Frequently Asked Questions 

What Ratings Do You Have?
As of January 20, 2011 I hold the following FAA Certificates / Ratings:

What Are The Requirements For A FAA Flight Instructor Certificate?

FAA regulation 61.183 says:

To be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating a person must:

(a) Be at least 18 years of age;

(b) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's flight instructor certificate as are necessary;

(c) Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with:

(1) An aircraft category and class rating that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

(2) An instrument rating, or privileges on that person's pilot certificate that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought, if applying for—

(i) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating;

(ii) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating;

(iii) A flight instructor certificate with a powered-lift rating; or

(iv) A flight instructor certificate with an instrument rating.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing listed in §61.185 of this part appropriate to the required knowledge test;

(e) Pass a knowledge test on the areas listed in §61.185(a)(1) of this part, unless the applicant:

(1) Holds a flight instructor certificate or ground instructor certificate issued under this part;

(2) Holds a current teacher's certificate issued by a State, county, city, or municipality that authorizes the person to teach at an educational level of the 7th grade or higher; or

(3) Is employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university.

(f) Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) of this part that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

(g) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.187(b) of this part, appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

(h) Pass the required practical test that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought in an:

(1) Aircraft that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the aircraft rating sought; or

(2) Flight simulator or approved flight training device that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought, and used in accordance with a course at a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.

(i) Accomplish the following for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane or a glider rating:

(1) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor indicating that the applicant is competent and possesses instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures after providing the applicant with flight training in those training areas in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins; and

(2) Demonstrate instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. However, upon presentation of the endorsement specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section an examiner may accept that endorsement as satisfactory evidence of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures for the practical test, provided that the practical test is not a retest as a result of the applicant failing the previous test for deficiencies in the knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures. If the retest is a result of deficiencies in the ability of an applicant to demonstrate knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures, the examiner must test the person on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery instructional procedures in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins;

(j) Log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

(k) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the flight instructor rating sought.


What Is A Commercial Pilot Certificate?
A commercial pilot certificate is identical to your private pilot certificate except it allows you to fly an airplane and carry passengers and/or property for compensation or hire.  The certificate is sent to you by the FAA upon satisfactory completion of your training program, the pilot knowledge test, and a practical test.

What Are The Requirements For A Commercial Pilot Certificate?
This subpart prescribes the requirements for the issuance of commercial pilot certificates and ratings, the conditions under which those certificates and ratings are necessary, and the general operating rules for persons who hold those certificates and ratings.

Eligibility requirements: General FAA 61.123.

To be eligible for a commercial pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 18 years of age;

(b) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

(c) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the required ground training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.125 of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test that applies to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(d) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.125 of this part;

(e) Receive the required training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

(f) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this subpart that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought before applying for the practical test;

(g) Pass the required practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought;

(h) Hold at least a private pilot certificate issued under this part or meet the requirements of §61.73; and

(i) Comply with the sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

What Is A Private Pilot Certificate?
A private pilot certificate is much like a driver's license. It will allow you to fly an airplane and carry passengers and baggage, although not for compensation or hire. However, operating expenses may be shared with your passengers. The certificate, which is a piece of paper similar to a driver's license, is sent to you by the Federal Aviation Administration upon satisfactory completion of your training program, a pilot knowledge test, and a practical test.

What Are The Requirements For A Private Pilot Certificate?

61.103   Eligibility requirements: General.

To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.

(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.

(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part.

(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.

(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.

(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.


Is Flying Safe?
General aviation airplanes are built to rigid federal specifications, and they are constantly checked and rechecked to make sure they are mechanically and structurally safe. People who fly are safety conscious. As the pilot-in-command of an airplane, you're also in command of most variables that affect flying safety. Safety is the most important word in the general aviation vocabulary. Well-built and well-maintained aircraft flown by a competent and prudent pilot make flying safer than many other forms of transportation.

How Long Did It Take To Get Your License?
About seven months.

How Long Have You Had Your License?
Since May 8, 1998.

How Much Did It Cost?
About $4600.00 to obtain just the Private Pilot rating.

What Kind Of Aircraft Do You Fly?
Cessna 172, Cessna 182, Piper Warrior PA-28, and Blanik L23 Glider.

How Many Hours Do You Have?
1149 as of January 20, 2011.

Is Flying Difficult?
As with any other skill you master, flying is learned step by step. It's a fascinating experience, but it's not particularly difficult. It can be learned by practically anyone who is willing to invest some time and effort.

What Happens If The Engine Quits?
An aircraft engine is a piece of finely built machinery that is designed to keep running. If the improbable should happen, however, you won't "fall out of the sky". Your airplane will descend slowly in a glide. You select the nearest safe landing site and land there without power.

What Makes An Airplane Fly?
When you examine a cross-section of an airplane's wing, or airfoil, you'll notice that the top part is curved and the bottom part is relatively flat. This special shape creates lift, which makes the airplane fly. As the wing moves forward, the air flowing over the top travels faster than the air flowing beneath, resulting in a lower pressure area above the wing.

When Was Your First Solo?
November 4, 1997


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Last updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011 08:21:10 PM.