Maybe you've thought about it for a long time, or maybe you're just trying to awaken
The FAA Requirements
The requirements for earning a Private Pilot Certificate are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and can be found under 14 CFR Part 61. To be eligible for a Private Pilot Certificate for an airplane under Part 61.103, you must:
Be at least 17 years of age.
Read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
Hold a student pilot certificate.
Complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight time (we'll get into this later!)
Complete a written knowledge test.
Complete a practical test.
Upon completion of the practical test, you will earn your Private Pilot Certificate.
More on the "40 hours" part.
Under 14 CFR § 61.109, a student pilot must complete a minimum 40 hours of flight time. If you already have flight time, this time is creditable towards a Private Pilot Certificate if it was logged by your previous instructor correctly. Of these 40 hours, the student must:
Fly at least 20 with an instructor completing the following tasks:
3 hours of cross-country training;
3 hours at night;
3 hours of flying the airplane solely by reference to instruments (i.e. "under the hood").
3 hours of training in preparation for the practical test.
Fly at least 10 hours solo, including:
5 hours of solo cross-country flight;
One solo cross country flight of more than 150 nautical miles with full stop landings at three points, with one leg of the flight being more than 50 nautical miles.
3 takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern to a full stop with an operating control tower.
It is important to recognize that these requirements are the minimums. Most students do not finish at 40 hours mark. In fact, according to the FAA's Student Pilot Guide, a majority of students complete their Private Pilot Certificate at 60-75 hours. Every student will face their own unique challenges throughout their journey which may impact the number of hours it takes to complete their certificate.
Part 61 vs. Part 141
You may have come across the terms "Part 61" or "Part 141". Essentially, you can train under Part 61, or, if the is approved for it, Part 141. Part 141 uses