Earning Your Private Pilot Certificate in New York City: What You Need to Know!

Looking to become a private pilot in New York? Our comprehensive guide, written by airline pilots, provides the answers to 85% of the most commonly asked questions.

We cover everything from finding an instructor to studying for the FAA written exam, and we'll show you how to save time and money during your training. With our guide, you'll have all the information you need to take the first step towards becoming a private pilot in New York.

If you're interested in getting a Private Pilot License, here are some tips to get started:

Tips to earn your Private Pilot

• Fly 2-3 times per week

• Find an instructor you
enjoy working with

• Get the FAA written exam ASAP

Not sure where to start for your Private Pilot License?

1st Book a Flight Simulator Lesson
2nd Book a Discovery Flight with a local flight school
3rd Let our mentors guide you to the rest of the process

What can you expect from this Private Pilot Guide (LOTS OF INFORMATION)!

  1. FAA Medical Examination
    • Learn about the importance of the FAA medical examination and the health requirements.
  2. Cost-Efficient Flight Training
    • Discover strategies to save money while pursuing your pilot's license.
  3. Choosing the Right Flight Instructor
    • Find out how to select an experienced and compatible flight instructor.
  4. Effective Simulator Training
    • Understand the benefits and best practices for training in a certified flight simulator.
  5. Private Pilot Training Road Map
    • Explore the step-by-step guide to becoming a private pilot, from start to finish.
  6. Aeronautical Experience Requirements
    • Get insights into the specific flight experience and training requirements set by the FAA.
  7. FAA Written Exam Preparation
    • Prepare for the FAA written exam with information on study materials and tips.
  8. Q&A

Ready for More Information?
Learn about the cost of Flight Training
Flight Schools in the NY/NJ Area
Home Flight Simulators

First Step: Get Cleared by an FAA Medical Examiner

FAA Medical AME Private Pilot

Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

The first step is to get cleared by an FAA Medical Examiner. While not required before you start training, it's a good idea to get one, as it will hold you over for a few years (depending on your age).

In Manhattan, we recommend Glenn Gandelman, MD in Wall Street, who can be contacted at 212-233-3040. The cost is $250 for 3rd and 2nd class, $300 for 1st class, and an additional $25 for EKG. Please note that credit card fees may apply, and prices are subject to change.

For those located in NJ, Raymond Basri MD is also recommended, with locations in Morristown, NJ, and Middletown, NY. Scheduling can be done online at https://www.myflightmd.com/hours-online-scheduling/.


Choosing the Perfect Flight Instructor?

Discover the essential considerations and expert insights that will help you find the perfect instructor who aligns with your learning style, goals, and timeline. Don't miss out on this valuable resource that will empower you to make the best choice for your aviation aspirations.

YouTube player

Elevating Pilot Proficiency through Flight Simulator Training

In our pilot training program, flight simulator sessions play a vital role, serving as a secure and efficient bridge between classroom knowledge and practical flying skills. These sessions enable you to develop mastery in aircraft controls, navigation, and responding to emergency situations, all while benefiting from expert guidance. This fusion of theory and hands-on experience will not only enhance your skills but also instill the confidence needed for real-life flights.


Reaching New Heights in Flight Training with Flight Simulators

A Flexible Training Approach

For aspiring pilots facing constraints in their schedules, with limited availability for 2-3 flights per week, our solution lies in Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATDs). While many flight schools offer certified flight simulators, we proudly stand as the only flight training destination in Manhattan equipped with the G1000 AATD.

Building a Strong Foundation of Skills:

To establish a solid foundation for your flight training, we recommend two options:

Option 1: Start with three simulator sessions before you take a flight lesson.

Option 2: You can customize your training by incorporating one simulator session during the week and a hands-on airplane lesson over the weekend.

Our facilities are designed to provide the reliability needed to maintain your training momentum, irrespective of weather disruptions or personal commitments.


Private Pilot Training Roadmap

This chart is a streamlined guide for student pilots pursuing a private pilot certificate. It delineates the essential training stages, from basic aircraft knowledge to solo flights and advanced maneuvers. A clear understanding of this progression is vital for effective learning and skill mastery, ensuring a safe and competent entry into the world of aviation.

Taking Flight: Understanding the Flight Hour Requirements for Part 61 to Earn a flight simulator

Embarking on the journey to become a pilot is exhilarating, and understanding the FAA's requirements for a Private Pilot Certificate is your first step. To help you visualize your path, there's a chart that lays out exactly what's expected under Part 61. This is your roadmap to the skies, offering clarity on each milestone you need to reach.

