Flight Training
Student pilot certificate requirements

Student Pilot Certificate

Student Pilot Requirements and Privileges

Embarking on the journey of flight training involves obtaining a student pilot certificate, a pivotal step toward flying a powered aircraft independently, also known as “soloing” in aviation. Although not mandatory to commence flight lessons, initiating the application process early is advisable to prevent delays when approaching the solo flight stage.

Student Pilot Certificate Requirements

Minimum requirements are that the student be 16 years of age or older. Student must be able to read, speak, write, and comprehend English. For a comprehensive list of prerequisites, refer to 14 CFR §61.83.

Student Pilot Privileges

A Student Pilot Certificate is the initial step in a pilot’s training journey and comes with specific privileges and limitations. Here’s what you can do with a Student Pilot Certificate:

  1. Flight Training: The primary purpose of a Student Pilot Certificate is to undergo flight training with a certified flight instructor. This includes both ground instruction and actual flight time.
  2. Solo Flight: Once you’ve received the necessary training and your instructor believes you are ready, you can fly an aircraft solo. This is a significant milestone in a pilot’s training and typically occurs after demonstrating competence in various maneuvers and procedures.
  3. Specific Aircraft: The certificate allows you to fly the specific category and class of aircraft for which you are endorsed by your flight instructor. For example, if you are training on a single-engine airplane, your certificate allows you to fly that type of aircraft solo.
  4. Cross-Country Flights: While under the supervision of your instructor, you can conduct cross-country flights. These are longer flights that involve navigation and landing at different airports.
Learn about flight school and student pilot certificates.

Student Pilot Limitations

  1. Carry Passengers: You cannot act as the pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers. Solo flights are limited to the student pilot only.
  2. Compensation or Hire: You cannot be compensated for your piloting services, nor can you hire out your services as a pilot.
  3. Certain Weather Conditions: There are restrictions on flying in specific weather conditions. For example, you cannot fly when the visibility is less than 3 statute miles during daylight hours or 5 statute miles at night.
  4. Beyond Set Limitations: You must adhere to any limitations set by your authorized flight instructor in your pilot’s logbook.

Student Pilot Medical Requirements

Most pilot certificates necessitate an FAA Medical Certificate before solo flight. A minimum requirement is a third-class medical certificate obtainable through an aeromedical examiner (AME), subject to renewal every 60 months for those under 40 and every 24 months for those over 40.

Upon securing the Student Pilot Certificate, FAA Medical Certificate, required training, and proficiency, you’ll embark on a memorable solo flight, a hallmark moment supervised by your authorized instructor from the ground.

Student Pilot Certificate Application Process

Be sure to get familiar with the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) by reviewing their New User Guide. This guide will give you step by step tips on how to handle each field. Based on your experience, you may not need to fill out some fields and others you may.

New users will need to register with the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating administration, here.>>

Young woman handing keys to an aircraft - student pilot certificate

Applying for a Student Pilot Certificate involves a straightforward process. Here are the general steps to guide you through the application:

  1. Eligibility Check:
    • Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be at least 16 years old (or 14 for operating a glider or balloon).
    • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.
  2. Preparation:
    • Before applying, it’s helpful to gather the necessary documentation, including personal identification and any required medical certificates.
  3. Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA):
    • The application process is conducted through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website, which is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) online system for airman certification.
    • Access the IACRA website: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx
  4. Create an Account:
    • If you don’t already have an account, create one on the IACRA website.
  5. Initiate the Application:
    • Once logged in, initiate the application for a Student Pilot Certificate.
  6. Complete the Application:
    • Follow the prompts to complete the application. This involves providing personal information, details about your training, and agreeing to the necessary terms and conditions.
  7. Choose a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI):
    • You will need to select a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) who will review and process your application.
  8. Application Submission:
    • After completing the online portion, submit your application. This may involve a physical signature from both you and your selected CFI.
  9. Review and Approval:
    • Your CFI will review the application and may request additional documentation if needed.
    • Once satisfied, your CFI will submit the application to the Airmen Certification Branch for final review and approval.
  10. Receive Student Pilot Certificate:
    • Upon approval, you will receive your Student Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This may take a few weeks.
  11. Begin Flight Training:
    • With your Student Pilot Certificate in hand, you can begin your flight training with your certified flight instructor.

It’s important to note that the Student Pilot Certificate is a stepping stone to more advanced pilot certificates, such as the Private Pilot Certificate. As you progress in your training, you’ll gain additional privileges and the ability to carry passengers and operate more complex aircraft.

When you’re ready to take flight, be sure to call Leopard Aviation in Scottsdale or Mesa, AZ. We have financing that can fund your entire set of certificates to fly a commercial jet. Repayment does not begin until you are fully employed as a commercial pilot.

Schooling is more affordable than you may think – and it takes just over 14 months to be fully qualified commercial airline pilot. Check out how much it costs to become a commercial airline pilot here.>>

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