If learning to fly is one of your plans, the first thing you must do is to enroll in the nearest aviation school. There you will receive adequate information about the prerequisites and the necessary studies to obtain a private pilot’s license. Each country has different requirements in terms of the number of classroom and flight hours.
A standard curriculum takes from four to six weeks, even several months. The school part includes particular subjects, such as meteorology, aerodynamics, engines, and the norms and regulations of the country. You are also required to comply with a minimum of flight hours —usually 40 hours—of which half must take place with an instructor and at least 10 hours in command of the aircraft. The tests include a written and an oral examination, followed by a flight in the company of the examiner designated by the competent authority, which will determine the final approval.
The first license as a private pilot allows you to fly single-engine planes in ideal weather conditions: clear sky and good visibility. Flying in more challenging weather such as foggy or overcast sky, or at night, requires additional authorization, which is granted by the school if the requirements are fulfilled.
Once you get a private pilot’s license, you start to accumulate hours of flight and to gain access to new types of aircraft. If you wish to ascend to the rank of commercial pilot, you must first have the minimum of flight hours as a private pilot; meet the requirements of the course, and complete a number of practice hours in command of an aircraft. Part of this training period may be conducted in a flight simulator where the actual conditions are replicated, as if you were flying a real plane. ■