (ATP)- this pilot license enables you to fly an airline plane. It requires a minimum of 1500hours of flight time. It is the highest certification in flight training, and it meets the minimum hiring requirements for most airlines. You must be at least 23years of age to qualify for an ATP certificate.
- Instrument rating (IR)- this certification allows you to operate a plane based on Instrument Flight rules. Therefore you need additional 50hours of cross-country flight experience and 10hours in an instrument rating plane.
- Certified flight instructor- as an experienced pilot, you may decide to teach student pilots. Therefore you need this type of pilot license to instruct, which requires a minimum of 250hours of flight time and additional requirements depending on the aircraft.