Frequently Asked Questions
1How old do I have to be before I can start taking flying lessons?
You don’t have to be a particular age before you can begin to take flying lessons. That said, however, you do have to be at least 16 years old before you can solo an airplane (14 years old for operation of a balloon or glider), and 17 before you can be issued a pilot certificate. Therefore, it may not be particularly efficient from the standpoint of cost and flight hours to begin lessons too early.
2How old is too old to begin flying lessons?
Say “student pilot,” and most people think of a youngster chasing a dream. In reality, today’s fledgling is likely a middle-aged adult who’s not only chasing, but actually fulfilling, a lifelong ambition to be a pilot. The average student pilot today is in his 30s, and the typical average active pilot is a decade older. In addition, more than 25 percent of all U.S. pilots with current medical certificates are in their 50s. And some pilots learn to fly after they retire.
3What are the vision, hearing, and general medical health requirements that must be met in order to be a pilot?
Your vision must be at least 20/40 for near and distant vision with or without corrective lenses, and you must be able to perceive those colors necessary for the safe pilot performance. For general health and medical-related questions, refer to AOPA's medical subject reports Web page prior to visiting your AME.
4 How often should I fly?
The more often you fly, the faster you'll earn your license. Also, flying frequently avoids having to review previously learned skills that become "rusty" through lack of practice. We recommend taking lessons at least 2-to-3 times per week