Home aircraft When Preppers Fly – How to Get Your Pilot License

When Preppers Fly – How to Get Your Pilot License


Once I was first trying into my personal pilot license (PPL), I met a diesel mechanic who constructed his personal airplane and flew it to Alaska. He advised me generally he would take off from the pasture at his home, land on a hill, name in some coyotes, and fly house. That was all I wanted to listen to. This was a badass ability I wanted to have.

By J. Bridger, contributing creator to Survival Cache and SHTFblog

This text is simply meant to present you just a little path so you can also make a extra knowledgeable choice. There are a number of various kinds of pilot licenses it’s possible you’ll pursue. Sport Pilot and Leisure Pilot require much less coaching time (cheaper!) but additionally restrict what you’ll be able to fly, when, and the passengers you’ll be able to carry. A non-public pilot license will provide you with essentially the most bang to your buck and has the least variety of restrictions.

Advantages to a Prepper

Why would you need to spend the effort and time acquiring your PPL? It is a good train in perseverance! It should take some work. It should hone your decision-making abilities below stress. Lastly, as a substitute of being restricted to the world you’ll be able to attain by automotive, the gap you’ll be able to bugout/trip/discover will double or triple. Even the smallest and slowest planes (I’m pondering of a Piper Cherokee 160) maintain round 5 hours price of gasoline and cruise at about 110 mph. That offers you 500 miles you may attain earlier than lunch. Planes are resistant to street blocks. There are airports all over the place, even in some nationwide parks. You’ll meet fascinating individuals, and you will note issues from the air you by no means knew existed, even issues close to your property. You’ll be taught and you’ll construct confidence.

What you are able to do as a Personal Pilot

A Personal Pilot License will assist you to fly throughout daytime or nighttime VFR (a set of climate situations known as Visible Flight Guidelines). You may carry passengers, fly exterior the US, fly for charity, and tow gliders. You may receive different certifications and licenses, corresponding to IFR (instrument flight), industrial (permitting you to obtain compensation), and multi-engine. My favourite is just exploring. I may fly to just about any small metropolis in Kansas with an airport, stroll in (even when nobody is on employees), and take the courtesy automotive. Then I may discover the city, get some meals at a small café, prime off the gasoline tank, return the automotive and fly house. It’s like a complete secret world that nobody talks about. I as soon as flew right into a 2500’ grass strip in a pasture, taxied down a metropolis avenue (even stopped at a cease signal!) and parked in entrance of a restaurant. They name this “The $100 hamburger.”


Earlier than you start, guarantee that you’re a good candidate. In the event you don’t have the time or funds, you’ll not succeed. Too many individuals have began, sunk hundreds of {dollars} into it, and given up. I used to be very lucky. I spent a grand whole of $5,000 on my pilot license. I might anticipate to spend about $12,000 whole in your coaching and supplies. It took me 13 months to complete. I budgeted about $400 a month, which was all I may spare. This will likely be a dear endeavor, however the advantages are many. Guarantee you’re wholesome. In the event you undergo from seizures or take medicines for psychological well being situations, it is best to first see an Aviation Medical Examiner so that you don’t begin one thing the FAA is not going to assist you to full. They don’t fiddle. Even should you take a Benadryl, you could self-ground for 60 hours.

Here’s a listing of medical situations and drugs which will provide you with hassle if pursuing a PPL:

FAA Medical Certification Criteria

List of Medications

To acquire your Personal Pilot License, you could:

  • Be a minimum of 17.
  • Be capable to learn, write, and converse English.
  • Acquire a Medical Certificates
  • Go a information take a look at
  • Accumulate and log 40 hours of flight time together with:

          20 hrs solo and 10 hrs with an teacher.

          5 hours of cross nation, with one 150 nm together with three cease landings

          three solo take offs and landings at a managed tower airport

          three hours of evening flight coaching and 10 takeoffs/landings

          three hours of IFR coaching

          three hours of prep for the examine experience

  • Go an oral and flight examination by an FAA designated examiner

It sounds intimidating, I do know. However don’t fret. Your Licensed Flight Teacher (CFI) will be capable of information you in the best path for locating a health care provider, the place to take the written take a look at, and discovering a chosen examiner to your examine experience. Now that you’ve some background, let’s break it into steps:

Discover a CFI

I went to my native airport immediately and spoke with the airport supervisor there. I’m from a rural space, so I used to be capable of simply stroll in and converse with him. It was painless. You may also try looking online. When you’ve got summers off and the cash, you may bust this out in a number of months should you discover a CFI with the time. It’s vital to know, it’s possible you’ll not jive together with your CFI. You might must strive one or two earlier than you discover somebody whose character and schedule match with yours.

Additionally Learn: Bug Out Travel Security

It’s best to resolve whether or not you’ll do a proper floor faculty or self-study. I self-studied with a $15 guide from Amazon and its counterpart containing the figures and graphs known as Private Pilot Test Prep. Be sure to get the hottest model.

