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Training Program

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Whether it is for your own leisure or planning a career in aviation, to be able to operate an aircraft as a pilot-in-command legally requires specific certificates and ratings. One of the most common certificates is Private Pilot Certificate. Applicants need to be a minimum of 17 years of  age and hold at least Class 3 medical certificate to apply. There are three steps to achieve this certificate.

Firstly, depending on your flight school of choice, logging ground school training may or may not be mandatory. Nevertheless, you will receive an endorsement that allows you to complete a written exam. This exam covers different subjects such as aerodynamic, aircraft system, regulations, weather, performance calculations...etc. A score of 70% or higher is needed to pass.

The second part of achieving a Private Pilot Certificate is the flight part. Usually, a Cessna 152 or 172 is used for training. Required aeronautical experience could differ based on your flight school’s certification. You will learn different maneuvers and procedures such as ground operations, takeoff and landing (normal, short field and soft field to be covered in future articles), approach stall, departure stall, steep turn, ground reference maneuvers, cross country flight planning. You will also be introduced to simulated emergency procedures such as engine failures, diversion, and lost procedure. At some point during your training, you will be signed off to complete a solo flight which is part of the requirement to obtain this certificate.

Once you have learnt all the procedures, you will get another endorsement to complete a practice test which is the final step. This test is divided into two sections: oral and flight. Oral exam is done on your ground where you will be asked questions about the same subjects in the written test. When that is done, you will do the flight exam that requires you to demonstrate your ability to safely handle the aircraft by performing what you have learnt with your instructor. If all goes well, your check instructor will fill out a temporary airmen certificate form and your physical copy of the certificate will be mailed within 90 days.

Now that you have your Private Pilot Certificate, it is important to understand what you can or can’t do with it. This certificate allows you to act as a pilot-in-command of the same class/rating aircraft you have used for the check. You are able to carry passengers but you cannot be paid for your services. If you are to receive reimbursement for the operation, the total cost must be equally divided among the occupants in the aircraft and you are responsible for your share of the cost. Remember, you cannot accept revenues for your services! The only exception to this rule that allows another party to cover for the operating expenses is when the operation is under the supervision of the state, local or federal organization or when participating with an organization for search and location operations

Article by OM.Chheng, Female Cambodian Pilot

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