FAA Practical Test
John W Beck, PhD, ATP, DPE


Private Pilot Prerequisites
Part 61 student pilot to Private Pilot ASEL only.
  1. Prerequisites
    q Valid student pilot certificate and third-class medical (or greater)
    q At least 17 years old
    q Read, speak, write, and understand English
    q 70% or better score on private pilot knowledge test
  2. Minimum Aeronautical Experience

    q 40 hours of flight time, including at least

    q 20 hours of training time (this means dual instruction)

    q 3 hours of cross-country flight training
    q 3 hours night flight training

    q 1 night XC training flight greater than 100nm

    q 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop at an airport

    q 3 hours of simulated instrument time
    q 3 hours of practical test prep flights within the preceding 2 calendar months with a CFI

    q 10 hours of solo flight time

    q 5 hours of solo cross country time

    q One solo cross-country flight of 150nm total distance, with fullstop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight w/ straight-line distance of at least 50nm between takeoff and landing locations.

    q 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop (each with a flight in the pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

  3. Endorsements Required for the Checkride
    These endorsements are specifically required for the checkride.

    q Recent Training Endorsement – Certifies you have the 3 hours of dual in the last 2 months. (See above)

    q Knowledge Test Deficient Areas Endorsement – Certifies your instructor has gone back over, and trained you on knowledge test questions you missed.

    Plus, you should already have these endorsements in your logbook:

    q Knowledge Test Endorsement or Review of Home Study Curriculum (§61.103) Note: You needed this endorsement before taking the knowledge test.

    q U.S. Citizenship/Alien Endorsement – Certifies U.S. citizenship w/ appropriate document number OR follows TSA Alien Flight Training rules for foreign national.

    q Pre-Solo Aeronautical Knowledge Test Endorsement – Certifies successful completion of pre-solo written test per 61.87.

    q Pre-Solo Flight Training Endorsement – Your initial solo endorsement for a make & model.

    q Initial and Subsequent Solo 90-Day Currency Endorsements – Your solo currency must be up-to-date for the checkride

    q Initial Solo Cross Country Endorsement – This certifies your approval to make cross country flights in a make & model.

    q Solo Cross Country Endorsements – This certifies that your CFI checked your pre-flight planning before your solo cross country flight(s).

    And, finally…

    q Any Student Pilot Specific Endorsements Necessary for the Checkride – i.e. a class B or XC endorsement if the checkride will be conducted at an airport requiring one.