How to Get Your Pilot’s License

There’s no feeling quite like flying a plane. At thousands of feet above the ground, you cut through the air with the ease and precision of a bird, something humans years ago would never have imagined possible. It’s an indescribable sensation like no other, on top of being a convenient mode of transportation that allows you to travel literally “as the crow flies.” With as gratifying as it is to learn to fly, there’s no reason anyone shouldn’t go through the steps necessary to get your pilot’s license, as long as you pass the requirements.

In order to be eligible for your pilot’s license, there are a few things that are required of you. First and foremost, you need to be physically healthy and have a proficient grasp of the English language, as English is the language used most commonly used by air traffic controllers. While other languages are definitely spoken over the radios, if requested, you must be able to communicate in English. Much like driving a car, you also need to be a certain age to get your pilot’s license. Although you can’t receive a regular pilot’s license until you reach 17, at 16 you can get your student pilot’s certificate where you can lay some groundwork and learn the basics for when you’re old enough. Once you’re ready, here are the necessary steps to getting your pilot’s license.

  1. Find a school and get yourself enrolled.

Do some research and find yourself a school that seems like it would be a good fit for you. If you need help, the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association has a database of all licensed flight instructors.

  1. Get your health checked.

Just like you need a physical to play sports in high school, before you can be cleared to fly a plane you need to be deemed “in good health” by an Airman Medical Examiner designated by the FAA.

  1. Learn the basics.

Before anyone is going to let you hop into a plane and fly it, you’re going to need to learn a lot about piloting. On top of all of the work you’re assigned during your ground course, it’s also a good idea to broaden your pool of knowledge with any informational materials you can get your hands on.

  1. Fly.

Once you’ve learned all of the basics and fundamentals of piloting, it’s time to put those lessons into action in the air. The FAA mandates that all student pilots undergo at least 40 hours of time in the air before you can get your license, and of those 40, at least 20 hours need to be with an instructor. Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, and many students spend much more time in the air practicing. In this “flying phase,” there are three important steps:

A. Dual flying – As mentioned, you need to fly for at least 20 hours with an instructor when you’re first beginning to learn.

B. Solo flying – Here’s where you take the reigns and get in some time practicing flying all by yourself.

C. Written exam – For part of your examination to earn your license, you need to take a 60 multiple-choice question exam to assess how well you’ve retained from your first lessons.

D. Flight test – The very last step, just like your driving test, is your flight test. You’ll be required to answer questions and then the instructor will board the plane with you to assess your skills.

Flight Safety Tips

Flying in aircrafts wasn’t made for fun, but for fast and easy travel. However, flying thousands of feet in the air can be very stressful, especially when something goes wrong. Thankfully, aircrafts are required by law to follow specific guidelines and standards which makes flying very safe. However, an emergency can happen at any given moment. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure maximum safety during your air flight.

Dress Accordingly

There is no such thing as taking too much precaution when preparing for a flight. One of the best things to do is to travel light and easy. Although it may not may not be ideal or easy, packing only the most important things can save you the energy and hassle of carrying all of your belongings in the event of an emergency. Also be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Although some may say to wear your bulkiest clothing on the plane, this can actually create more hassle if you’re worried about getting up and on your feet quickly. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid heels, flip flops, and long skirts and dresses. To be ultimately prepared, make sure you have your most important items packed and ready to go with you in the event of an emergency.

Pay Attention to your Surroundings

When you arrive at the airport be sure to pay close attention to everything going on. For one, you’re in an area filled with tons of people rushing in and out of the airport. You never know what can happen. Get through check-in and security as quickly as possible. When on the plane, be sure to pay close attention to the flight attendants and read through the safety manuals on the plane. Look around and make sure you know where the oxygen masks, floaters and exit doors are. In any case of an emergency be sure you put your oxygen mask first before you help others.

Have a Clear Head

Although trying to find ways to relax on a flight can be a hard thing to do, you must remember to have a clear head and mind at all times. For instance, alcohol is one of the worst things to drink on a plane. For one it’s super expensive and the pressure in the air can cause you to feel more lightheaded and uneasy. If you have a long flight, you may think that popping a Nyquil will help you sleep better, however, in the event of an emergency, the last thing you want to do is be drowsy, dizzy and not know what’s going on. Instead, find natural ways to relax by listening to music, sipping on water, and moving around as much as you can throughout your flight. If anything should happen, you’ll be glad to know you’re alert and ready to go.