Imagine your flight training as a series of exciting missions to complete:

  • Aeronautical Exirienced for Private PilotTotal Flight Time: You're aiming for at least 40 hours in the sky. Think of it as your aviation adventure baseline.
  • With an Instructor (Dual Training): You'll spend a minimum of 20 hours under the guidance of your co-pilot, your instructor. They'll pass on the essential skills and protocols you need.
  • Flying Solo: Take the controls for at least 10 hours on your own. This is where you prove your mettle and polish your decision-making up in the air.
  • Night Flights: For at least 3 hours, you'll learn to dance with the stars, flying when the sun has clocked out.
  • Instrument Training: Another 3 hours will be dedicated to trusting what's inside the cockpit as much as your own senses, perfecting flying when the horizon hides.
  • Cross-Country Navigation: Fly beyond your local patch with 3 hours alongside your instructor and 5 hours solo, charting courses and crossing the country.
  • Simulator Sessions (ATD): Dedicate 2.5 hours to training in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD). This time is a valuable component of your pilot education, focusing on mastering basic operations and procedures. Not only does this count towards your initial aeronautical knowledge, but it also contributes to future qualifications.You can log up to 50 hours in an AATD towards your Commercial Pilot Certificate, with 20 of those hours applicable to your Instrument Rating, making your simulator practice an integral part of your flight training journey.

While these are the official checkboxes, remember that most pilots take between 80 to 100 hours before they're truly ready. It's not just about clocking in hours; it's about becoming confident and competent. Each flight is a building block to your dream.


If you cannot fly 2-3 times per week, incorporating the use of an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) into your flight training will help a great deal in obtaining the experience needed for a Private Pilot Certificate. Visit an ATD facility (like ours in Manhattan) once a week and fly at a flight school of your choice the other 1-2 training days. Book a Dual Lesson or Solo Session

Pilots here begin with three lessons in our simulator these sessions are are crucial and they lay the groundwork for all your future flights alternatively some of our training prefer a more varied approach now this will alternate between one simulator session during the week and a Hands-On airplane lesson over the weekend weather cancellations or personal obligations will not halt your progress.


Study for the FAA Written Exam Early

What is the FAA Written Exam and how do I study for it?

As you navigate the exciting path towards earning your Private Pilot Certificate, mastering the FAA Written Exam is a pivotal milestone. Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you’re well-prepared for this important step.

Eligibility and Preparation

  • Starting Young: Dreaming of taking to the skies? You can start early! For both recreational and private pilot written tests, the minimum age is 15, while future balloon or glider pilots can begin at 14. Don’t forget to bring proof of age, like your birth certificate.
  • Study Materials: Delve into the world of aviation with materials recommended by your flight instructor or from a home-study course. For private pilots, Section 61.105 of the FAA's regulations is your bible. It covers everything from flight planning to navigation. The FAA Handbooks just as the Airplane Flying Handbook and Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge  and video courses like Sporty's Learn To Fly or Kings School provide an excellent foundation for your studies.
    Understanding the FAA Written Exam

    • The Test: It's a comprehensive 60-question examination that’s crucial for your Private Pilot Certificate. Tackling it well in advance is key, and self-study resources like Sporty's or King School, alongside the FAA Handbooks, are fantastic tools to help you prepare.

    Documenting Your Identity

    • Before the Test: Ensure you have the right identification – something with your photo, signature, and home address. This could be a graduation certificate from an FAA-approved pilot school or even logbook entries from FAA-certified instructors.
    • In Case of a Retake: If you need to retake the test, bring your Airman Written Test Report or an airman computer test report as proof of your initial attempt, and a flight instructor must provide an endorsement stating that a you are ready to retake the FAA written exam

    Deciphering Test Results

    • Analyzing Your Performance: Pass or fail, your test report will highlight areas needing improvement, guiding your future study efforts.
    • Test Validity: Remember, a passed knowledge test is valid for 24 months. If you don’t complete the practical test within this timeframe, you'll have to face the knowledge test again.
    • Instructor Insights: Your instructor will help review any weak areas and provide the necessary endorsements for your journey ahead.

    Why Early Testing is Beneficial

    Taking the FAA Written Exam early in your training has significant advantages:

    • Avoiding Delays: Completing the exam early helps streamline your training process. Delaying it often means cramming and extra lessons, increasing both time and financial investment.
    • Building Confidence: Early success in the written exam can boost your confidence and comprehension for practical flight training.

    Supplemental Study Aids

    • Beyond the Classroom: After your each booking with us, expect an email with a treasure trove of additional study materials, including insightful videos, articles, and books to enrich your learning experience


Aeronautical Experience Required by the FAA

As per AOPA Field Guide To Flight Training:

"The minimum flight time requirement to be eligible for a private pilot license is 40 flight hours. Most students fly 60-75 hours before testing."

Student pilots who can fly on average two to three times per week are the pilots who can finish close to minimum Aeronautical Experience set by the FAA.

As someone who is interested in obtaining a private pilot certificate, you may have a lot of questions about what to expect