Cessna 172

Who can be a pilot?

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1 min read

There is no “right” type of person to become a pilot. Aviators come from all kinds of backgrounds, each with unique reasons for flying. The good news is, you can take lessons at any age—there is no minimum and no maximum.

Some requirements to keep in mind:

  • You must be at least 16 years old to solo an airplane (or 14 to solo a glider)
  • You must be 17 years old to earn a license (Sport, Recreational or Private certificate)
  • For the Recreational and Private certificates, you will need to pass a Third Class Medical exam. This isn’t a big deal (and no, you don’t have to have perfect vision – read why
  • You must be able to read and speak English

And no, you don’t have to be a math genius or have perfect health. Attitude and determination is more important than age or skill. A commitment to take the training seriously, and stick with it will serve you well. Learning to fly is a long, sometimes arduous journey marked by elation and occasional frustration. The process will be easier, and more enjoyable, if you can maintain a positive, always learning attitude.

Maintaining a positive outlook with a focus on what the aviation community and being a pilot will provide will aid in your success. And there are plenty of ways to involve your support network (family, friends, etc.). Keep them apprised of your progress and even invite them to the airport or recruit to help you study. The more support you have, the better!

Read our entire Getting Started series for more answers.

John Zimmerman