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This publication is intended to serve as a guide for prospective student pilots
and for those already engaged in flight training. This guide presents in “how to”
fashion, general procedures for obtaining FAA student pilot, sport pilot, recreational pilot, and private pilot certificates.
Before you begin flight training, it is important to have a basic understanding
of the responsibilities, safety regulations, and issues applicable to such an
endeavor. This includes the choice of a flight school, selected study
materials, study habits, and the role of the instructor, student, and Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA).
Role of the FAA
Congress empowered the FAA to foster aviation safety by prescribing safety
standards for civil aviation. This is accomplished through the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFRs).
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61 pertains to
the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. This
prescribes the eligibility, aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency, and
experience required for each type of pilot certificate issued.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) invites you to join the general
aviation community of pilots. It is a community of civil aviation operations other
than those air carriers holding a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
General aviation makes up approximately 96 percent of U.S. aircraft and 60 percent of U.S. flight hours flown. General aviation is often misunderstood as only small, propeller-driven aircraft. A large jet or cargo plane operated under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 can be a general aviation aircraft.