The flight Training section contains information related to FAR 61 & 91. Any information on this site is superseeded by any national or international legislation concerned or any aircraft manufactures specifications and/or Airworthiness Directives. For the actual flight training and testing the FAA uses the Practical Test Standard (PTS).

C-172 Basic Trainer

The flight training section describes the requirements to be met by the applicant to obtain or renew an FAA licence and/or rating(s). These are the minimum legal requirements. The first thing to do as a future pilot is to asses which licence/rating is within your reach considering health, financial situation, time available to spend on flying and personal ambitions. It helps to get a couple of rides in an airplane and a chat with a trusted person that is familiar with aviation before making a decision. The FAA publishes the Student Pilot Guide as a reference for future pilots. Read also How do I become a pilot?
If you have decided that flying is your thing, you must obtain a medical (3rd Class minimum) and a student pilot certificate. This is normally obtained from an FAA designated medical examiner. The next thing to do is to find an FAA Certified Flight Instructor who will mentor you through the process of theoretical and aeronautical knowledge and experience required by the Practical Test Standard (PTS). The PTS is the FAA guide to which you must be trained and perform to pass the test.
When she/he finds you competent to take the written test she/he will sign you off. After passing the written test, you must be signed off by your instructor to take the FAA check-ride with an FAA designated pilot examiner. The check-ride consists of a theoretical part (oral) and a flight test. The examiner will use the PTS to test your skills.
Once you have mastered the basic skills of flying, you can extend your capabilities by adding an Instrument Rating to your licence. This rating permits you to fly an airplane approved for instrument flight in under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). The IFR rating training improves your basic handling skills, your knowledge and your airmanship and is a great tool towards aviation safety. Because this rating allows you to fly in less than basic VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) you MUST stay up-to-date in operating the aircraft to the required standards and beyond.

Chicago Du Page
Runway 2L

Piper Aztec
The Multi Engine Rating allows you to fly multi engine aircraft under VFR only or IFR, depending the privileges listed on your licence. Multi engine aircraft require a high standard of proficiency due to their limited performance in case of single engine operation after an engine shut down in flight. Again recurrent training and experience are the keys to the safe operation of such aircraft. You can obtain a multi engine rating on a private or on a commercial pilot's licence.
The Commercial Pilot Licence allows you to act as pilot in command of an aircraft, carrying persons or property for compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation. Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) allows you to be pilot in command of an aircraft under Part 121 (Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations). The ATPL requires that you hold an Instrument Rating. To pass the ATPL exams you needs at least 1500 hours total time (1200 hours for a helicopter rating).


At your service!
To become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), you need to hold at least a Commercial Pilot Licence with the appropriate ratings. You must pass a written test and a flight check with an FAA examiner. A CFI-Instrument can teach IFR and a MEI (Multi Engine Instructor) can teach multi engine. For each additional rating on your instructor licence you must pass the appropriate flight check.
Being a CFI is most rewarding because it is a major learning experience for both student and instructor. The best instructors however are not always the ace flyers, but the ones that have the skill to teach, the patience and consideration for their students. Before you endeavour to be a CFI, ask yourself if you have those basic qualities. See also Ground Instructor.
Every two years a pilot flying under Part 61 must pass a Biannual Flight Review (BFR) according to FAR 61.56, irrespective of hours flown or experience. Normally the BFR is administered by a properly rated CFI. The BFR consists of an oral part (minimum 1 hour) and a flight check (minimum 1 hour). The content of the review is at the discretion of the CFI and the proficiency standard is according to the appropriate Practical Test Standard (PTS), but most surely you can expect a review of Parts 61 & 91, emergency operations and performance maneuvres. Depending your experience the CFI will adapt his program to make sure that you have quality service for your money. A BFR can also be combined with a proficiency check for Recent flight experience: Pilot in command (FAR 61.57). The BFR is regarded by both the FAA and instructor as a learning experience ie upto proficiency of the applicant.

C-172 in take off

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