Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Private Pilot License: Lets start Flying.

As I am writing this post I am searching the ways to get a Private Pilot License. I read an article 2 days back here: And I just started dreaming on flying a small plane looking below at the green fields and river. Sitting besides is my wife and 2 friends behind.
Isn't this amazing!!!
First let me burst all the myths that are in your mind right now.
1. The whole process is easy. I do not mean getting license is cake walk because this is where you do the hard work. I just mean the “process”
2. Non-US citizens can fly.
3. Its not that expensive. USD 5000-USD 10000
4. No upright fee, Pay as you go.
Total cost:
Medical exam
$ 080.00
Written Exams
$ 150.00
3TSA Security Clearance$ 130.00
$ 360.00
Steps to earn a Private Pilot License:
  1. Get 3rd Class medical exam
  2. Search for a Pilot Training School
  3. Get introductory flight.
  4. Get clearance from TSA
  5. Begin training and log Hours
  6. Pass Written Exams
  7. End
1. Get 3rd Class medical exam
To get a Private/recreational one needs an Third Class Medical Certificate. The following link explains more. This is just a Medical examination need to be passed via a FAA designated doctor. The doctor will certify that the prospect candidate is okay for flying. FAA recommends getting the Third Class Medical Certificate before starting the actual training.
Usually the medical certificate and student pilot certificate are one and the same and are issued by a doctor, called an aviation medical examiner, who has been approved by the FAA to administer the medical exam.
Save yourself the extra step by being sure to request a combination medical and student pilot certificate when you visit the medical examiner
The combination medical/student pilot certificate is easy to carry in your logbook, wallet, or purse and required to be in your possession when you fly solo. The difference between the regular medical certificate and the combination medical and student pilot certificate is that, on the back of the medical/student pilot certificate, there is space for the flight instructor's signature before you fly solo.
To locate a FAA Doctor (Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)) follows:
2. To locate a Flight School near you.
This is probably tough step. It’s tough because it is for the student to select a training school that suits the most to him, it can be in terms of cost, distance, flight trainer, etc.
Start here and search the schools that are near your place. Call them and let them know that you are interested to flying and getting PPL/Sports/ Recreational license.
I guess the possible lists of questions to be asked are:
  1. How can I get started?
  2. Cost of introductory flight, read more about in Step 3.
  3. Cost per hour of Flying (Wet/Dry) and Trainers fee. Wet means that the cost of Gas is included and Dry means not.
  4. How ling it will take to earn a license. It’s kind of vague question, because it entirely depends on ones capability, but just to get an idea.
Recently I have discovered that apart from Flying Schools, there are many small and big Flying clubs. So instead of going to Flying Schools one may choose to learn flying from these Flying Clubs. I am explaining more about these Flying Clubs at the end of this blog.

3. Get introductory flight.
Schedule a introductory flight with training school(s). This is not
4. If you are non US Citizens: Get clearance from TSA [$130.00]
One needs to choose Category 3 while applying for the TSA clearance. Use this website to get Clarence from TSA
They have listed step by step process to submit the application form. The Application Guide link ( explains what all the required is simple plain English. The requirements also include finger printing.
6. To schedule a Written FAA Knowledge Exams use this site. [$150.00]
Web Page that I read: [Learning what the Flying License is all about]
[Complete How to become a PPL]
Update April 29, 2010:
The beauty of this country (USA) is that things are really easy and straight forward. If you want to fly go ahead no issues, if you wanna lean robatic engineering go ahead no issues. hmm So I called a couple of people in and around Lansing, MI (48910) to get the information if I am missing something. And this is my advice to you too, call and meet as many people you can. These folks are experienced and can give you some good tips.
So I called 3 Different people:
LLC (Lansing Community College): They just do the aviation career and not just the Private Licensing.
Aric Newsted [anewstedaatgmaildotcom]: He is teaching at Flying Club at the capital airport in Lansing, MI. I never knew this, because his Flying Club is not listed in AOPA website. So this place is near close.
Kreem Walton: He is a flight instructor at various places and lastly
Dan Holtzclaw: He teaches in Pontaic, MI.
All sounded me reasonable. So like a link by link chain.
I guess I will visit the Grand Ledge ( and Erec (

Spartan Wings, Inc, Mason:

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