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Learning to Fly

Each of these pilot rankings indicates a certain level of schooling has or is occurring.  This schooling includes classroom instruction, oral and written examinations, medical examinations and in-flight practice.  A pilot ranking also designates what a person in their given ranking is allowed to do within aviation.  For example, a student pilot wouldn’t be allowed to have passengers on board with them, but a private pilot can.  Some pilots can fly at night while others cannot.  This is all based on the pilot ranking, and relates directly to the amount of training they’ve acquired.

Pilots Types

Student Pilot – This is the most novice level where everyone begins, and often occurs concurrently with written course study.  At this level, pilots are mainly familiarizing themselves with cockpit instruments, learning to communicate with airports and understanding basic aviation protocol.  They are not allowed to fly without a certified instructor, during inclement weather or further than a certain distance from their “home airfield”.  This is a very active and important practice phase of flying that every pilot must undertake.  It gradually becomes less limited based on instructor approval and experience gained.

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Airline Transport Pilots – This is the highest pilot ranking one can have, and is required for some of the larger multi-engined jets used in commercial flights. They must meet all the the same requirements as every other pilot ranking, and then some.  This is the least limited pilot ranking and requires the most amount of training and experience.

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