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Subpart E-Private Pilots


§ 61.102 Applicability.
This subpart prescribes the requirements for the issuance of private pilot certificates and ratings, the conditions under which those certificates and ratings are necessary, and the general operating rules for persons who hold those certificates and ratings.

§ 61.103 Eligibility requirements: General.
To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.

(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.

(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part.

(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.

(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.

(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(j) Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.

§ 61.105 Aeronautical knowledge.

(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Aeronautical knowledge areas.
(1) Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
(2) Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
(3) Use of the applicable portions of the “Aeronautical Information Manual” and FAA advisory circulars;
(4) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;
(5) Radio communication procedures;
(6) Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
(7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;
(8) Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;
(9) Weight and balance computations;
(10) Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;
(11) Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;
(12) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and
(13) Preflight action that includes—
(i) How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and
(ii) How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.

§ 61.107 Flight proficiency.

(a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Areas of operation.
(1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
(i) Preflight preparation;
(ii) Preflight procedures;
(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;
(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
(v) Performance maneuvers;
(vi) Ground reference maneuvers;
(vii) Navigation;
(viii) Slow flight and stalls;
(ix) Basic instrument maneuvers;
(x) Emergency operations;
(xi) Night operations, except as provided in §61.110 of this part; and
(xii) Postflight procedures.

(2) For an airplane category rating with a multiengine class rating:
(i) Preflight preparation;
(ii) Preflight procedures;
(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;
(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
(v) Performance maneuvers;
(vi) Ground reference maneuvers;
(vii) Navigation;
(viii) Slow flight and stalls;
(ix) Basic instrument maneuvers;
(x) Emergency operations;
(xi) Multiengine operations;
(xii) Night operations, except as provided in §61.110 of this part; and
(xiii) Postflight procedures.

§ 61.109 Aeronautical experience.
(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least—
(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes—
(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and
(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least—
(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;
(ii) One solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and
(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
(b) For an airplane multiengine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(2) of this part, and the training must include at least—
(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a multiengine airplane;
(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a multiengine airplane that includes—
(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and
(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.
(3) 3 hours of flight training in a multiengine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;
(4) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a multiengine airplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and
(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in an airplane consisting of at least—
(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;
(ii) One solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and
(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

(c) For a helicopter rating. (N/A)
(d) For a gyroplane rating. (N/A)
(e) For a powered-lift rating.(N/A)
(f) For a glider category rating. (N/A)
(g) For an airship rating. (N/A)
(h) For a balloon rating. (N/A)
(i) For a powered parachute rating. (N/A)
(j) For a weight-shift-control aircraft rating. (N/A)
(k) Permitted credit for use of a flight simulator or flight training device.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (k)(2) of this section, a maximum of 2.5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section, if received from an authorized instructor.
(2) A maximum of 5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section if the training is accomplished in a course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.
(3) Except when fewer hours are approved by the Administrator, an applicant for a private pilot certificate with an airplane, rotorcraft, or powered-lift rating, who has satisfactorily completed an approved private pilot course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter, need only have a total of 35 hours of aeronautical experience to meet the requirements of this section.

§ 61.110 Night flying exceptions.
(a) Subject to the limitations of paragraph (b) of this section, a person is not required to comply with the night flight training requirements of this subpart if the person receives flight training in and resides in the State of Alaska.
(b) A person who receives flight training in and resides in the State of Alaska but does not meet the night flight training requirements of this section:
(1) May be issued a pilot certificate with a limitation “Night flying prohibited”; and
(2) Must comply with the appropriate night flight training requirements of this subpart within the 12-calendar-month period after the issuance of the pilot certificate. At the end of that period, the certificate will become invalid for use until the person complies with the appropriate night training requirements of this subpart. The person may have the “Night flying prohibited” limitation removed if the person—
(i) Accomplishes the appropriate night flight training requirements of this subpart; and
(ii) Presents to an examiner a logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized instructor that verifies accomplishment of the appropriate night flight training requirements of this subpart.
(c) A person who does not meet the night flying requirements in §61.109(d)(2), (i)(2), or (j)(2) may be issued a private pilot certificate with the limitation “Night flying prohibited.” This limitation may be removed by an examiner if the holder complies with the requirements of §61.109(d)(2), (i)(2), or (j)(2), as appropriate.

§ 61.111 Cross-country flights: Pilots based on small islands. (N/A)

§ 61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:
(1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and

(2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

(c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

(d) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of a charitable, nonprofit, or community event flight described in §91.146, if the sponsor and pilot comply with the requirements of §91.146.

(e) A private pilot may be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of:
(1) A local, State, or Federal agency; or

(2) An organization that conducts search and location operations.

(f) A private pilot who is an aircraft salesman and who has at least 200 hours of logged flight time may demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer.

(g) A private pilot who meets the requirements of §61.69 may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft towing a glider or unpowered ultralight vehicle.



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