Training Requirements

Private Pilot Certification:

Total Time: 40 hours minimum, which consists of at least-

1. Dual: 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:

  • 3 hours of cross country flight training in a single engine airplane
  • 3 hours of night flight training in a single engine airplane, that includes at least
    • 1 cross country flight of over 100 nm total distance; and
    • 10 T/O’s and 10 landings to a full stop with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
  • 3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments in a single engine airplane
  • 3 hours of flight training in a single engine airplane within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
2. Solo: 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
  • 5 hours of solo cross country flying
  • 1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings
  • 3 T/O’s and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.

Instrument Rating

As a private pilot, you will quickly recognize the limitations of your training and privileges. Non instrument rated pilots may only operate airplanes in weather conditions that allow constant visual contact with the ground, keep the airplane a specified distance from clouds (depending on the airspace the flight is conducted in) and have certain minimum ceiling and visibility requirements (again, dependent upon the airspace).

In very simple terms, the instrument rating allows pilots to safely fly in and through clouds. This can be extremely helpful to being able to complete a flight safely and efficiently. Even if you don’t anticipate conducting flights in ‘bad weather’, the instrument rating is a wonderful tool for cross country flying within the airway system. Instrument Rated pilots are safer, more precise in their flying and adherence to procedures and statistically less likely to be involved in an aviation accident.

Requirements for an instrument rating:

  • Hold at least a private pilot certificate.
  • Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English
  • Hold a current FAA medical certificate
  • Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course.
Other excellent resources for your instrument training will include: the invaluable Gleim Instrument/Commercial Manual, the FAA’s Instrument Procedures Handbook and Instrument Flying Handbook
Subjects include:

IFR-related items in the AIMATC system and procedures
IFR navigationUse of IFR charts
Aviation weather
Operating under IFR
Recognition of critical weatherAeronautical Decision Making (ADM)
Crew Resource Management (CRM)
Pass the FAA instrument rating knowledge test with a score of 70% or better
Accumulate flight experience (FAR 61.65):

  • 50 hr. of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which at least 10 hr. must be in airplanes:
  • The 50 hr. includes solo cross-country time as a student pilot, which is logged as pilot-in-command time.
  • Each cross-country must have a landing at an airport that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 NM from the original departure point.
  • A total of 40 hr. of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed in #7 below, including:
  • 15 hr. of instrument flight training from a CFII (CFII is an instructor who is authorized to give instrument instruction)
  • Cross-country flight procedures that include at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR and consists of:
  • A distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing
  • An instrument approach at each airport
  • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems
If the instrument training was provided by a CFII, a maximum of 20hr. may be accomplished in an approved flight simulator or flight training device. Use our Gleim Instrument Training Kit from your first flight lesson to your practical test. We outline and illustrate each flight maneuver you will perform during your flight training and explain the common errors associated with each flight maneuver.

Demonstrate flight proficiency (FAR 61.65). You must receive and log training, as well as obtain a logbook sign-off (endorsement) from your CFII on the following areas of operation:

  • Preflight preparation
  • Preflight procedures
  • Air traffic control clearances and procedures
  • Flight by reference to instruments
  • Navigation systems
  • Instrument approach procedures
  • Emergency operations
  • Post flight procedures
  • Successfully complete the instrument rating practical test.

Contact Us

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265 Weathervane Road
Calera, AL 35040