You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 39

WHY DO YOU WANT TO LEARN TO FLY?

Whether your goal is to fly airliners
across the country for a living, or simply
soar across the county for the fun of it-
there's a pilot certificate for you (think
of it as your license to the sky, although
they're formally called certificates).
Each option conveys specific privileges
and capabilities to a pilot. Depending
on where you want to go, some may be
only steppingstones to a more advanced
credential. Keep in mind that the training
requirements listed here are minimums;
you'll train until your performance meets
FAA standards, and almost all students
exceed these minimums.
Here's the hierarchy:
Sport pilot. The sport pilot certificate
has the lowest minimum training requirement, at 20 flight hours, which may help
you get flying faster. It's also the only
powered aircraft certificate that does not
require an FAA medical certificate (gliders and hot air balloons are the others).
It also conveys the fewest privileges-for
example, you can't fly an aircraft with a
maximum gross weight of more than 1,320
pounds or more than two seats, you can
only carry one passenger, you can't fly at
night, and additional training is required
to fly anywhere communication with air
traffic controllers is required.
Recreational pilot. This certificate can be earned in as few as 30 flight
hours, and an FAA medical certificate
is required. However, you can fly larger,

faster aircraft with up to 180-horsepower engines and as many as four seats;
you're still limited to one passenger and
cannot fly at night. Additional training is
required to fly longer distances or to talk
with air traffic controllers.
Private pilot. This offers the most
privileges of any initial pilot certificate,
and puts few restrictions on where and
what you can fly (additional training
might be required for certain aircraft
types). A minimum of 40 flight hours and
an FAA medical certificate are required.
Commercial pilot. If you want to
fly for compensation or hire, you'll need
at least the commercial certificate. It's a
prerequisite to work as a flight instructor,
corporate or charter pilot, or fly banner
towing or crop dusting aircraft, among
many others. You'll learn additional
maneuvers beyond the private pilot syllabus. You'll also need as many as 250 hours
of flight time; there also are requirements
for pilot in command and cross-country
experience.
Airline transport pilot. To fly for an
airline or certain other employers, you'll
have to earn an ATP certificate. You must
be 23 years old, of good moral character,
hold a commercial pilot certificate with
an instrument rating, have logged as
many as 1,500 flight hours, and complete
an Airline Transport Pilot Certification
Training Program. Depending on where
you trained or if you served as a military
pilot, you may qualify for a restricted

ATP-which allows you to fly for an airline as second in command-at age 21 and
potentially with fewer flight hours.
Instrument rating. Train for this any
time after the private pilot certificate to
learn how to fly in the clouds, by reference
to aircraft instruments (and not the horizon). It increases your skill and the value
of your certificate, and is a requirement
for the ATP.
Commercial drone pilot. Earn the
FAA's Part 107 remote pilot certificate to fly
small unmanned aircraft systems-drones-
commercially. Learn the material through a
course or self-study (it's heavy on airspace),
and take the knowledge test at an FAA testing center; no flight test is required.
You'll find that some flight schools
are certified under Part 141 of the federal
aviation regulations; the rest operate
under Part 61. Although performance
standards are the same, Part 141 training has a more structured curriculum
and other requirements-which is why
the minimum number of flight hours
required for a certificate or rating is
lower at a Part 141 school. Many find the
more structured Part 141 environment to
be good preparation for airline or other
commercial flying. Most colleges and
universities that offer aviation degree
programs, and many large commercial
flight training operations, are approved
under Part 141.
mike.collins@aopa.org

WHY I FLY

" I love the 1946 Piper floatplane, which is in
the video for my song Say You Do. When you're
above the ground, all your biggest problems
are so small. It's a feeling you can't find
anywhere else. "
-Country singer and You Can Fly Champion Dierks Bentley

DIERKS BENTLEY
FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG  39


http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Intro
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 5
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 6
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 7
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 8
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 9
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You Can Fly - 2021 edition - H1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - H2
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You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 52
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover4
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