Fly An Airplane Independently

Private Pilot License (PPL)

Embarking on a journey toward a fulfilling career as an airline pilot begins with a crucial and exciting step: obtaining your Private Pilot Certificate. This certification serves as the foundation of every aviator’s aviation odyssey. By acquiring a private pilot license, you gain the authority to legally operate an aircraft and soar the skies with confidence.

Private Pilot License
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Program Overview

Flying is enjoyable, functional and can be used for business or pleasure. It is not as hard as you may think, especially when you are working with the right training school and flight instructor. You can earn your Private Pilot Certificate in as little time as just a few weeks and start enjoying the freedom to fly during the Day and Night to all your desired destinations.

Our standard PPL course consists of 90 hours of total on-site education and over 15 hours of online training. The majority of that time is going to be in a Piper Cherokee PA-28 or simulator and the rest is going to be on the ground, classroom and online.

Our simulator-oriented training system will prepare you for the flight training portion of your journey and it will minimize your total training investment. On the first lesson you will fully experience the value of this integrated method of training, and you will fly the airplane for the first time knowing exactly what to expect.

By practicing complex tasks and procedures in the simulator first, you can learn faster in the airplane with the knowledge you’ve gained. This allows us to teach you good habits to carry with you through your aviation career.


The amount of time required to earn a private pilot certificate varies and largely depends on weather, availability, finances, and how often a student is available to fly. In a fast-paced program, a pilot certificate can be earned in approximately two months. For other students who are only able to fly occasionally, a pilot certificate could take a couple of years.

No, you may not act as pilot-in-command of an airplane for compensation or hire, nor an aircraft carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire. However, you may act as PIC of an aircraft and receive pro-rata share, or an equal portion, of the operating expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenditures, and rental fees only) from others onboard the aircraft, if you do not pay less than the pro-rata share.

Private pilots are allowed to fly any aircraft for which they are appropriately rated. Appropriately rated refers to the successful training in a specific category and class rating of aircraft. An example of category would be airplane or helicopter while an example of class rating would be single-engine land meaning the aircraft has one engine and is limited to operations on land rather than on the water.

So, upon completion of your Private Pilot Certificate rated for airplane, single-engine land although you may have trained in a Cessna 172 you are allowed to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) in any aircraft that is a single-engine land airplane, a Piper Archer for example. Acting as pilot-in-command means you have the final authority and responsibility for the operation of the aircraft and the safety of the flight. Some aircraft may require additional authorization to act as PIC, known as receiving an endorsement, such as tailwheel or high-performance aircraft.

Since the private pilot certificate allows you to fly in and out of all civil airports, a licensed pilot may partake in activities ranging from flying to a nearby airport for lunch, traveling across the country, or even around the world without ever stepping foot on an airliner. A private pilot can take friends and family for rides, practice maneuvers, or become involved in many of the wonderful programs that introduce people to flying.

Two Paths to Your Private Pilot License

Group Cohort Academy: Our Group Cohort Academy provides a structured and collaborative learning environment, allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and benefit from group discussions and peer learning. This approach fosters a cohesive learning experience while offering a cost-effective route to your Private Pilot License (PPL) through shared resources and group pricing.

One-on-One Individual Route:

  • Personalized learning: Tailor your training to your individual needs and learning pace, maximizing efficiency.
  • Flexible scheduling: Enjoy the freedom to schedule your lessons around your existing commitments.
  • Dedicated instructor: Receive personalized attention from your instructor, ensuring a deep understanding of the material.
  • Rapid progression: Accelerate your learning with focused, individual instruction, potentially leading to faster licensing.

No matter your preference, ActivePILOT has a path to help you achieve your goal of becoming a Private Pilot License. Contact us today to discuss the best fit for your journey!


  • 36 Hours of Group Ground Lectures
    ($3,240 value of ground knowledge instruction)
  • 15 Hours One-on-One Briefing/Debriefing
  • 40 Hours Dual Aircraft Instruction
  • 40 Hours Aircraft Rental
  • 10 Hours Solo Aircraft Rental
  • 25 Hours of Individual Ground Instruction
  • 15 Hours One-on-One Briefing/Debriefing
  • 40 Hours Dual Aircraft Instruction
  • 40 Hours Aircraft Rental
  • 10 Hours Solo Aircraft Rental

Program Requirements

Private Pilot License Eligibility

To earn a private pilot certificate, a pilot must:

  • Be 17 years of age.
    Read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.
  • Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor.
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements for the aircraft rating sought.
  • Pass a practical test for the aircraft rating sought.

Private Pilot License Training

According to federal regulations, you must meet the following aeronautical flight experience requirements to earn a private pilot license. At a minimum, private pilot candidates qualified for the practical test will have logged 40 hours of flight time. The training must include:

  • 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation.
    • 3 hours of cross-country flight training.
    • 3 hours of night flight training consisting of:
      • One cross-country flight over 100 nautical miles total distance.
      • 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
    • 3 hours of flight training on control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments.
    • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test.
  • 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single-engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation.
    • 10 hours of solo flight time consisting of:
      • 5 hours of solo cross-country time.
      • One solo cross-country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance with full-stop landings at three points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations.
      • Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

Reference 14 CFR §61.65 for the entire list of eligibility requirements.

What Else To Know

To kickstart your journey, a strong educational foundation is crucial. Most airlines require a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, aiming higher with a bachelor’s degree in aviation or a related field enhances your prospects. Educational attainment sets the stage for advanced training and in-depth knowledge of aeronautics.

Acquiring a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) demands rigorous flight training. Enroll in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved flight school (flight school Los Angeles and flight school California) to clock the required flight hours. These programs encompass hands-on flying experience, navigation training, and simulator sessions, molding you into a skilled aviator.

Building flight hours is a pivotal phase. The FAA mandates a minimum of 250 flight hours for CPL, but most airlines seek candidates with significantly more experience. Joining regional airlines or becoming a flight instructor are common paths to accumulate the necessary hours. The skies become your classroom as you clock hours towards your dream job.

Ensuring the safety of passengers and crew is paramount. Obtain a First-Class Medical Certificate from an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner. This thorough examination assesses your physical and mental well-being, ensuring you are fit for the demanding responsibilities of a commercial pilot.

Before taking command of an aircraft, passing written and practical exams is imperative. The written exam evaluates your theoretical knowledge, covering topics like navigation, meteorology, and aviation regulations. Subsequently, the practical test assesses your flying skills, decision-making, and ability to handle diverse in-flight scenarios.

Distinguish yourself by obtaining specialized ratings, such as the Instrument Rating or Multi-Engine Rating. These additional qualifications enhance your capabilities, making you a more attractive candidate to airlines. A well-rounded skill set is key to standing out in the competitive aviation industry.

Aviation is dynamic, with regulations and technology evolving. Stay informed about industry changes by regularly checking FAA updates and participating in relevant seminars. Adapting to advancements ensures you remain a competent and knowledgeable pilot throughout your career.

Embarking on the journey to become a commercial pilot requirements is both challenging and rewarding. By understanding and fulfilling the outlined requirements, you pave the way to a fulfilling career above the clouds. Stay dedicated, keep reaching for the skies, and soon you could be piloting your way to new horizons.

For more insights into the aviation industry, check out reputable sources like the FAA’s official website and industry-leading publications. Stay informed to stay ahead in your aviation career.