The media is always available when an accident or incident involving general aviation aircraft occurs. They seem to be looking like a hawk for all the negative news they should promote. Whether it is TV viewing, newspaper publishing, magazine sales, etc. Being alert to the media has always been meticulous in describing aircraft crashes and failures. The private pilot is always viewed in the media and in many cases referred to as an amateur pilot. The word amateur is defined in many ways. It can be defined as a person committed to a particular occupation or study without formal training or pay. Another definition is someone who studies or sports as an informal party or hobby. The definitions are similar and broad. The problem is that the term amateur pilot took pictures of an individual reading a flying plane and then jumping into the nearest cockpit and flying away. Indeed, formal pilot training and certain medical requirements are required to obtain a private pilot's certificate and legal means for airplane flight, as well as the successful completion of numerous tests. So where does the word amateur come into the picture? In comparison, a private pilot flying a hobby and entertaining actually needs much less training than a commercial pilot flying a flying cargo or people across the sky.
A private pilot certificate in the US is required for sports or hobbies. Certificates that require less training are available, such as Sport Pilot certification. This certificate carries with it certain provisions due to the fact that it requires less education and is cheaper for the student. Private certification, however, gives the pilot the ability to fly in controlled airspace, which may be critical depending on where he or she lives or flies. Another difference between these two certifications is the need for a medical examination by a certified medical examiner who is specifically qualified and approved by the FAA. The Sport Pilot Certificate does not require a student to pass the aviation medical exam.
Future pilots need to be able to understand, speak and read English. Aircraft towers and airports, are used in English for communication. This is actually true at most airports around the world, even where English is not the native language. Choosing a flight school is very important. Information is always available at your local general aviation airports. Training does not come cheap. Private pilot certification requires at least forty hours of actual flight time. This includes time on the plane with the instructor as well as time spent flying solo. Many flight schools recommend that students begin medical certification from their local FAA Certified Physician before beginning any training. After the student passes this, your flight school or private flight instructor will begin the field training process as they did in the summer. Elementary school varies greatly among students based on the time spent in the week, together with the rate of absorption of the material. Student pilots can collect information by a variety of methods, including the internet, videos, and good old fashion books and manuals. At some point in your training beyond elementary ground school, student pilots must pass a multiple-choice written test, usually today from a computer terminal, with Federal Aviation Administration software.
After passing the written FAA test, as stated, you must report to flight hours during the flight that exceed the minimum required by the FAA. For private confirmation, students should report solo time, night flying time and demonstrate the ability to successfully compete for field flights that are flights from one airport to another. A driving test or final test with a local FAA examiner is then required. The driving test includes an oral test followed by a practical test where the student must demonstrate a range of specific maneuvers and knowledge of the aircraft. This is the point where the word amateur becomes distorted. With all requirements and tests completed, the student will be issued a Private Pilot Certificate. Although pilot experience is measured by time in flight hours, and new pilots certainly lack air time compared to a flying pilot or even decades, it is still a bit harsh to designate a private pilot as an amateur pilot.