I learned all about this topic right after passing my Private Pilot check ride. What Can You Do With A Private Pilot License?
I think this is the most important certificate you will ever get from the FAA because it proves that you can really fly an airplane. But it takes a lot of practice to be good at it!
It is also an adventure that will open a world beyond your wildest dream. Let me share with you some things you can do.
What Can You Do With A Private Pilot License?
It is the first step towards a Commercial Pilot Certificate and an airline career. It is a weekend flyaway with your family. Maybe take a business trip or just a day sightseeing around your home area with friends. How about just for the fun of it. Lunch?
1. It Is Time To Learn
I passed my private pilot check-ride on Dec. 21, 1975, and on Jan 19, 1974, I set out in a brand new 1974 Cessna 172, N21699 on a journey that has spanned 47 glorious years.
That first journey all alone in the sky was exhilarating with a sense of unparalleled freedom but also a sense of apprehension.
Departing Idaho Falls, Idaho en route to Helena, Montana on that cold crisp winter morning I soon realized these mountains out in the distance were far more than just beautiful.
On my left and below me was the expense of the Idaho lava fields and volcanoes covered in snow and off to my right in the distance were the Grand Teton Mountains of Grand Teton National Park. Without question an absolutely glorious day to fly.
Alone in the airplane with just my thoughts, a bit of fear began to creep in and I soon started thinking about just how dangerous an endeavor I was involved in and just how much more I needed to learn about my new ability to fly airplanes. The weather when flying and especially in the mountains can change in a flash.
You cannot trust the darn weatherman because he can’t see beyond his scope.
It was in that instant I knew that I needed to fly alone for a few hours and get comfortable in the airplane and go get my instrument rating.
2. It Is Time For More Instruction.
This is a perfect thing to do to build hours toward your Commercial Pilot Certificate. You get your Instrument Rating!
You can start building hours toward the 240-hour minimum qualification for your Commercial Certificate by flying the 40 hours of Instrument training.
It is also a great time to start the training because your Private Pilot training is still fresh so you do not need to refresh yourself. It is just one hurdle that you don’t have to jump through again.
3. The 100 Hour Wonder.
While you are working on the Instrument you can take some alone time or grab a pilot friend or anyone for that matter and go practice to perfection the maneuvers you learned becoming a Pilot.
You will need to teach these maneuvers if you choose the path I took to get a Flight Instructor Certificate. It will also hone your new skill to perfection and add to your proficiency as a pilot.
Pilot proficiency is a must and should always be a top priority as well as professionalism. It is not cool to get the 100 hour wonder idea, which is a pilot that thinks they know it all and winds up killing everyone in the airplane.
I’ve seen it far too many times.
4. Go Play!
The freedom of flight opens so many new opportunities that you can participate in. It is not just taking friends and family flying you can explore almost everywhere.
Take outings to explore the wilderness or take a weekend to fly to a fly-in or airshow.
Airshows happen all over the country and they are a must to attend because you will be among your peers and I guarantee you will be humbled no matter how good you think you are.
Don’t forget that you can go flying at night! The sites are spectacular and airports are easy to see.
There is no set requirement for getting a seaplane rating except the rating requires pilot proficiency.
It takes just 5 to 7 hours of flying to be signed off. It may take longer than that but it’s a number to shoot for. This rating will cost about $2600.00
You can also acquire a tailwheel endorsement allowing you to fly any taildragger unless it requires a type rating. So off to the bush you go. It currently takes 7 to 10 hours for the endorsement to be acquired. Again if you are proficient it will take less time.
You can also go after your complex and high-performance endorsements which are a variable pitch prop and a retractable gear aircraft. A Cessna 182RG will do for both.
Did you know that you can pilot your own private jet with just a Private Pilot Certificate? You just need a lot of money and time to learn to fly it.
There are unlimited things to do after your Private Pilot Certificate as I have explained.
Don’t forget the trip to Canada in a floatplane to go exploring or fishing, or both.
It just takes time and money, so there is no reason not to go out and fly.
You can do it. Just remember you cannot charge for your flying until you get your Commercial.
As always, take the time to read the Federal Aviation Regulations here.