Obtaining a private pilot certificate allows you to fly cross-country or internationally with passengers in visual weather conditions, day or night, for business or recreation. Contact us today for more information!

How to Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate


  • Be at least 17 years of age upon completion
    • Training may begin at any age
    • Must be 16 years old to solo the aircraft
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Proof of US citizenship or for non-US citizens you must obtain TSA approval (AFSP)

Getting Started

  • Schedule a Discovery Flight!
  • Contact Sweet Aviation to schedule a tour & meet with our training manager
    • Apply for, take, and pass at least a third-class FAA medical exam
    • Apply for a student pilot certificate
    • Discuss training plan & ground school options
  • Begin ground school and/or flight training

Flight Training Requirements

  • 40 hours flight time minimum, which must include 20 hours of flight instruction
    • Cross-country flight training, night flight training, and instrument training
    • 3 takeoffs and 3 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower
    • 10 hours of solo flight time
    • 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test which must have been performed within 2 preceding calendar months of the practical test (check ride)

Final Steps

  • Pass your FAA Knowledge Exam
  • Fulfill the minimum requirements of flight time and training specified by the FAA
  • Pass oral and flight tests given by the FAA or an approved designated pilot examiner

Q: Do I have to pay up front before I start?
A: No. You only have to pay per lesson. There is no set timeline for course completion. We will build a plan that works best for you.

Q: Is there a lot of math involved?
A: Although there is some math involved, it is basic and easy to learn (consists of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing).

Q: What can I do with a private pilot certificate?
A: You’ll be able to fly small aircraft across the country, day or night, for solo travel or travel with passengers. You will not be allowed to accept compensation for your services.

Q: How much does a private pilot certificate/training cost?
A: The cost breakdown for flight instruction varies based on each aircraft. We have multiple pricing options available. Schedule a meeting today to discuss our pricing options.

Q: How long does it take to get a private pilot certificate?
A: The length of training varies greatly, and we can customize your plan to move as fast or as slow as desired based on your schedule availability. Ready to develop a plan and establish a timeline? Call us today to set up your aviation goals.

Private Pilot Helicopter

Email us or give us a call at (260) 267-5505 if you have questions or would like more information.