Things to Know When Getting Your Private Pilot's License

By Redtail Air Adventures

In 1903, the infamous Wright Brothers went down in history when they took to the skies in the first-ever aircraft! In the many years since their groundbreaking flight, aviation has come a very long way. Today, there are many different styles of airplanes, and many different types of pilots licenses out there if you are interested in learning to fly. Obtaining a private pilot license is a great first step in learning all about aviation, and can help you to turn your passion of aviation into a career.

While flying in a private plane might seem like a luxury experience — it allows you to forget about the hassles of commercial airlines. You can forget about the pains of airport security, flight delays, and over-packed cabins. When flying in a private jet, you get to decide where you want to go, and when. The sky is your oyster, especially when you are the pilot!  

As the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly fading away with vaccinations becoming more readily available, more and more folks are returning to airports for traveling. As commercial flights become increasingly crowded once again, private flying is becoming a more attractive option! Today, just about anyone can learn to fly, and obtain their very own private pilot license with enough time and proper training. 

Redtail Air has been a successful flight operation since 1978, and our professional pilots can provide you with the extensive flight training necessary to allow you to obtain your own private pilot license.

student and instructor in plane during private pilot's flight instruction
pre-flight check during private pilot's license instruction

What is a Private Pilot License?

While there are many types of pilot licenses out there that you can train for, a private pilot license is a great first step that will open up future aviation opportunities for you. First, you will need to obtain a student pilot certificate, and then you will be well on your way to getting your private pilot license.

A private pilot license will allow you to fly most types of airplanes, even with passengers on board! While you cannot yet be hired or paid for flying, you will have the necessary base training to take your skills further if you would like to. If you dream of one day becoming a commercial pilot and making a career out of your aviation skills, then obtaining your private pilot license is a necessary first step.


To obtain your private pilot certificate, there are a few requirements that must be met! You must:

  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Put in a minimum of 40 flight training hours 
  • Pass the FAA tests
  • Obtain a FAA medical certificate

You can begin training for your student pilot certificate as young as 16 years old, and be well on your way to obtaining your private pilot certificate by the time you are 17! There are no upper age limits to obtaining a license — we believe that it is never too late to strive to achieve your goals!

Moab, Utah is a very special place, to say the least! Whether you have been drawn back to its unique landscape year after year, or this is your very first time visiting, there are countless opportunities for fun and adventure. Redtail Air Adventures offers incredible scenic flight tours around the parks and features in the Moab area. We invite you to immerse yourself in all of the natural beauty this iconic place has to offer. Our pilots are highly experienced, professional, friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable about the area. 

Whether you came to Moab for world class mountain biking, unbeatable rock climbing, or endless hiking opportunities—  you should definitely consider setting aside an hour or two to charter a private plane with us here at Redtail Air Adventures. Taking an aerial tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and what better place to do it than in Moab!? The natural beauty is sure to take your breath away. The process of chartering a plane with Redtail Air Adventures is simple, straightforward, and worthwhile. It may just end up being the highlight of your trip.

instructor and student in airplane hanger during private pilot lesson
student and flight insturctor
student and flight instructor in plane
woman in airplane getting private pilot's license

Steps to Achieving a Private Pilots License

Step 1: Student Pilot Certificate

Obtaining a private pilot license is well worth it, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. Do your research to be sure that it is something that you truly want before spending your time and money on the endeavor. You will start by first acquiring a student pilot certificate.

Redtail Air provides private flight instruction with professional instructors in Moab. To start out, your instructor will fly with you for a minimum of one hour per meeting. This ensures that you have enough time to learn effectively. The good news is you can easily schedule your lessons around your schedule! At Redtail Air, we strive to be flexible with scheduling for your convenience. After you have flown with an instructor and they decide that you are ready to move on, you will begin to practice flying solo. Most students fly solo for around 15-30 hours total to become proficient. 

After you have completed enough instructed hours, successfully flown without your instructor, and proven that you have learned all of the necessary material, they will award you with a student pilot certificate. This is a wonderful achievement in itself, and is the first step towards obtaining a private pilot license! 


Step 2: More Flight Hours

Once you have gotten the feel of being behind the wheel of an airplane, you will need to continue to practice flying with and without your instructor to get more hours in. Getting a private pilot license requires a minimum of 40 flight hours, so be sure to set aside some time in your schedule! 


Step 3: Written Exam and Flight Test

After getting in at least 40 hours of airtime, you are ready to take the next step towards getting your license— preparing for the written exam! Redtail Air offers ground instruction to help you prepare, or you can choose to learn independently. There are many useful resources online, or you can choose to learn from a book. The ASA Private Pilot Test Prep Book has all of the information you need to prepare for the exam, and is available for purchase online.

Your instructor will let you know when they think you are ready to take the final step, the hands-on flight test. This test must be done with an FAA certified check airman who will assess your flight skills over 1-2 hours of flight time. Once you complete this test along with the written test, you can officially obtain your private pilot license! 

student getting private pilot's license
woman in pilots seat during flight instruction

A Lifetime Achievement

A private pilot license does not expire! Once you have put in the hard work to earn it, it will last you a lifetime. It is important to refresh your flight knowledge every two years with an instructor to make sure that your piloting skills are maintained. 

Investing the Time and Money

While many people are deterred from obtaining their pilot license by the amount of time and money it demands, you should try to think of it as an investment in your own future. While getting a private pilot license can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000, you can spread out your training over several months to help alleviate the costs. A pilot license never expires, and obtaining one is without a doubt a wonderful investment to make in yourself. 

A private pilot license can allow you the freedom to take weekend getaways, and also provide you with the necessary foundation that you need for a future career in aviation! You will be able to take your family and friends out on flights, sightsee magnificent places with ease, and even use your skills to fly for business or charity purposes. The possibilities are endless once you take the leap and get your private pilot license.

If you are interested in getting a private pilot license, Redtail Air would love to help you achieve your goal. We can provide all of the necessary flight training and resources to help you succeed! Please contact us today via our online form, or call us at (435)-259-7421. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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