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Private Pilot


Private pilot programs teach people how to fly airplanes and helicopters for personal use.

Private pilot programs teach people how to fly airplanes and helicopters. Students learn ground rules, radio operation, and safety. They prepare to take FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) license exams.

Private pilot programs include topics such as:

This program qualifies students to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot’s license exam.


A few community colleges offer associate degree programs in private piloting. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

A few colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in private piloting. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

To qualify for a private pilot's license, applicants must:

Associate degree programs usually require at least a high school diploma for admission.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Many programs teach students flight maneuvers using a flight simulator in addition to flight time with an instructor. Once you show sufficient skill and confidence, you can fly the aircraft by yourself.

Things to Know

You can be any age to begin flight instruction. However, you must be at least 17 to get your private pilot's license.

The private pilot's license must be earned before a student may begin training for a commercial pilot's license.

Requirements and health restrictions are stricter if you decide you want to be a commercial pilot.

Your pilot's license never expires. However, you must complete a flight review every two years.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

Walla Walla University

King-Snohomish Area

Classic Helicopter Corporation

Galvin Flying Service, Inc.

Green River College

Regal Air

Snohomish Flying Service, Inc.

Tacoma Area

Clover Park Technical College (South Hill Campus)

Pavco Flight Center

Vancouver Area

Charter College--Vancouver

West Side Area

Glacier Aviation, Inc.

Yakima Area

Yakima Valley College