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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Introduction To Flying

Becoming a Pilot

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Medical Certification Requirements
The second step in becoming a pilot is to obtain a medical
certificate and Student Pilot's Certificate if the choice of
aircraft is an airplane, helicopter, gyroplane, or airship.
[Figure 1-26] (The FAA suggests the individual get a
medical certificate before beginning flight training to avoid
the expense of flight training that cannot be continued due to
a medical condition.) Balloon or glider pilots do not need a
medical certificate, but do need to write a statement certifying
that no medical defect exists that would prevent them from
piloting a balloon or glider. The new sport pilot category
does not require a medical examination; a driver's license
can be used as proof of medical competence. Applicants
who fail to meet certain requirements or who have physical
disabilities which might limit, but not prevent, their acting
as pilots, should contact the nearest FAA office.

A Third-Class Medical Certificate
Figure 1-26. A Third-Class Medical Certificate/Student Pilot

A medical certificate is obtained by passing a physical
examination administered by a doctor who is an FAA authorized
AME. There are approximately 6,000
FAA-authorized AMEs in the nation. Medical certificates
are designated as first class, second class, or third class.
Generally, first class is designed for the airline transport
pilot; second class for the commercial pilot; and third class
for the student, recreational, and private pilot. A Student
Pilot Certificate is issued by an AME at the time of the
student's first medical examination. This certificate allows
an individual who is being trained by a flight instructor to
.y alone (solo) under speciate, limited circumstances and
must be carried with the student pilot while exercising solo
flight privileges. The student pilot certificate is only required
when exercising solo flight privileges. The student certificate
is valid until the last day of the month, 24 months after it
was issued.

Student Pilot Solo Requirements
Once a student has accrued sufficient training and experience,
a CFI can endorse the student's certificate to authorize
limited solo flight in a speciate type (make and model) of
aircraft. A student pilot may not carry passengers, .y in
furtherance of a business, or operate an aircraft outside of
the various endorsements provided by the flight instructor.
There is no minimum aeronautical knowledge or experience
requirement for the issuance of a student pilot certificate
other than the medical requirements for the class of medical
certificate the student certificate is based upon. There are,
however, minimum aeronautical knowledge and experience
requirements for student pilots to solo.

Becoming a Pilot

The course of instruction a student pilot follows depends on
the type of certificate sought. It should include the ground and
flight training necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills
required to safely and efficiently function as a certificated
pilot in the selected category and class of aircraft. The
speciate knowledge and skill areas for each category and
class of aircraft are outlined in 14 CFR part 61. Eligibility,
aeronautical knowledge, proficiency, and aeronautical
requirements can be found in 14 CFR part 61, Certification:
Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Ground Instructors.
• Recreational Pilot, see subpart D
• Private Pilot, see subpart E
• Sport Pilot, see subpart J

The knowledge-based portion of training is obtained through
FAA handbooks such as this one, textbooks, and other sources
of training and testing materials which are available in print
form from the Superintendent of Documents, GPO, and online