Acquiring a medical certificates

It’s essential to discover a doctor who’s an FAA-authorized AME (Aviation Medical Examiner). They may do a bodily for you and provide the go forward to fly. Your insurance coverage could not pay for this. I paid $150 out of pocket to a superb physician who did FAA physicals on the aspect.  The kind of certificates you get and the way lengthy it’s good for will depend on your age. This may function your pupil pilot license. The earlier you do that, the higher! Getting your pupil license card is usually a ache within the butt. Upon getting your medical, you log onto IACRA (the FAA’s web-based application site) to use. Your teacher logs in and approves it. You then log again in and settle for it. A number of weeks later you’ll get a brilliant cool license within the mail.

Full the coaching

It’s best to be capable of fly a minimum of as soon as every week! This may preserve your abilities sharp. Any much less continuously and also you run the danger of dropping a few of what you labored for. Some days the airplane will likely be out for upkeep, your Flight Teacher will likely be busy. Sometimes climate gained’t cooperate; that is okay. You’ll apply every kind of issues, corresponding to: Turns round a degree, steep financial institution turns, emergency descents, engine out drills, energy on and energy off stalls, plenty of landings, cross nation flights, navigation, and gentle subject take offs and landings. You should have a blast. Most individuals take greater than 40 hours, and that’s okay. I had 50 whole hours once I did my examine experience.

Passing the information examination

In the event you haven’t already, you should schedule and cross the airman information examination. Your CFI should endorse your logbook and you could take it with you the day of the examination. I paid $165 for this take a look at. I took free apply exams from King Schools till I used to be scoring constantly within the mid-90s (That is vital, as a result of you’ll most likely rating just a little decrease on the precise examination). As soon as I used to be capable of present my CFI how properly I used to be doing, he endorsed my log guide and I used to be capable of take my take a look at. My recommendation is do one daily, so you will get a really feel for it. I ended up learning on my lunch hour for about 6 months and took near 100 apply exams. I most likely ought to’ve studied extra and took much less exams, however no matter. Hindsight! I used to be getting 90s on King’s web site, however I received a B on the examination. In the event you have been an actual rock star, you may do all of this earlier than you even see your CFI. Some firms will provide you with an endorsement should you purchase and full their coaching program. There are lots of nice examine aids, however I used to be attempting to avoid wasting as a lot cash as potential. The earlier you do that, the higher off you may be!! You’ve got 2.5 hours for the take a look at, and also you should get a 70% to cross.

Go your checkride

Your CFI will make it easier to get in contact with a chosen examiner. There will likely be an oral examination that lasted about an hour for me and was very casual. I had deliberate an extended cross-country flight forward of time. We mentioned alternate touchdown websites, airspace, climate situations, the airplane airplane engine…every kind of issues. As soon as he was glad, off to the airplane we went. We began briefly on the flight I had deliberate, then broke off to do maneuvers. This value $400 and took about an hour. It was a enjoyable expertise, and I realized loads from him. Don’t be nervous! They simply need to be sure you are secure. At this level, you may be greater than prepared for the examine experience!

As you fly, you’ll be taught what you’re required to herald the airplane and what it is best to carry to be secure. Here’s what I take:

E6-B It is a flight laptop, type of like a slide rule. It gained’t crap out on you, however you should apply with it.

Flashlight – That is used primarily for pre-flighting the airplane.


Headlamp with red light – It is a necessity. The crimson gentle gained’t wreck your evening imaginative and prescient.


CO detector – Carbon monoxide poisoning is rare, nevertheless it does occur. It occurred to my Aviation Medical Examiner! Its low-cost insurance coverage.

Paper sectional map – You may get these on tablets, however I choose a paper one.

ARROW paperwork – Airworthiness, Radio License, Registration, Working Limitations, and Weight & Steadiness

Airport Facility Directory

Handheld air band radio

Clip board, pencils

This final half is type of a small survival package however will very in your area and season. I by no means flew anyplace very distant. If I didn’t present as much as my vacation spot to shut my flight plan, the professionals had my route and would alert the authorities. That is simply meant to get me by means of an evening if I needed to.

Now what?

Now that you’ve your license, you’ll be able to discover. Take your mates or children up, they’ll find it irresistible! You may pursue different certifications, like Multi-Engine, Business (permits you to receives a commission!), and instrument rankings. You are able to do bug out apply runs. Plan one or two secure locations you may fly to in every path, so if one thing large occurs you don’t have to fret about which approach the wind blows. Volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol or Pilots N Paws. To maintain your license, you could preserve your medical updated (each 5 years should you’re below 40) and full a flight assessment each 24 months. Bear in mind to maintain the blue over the inexperienced!

All images by the creator


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