Have a passion for traveling? Craving freedom, adventure, and independence? Maybe you’ve been thinking about making the sky your place of work? If so, its time to look into getting your private pilot license.
While there are many types of aircraft and many pilot licenses out there, a private pilot license is a fantastic first step in learning about aviation and a great way to see if you want to make a career out of flying. Like a driver's license for operating a car, earning a private pilot license allows you to legally fly an aircraft. While many people choose a private pilot license for personal reasons over professional reasons, it’s important to note that the PPL is the first major step for anyone with dreams of flying professionally.
Holders of a PPL can fly virtually all types of airplanes provided they have the right certification. Typically, private pilots fly small single piston engine and twin-engine piston airplanes. A new private pilot can fly any non-turbojet airplane which weighs less than 12,500 pounds. As a private pilot, you can fly an airplane day and night in visual flight conditions.
A private pilot license is ideal if you want to fly for pleasure. Since it allows you to fly in and out of all civil airports, you decide where you want to go, and when. You can fly anywhere in the world because there are no major restrictions on traveling with your license You can explore new locales. Take friends and family for rides. Act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft towing a glider, fly for charity, or assist in search and location operations plus more. However, you can’t be hired or paid for flying.
A private pilot’s license (PPL) is not only the most common license given in aviation. It’s also the most popular. Why? In addition to the travel freedom it offers, by becoming a certified private pilot, you can enhance your capabilities by adding other licenses, such as Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine. What’s more, getting your PPL opens the door to flying commercial aircraft.
To get your private pilot certificate, you must:
Flight training for a PPL includes aircraft maneuvers, navigation, emergency procedures, and cross-country flight planning. All candidates are evaluated by an FAA examiner during a practical test which consists of an oral portion and a flight portion. In Europe, new aviators with a European EASA PPL license can fly in an airplane registered in an EASA country throughout Europe, America, and most other countries.
Students who work hard can earn their wings as quickly as three months. Part-time students typically take 4 - 6 months to finish.
Learning to fly is a significant financial commitment. In the United States, on average a private pilot's license (PPL) costs about $10,000 depending on the location, type of airplane used, type of flight school, instructor experience, and the pace at which you learn. In Europe, the cost of a PPL can range from £8,000 – £11,000, again depending on the school and the aircraft, etc.
In addition to giving you wings to fly on personal excursions, getting your PPL also makes a lot of business sense. That’s because a PPL is a requirement and the first stepping-stone for getting an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) which allows you to be an airline pilot and earn a very competitive salary.
At the end of the day, there are as many reasons for getting a PPL as there are individuals. Start your journey by finding the flight training school that best suits your needs and prepare for takeoff!
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