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|Recreational Pilot Licence||f you want to fly just for fun, there is a lower-cost alternative to becoming a private pilot. It's called the Recreational Pilot Permit...|
CONSIDER A FUN FLYING LICENCE
If you want to fly just for fun, there is a lower-cost alternative to becoming a private pilot. It's called the Recreational Pilot Permit. The idea was that if someone wanted to learn to fly in a basic airplane simply for fun--for recreation--then there were some requirements in terms of aeronautical experience and knowledge that shouldn't be necessary for him to learn. Although the Recreational permit allows a pilot only limited privileges, for some it is still an ideal stepping stone--or resting place--as they progress to private pilot status. For others, the recreational certificate may be all they will ever need or want.
To become a recreational pilot, an applicant is required to be at least 16 years old, be able to read and write English, pass a third-class medical and pass a written test and an oral and practical flight test. An applicant must have at least a total of 25 flight hours, 20 hours of dual and 5 hours of solo.
Since the purpose of the recreational certificate is to allow a pilot to fly for fun in his local area, the training eliminates radio procedures, hood work (flight with reference to instruments) and electronic cross-country navigation, although recreational pilots are required to be familiar with VFR sectional charts and pilotage (navigating with the magnetic compass and clock).
A recreational pilot may not carry more than one passenger at a time (but he may share the operating expenses with that passenger. Among other restrictions, a recreational pilot is not permitted to operate an airplane between sunset and sunrise; or when the flight or surface visibility is less than three statute miles; or without visual reference to the surface.
In addition, there are restrictions on the type of airplane a recreational pilot may operate. It can't be certified for more than four occupants, have more than one engine, have more than 180 horsepower, or have retractable landing gear. The airplane can't be used to carry a passenger or property for compensation or hire; and it can't be used for compensation or hire in the furtherance of a business.
PRIVATE PILOT: BASIC REQUIREMENTS
The basic requirements for getting a private pilot certificate are relatively simple. To become a private pilot you must be at least 17 years old (you can solo at 16), be able to read, write and understand English, pass a third-class medical exam, pass a written exam to demonstrate your aeronautical knowledge, and pass an oral and practical flight test to show that you can perform the maneuvers detailed in the Flight Test Guide. That's it.
The third-class medical--good for 24 months--is a basic physical exam that shouldn't cause a reasonably healthy person any problem. Vision requirements include a distant visual acuity of 20/50 or better in each eye separately. If the vision in either or both eyes is poorer than 20/50 and is corrected to 20/30 or better in each eye with corrective lenses (glasses or contacts), the applicant may be qualified on the condition that he wears those corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his airman certificate.
The written exam can be taken anytime, but must be completed before solo. There are a number of home study computer and video courses available to help students prepare for their exam.
Once you've completed all solo and dual flight requirements and your instructor is satisfied that you can perform the maneuvers to the tolerances of the Flight Test Guide, he'll sign you off to take the oral and practical flight test.
After that, it's simply a matter of meeting the examiner, answering his questions and then taking him for a ride so you can show him how well you fly.