Student pilot certificate

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In the US, a student pilot certificate is issued to a pilot in training, and is a pre-requisite for the student to fly alone in the aircraft, or solo. It is not (anymore) initially issued by a medical doctor who is also an authorized aviation medical examiner, in conjunction with the student's first medical certificate. Instead, as of April 1, 2016, the aviation medical examiner gives the student a medical certificate. The student takes the certificate to his/her instructor who then completes an application. The application is sent to the FAA which will send the student pilot certificate to the student.

Obtaining a student pilot certificate authorizing solo flight requires 4 steps:

  1. be 16 years of age or older (14 years for gliders and balloons)
  2. pass a flight physical administered by an aviation medical examiner (for powered aircraft only, excluding gliders and balloons)
  3. receive ground and flight instruction
  4. earn an endorsement from a certificated flight instructor

See also[edit]