How long does it take to become a pilot?

by | FAQs for Beginners

You’ve been thinking about learning to fly and now you’re wondering, how long does it take to become a pilot? The steps to get your pilot license include completing ground school (classroom training for the written test), flight lessons, and pass a practical test. Let’s take a closer look at all the factors that will influence how long it will take for you to become a pilot.

How long does it take to become a pilot?

To answer how long does it take to become a pilot, you need to know what kind of pilot you plan to become. During your training, you will be required to fly an airplane solo using your student pilot license. Most people solo in about thirty hours, although some have soloed in less than ten while others take much longer. While the FAA requires a minimum of forty hours to earn a Private Pilot Certificate, the national average is about seventy hours of training.

What other factors affect how long does it take to become a pilot?

Other factors that affect how long it takes to become a pilot include the type of airplane you are training in and the airport you are flying from. It goes without saying that a simple airplane will be quicker to master than a more complicated one. Today most of the additional complication in an airplane takes the form of instruments and radios. The additional capability also takes more time to learn.

Learning to fly from a large airport will also increase the time it takes to become a pilot. Big airports tend to be busier, so you’ll spend more time taxiing from the school to the runway and waiting to take off before you even begin the day’s lesson. 

What can I do to reduce how long it takes to become a pilot?

The best thing you can do to reduce the time it takes to become a pilot is to fly more frequently. Like many activities, the more you practice the better you become. A student pilot flying once a week will take more than three times longer than a pilot training three times a week. Although it seems counter-productive, flying more frequently will save you money in the long run, since you’ll earn your license in fewer hours.

Another good way to reduce how long it takes to become a pilot is to find a flight school that uses a simulator for training. Simulator training can be very effective because you can cut out taxiing to the runway and flying to the practice area before you work on the day’s lesson. That means more of your lesson time is spent working on the skills you need to master. Some schools offer Redbird’s GIFT (Guided Independent Flight Training) software, which allows to you practice maneuvers in a simulator on your own. You’ll still need to complete the FAA minimum flight time in an actual airplane before taking your practical test, but you’ll spend less time and money than most student pilots.

The most important thing you can do to reduce how long it takes to become a pilot is to find the right flight school. You’ll be spending a lot of time training one-on-one with your instructor, so it’s important that you can both work well together. Find a flight school near you and if you can, interview some instructors before you commit to your training.

How else can I become a pilot more quickly?

Some people know what they want and are ready to get it done as quickly as possible! If you’re one of those people, and you’re wondering how long does it take to become a pilot, you should consider an accelerated private pilot training course. Some courses will have you ready to take your practical test in as little as two weeks.

How long does it take to become a pilot?

  Average time
Student Pilot (solo flight) 10-40 hours
Private Pilot 40-90 hours
Commercial Pilot 250 hours
Airline Pilot 1500 hours

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