A is notably different from a commercial pilot. A private pilot holds a private pilot license to fly private aircraft. They are knowledgeable in operation, navigation, safety and planning, specifically for cross-country flights. As certified aviation specialists, with a private pilot license, they can fly small aircraft for personal use. Holding a private pilot license allows the individual to be pilot in command (PIC) on non-commercial flights or touring motor gliders (TMGs)
In addition, it can be a stepping stone to becoming a commercial pilot. Becoming a commercial pilot – flying clients or customers for money – requires more stringent training.
A private pilot license (PPL) is the way to become certified to fly for pleasure and independence. It’s a good entry means of learning about aviation and determining if you’d like to consider being a pilot as a career. Becoming a commercial pilot is an extremely costly and potentially lengthy process. As such, gaining a PPL can be a good stepping stone to determine if you’d like to develop a career in aviation. At the end of the day, the private pilot license allows you to legally fly an aircraft and get your foot in the door for making a career of flying.
If you hold a private pilot license, you can fly a broad range of planes, as long as you have the correct certification. Most commonly, those with a PPL will fly small single-piston/twin-engine aircrafts. The license allows you to fly any non-turbojet aircraft weighing less than 12,500 lbs. You can fly during both day and night time.
It’s quite a gruelling process to get your private pilot license, but it can open doors. It’s required that you must do your training at either an approved training organisation or a declared training organisation.
You can predominantly use your private pilot license for pleasure. You can fly in and out of civil airports. You can fly beyond the UK. You can take passengers such as family and friends whilst acting as pilot in command. You can tow gliders and carry out flights for charities. In addition, you can help with search and rescue operations. There are lots of different ways that you can fly and enjoy being a pilot.
What you can’t do, however, is you can’t be paid for flying. This means, that while the private pilot license is a step to a career in aviation, it’s not your final destination.
If you’d like a career in aviation, and to be paid for flying – including in small aircraft – then you will need to go on to become a commercial pilot. Being a commercial pilot is a very lucrative career. Your PPL will help you access courses as it demonstrates your capabilities and aptitude.
You need to be at least 17 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. You’ll also need a FAA medical certificate that clears you to fly. You then need to complete the training listed above.
Most people gain their PPL in around 3-6 months, but it does vary according to different factors. Costs vary too, according to flight school, but you will typically find that it costs considerably upwards of £10,000.
If you’d like to work as a private commercial pilot, rather than for a well-known airline, then your PPL can act as a stepping stone to this career. First, you will need to achieve your Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) or gain a Commercial Pilot’s Licence. The first is typically a university course. The second can be done in around 18 months full-time.