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How To Get A Pilots License In Less Than A Year

Flying With A Pilot’s License In Less Than A Year

Receiving a pilot’s license in less than a year may appear to be challenging. It is, but very doable and rewarding for students who study hard and apply themselves to training. This article will discuss what pilot training consists of and what you need to do to obtain a license in less than a year.  

PRO TIP: Before getting started, take a look at our post how to find the best flight school in Los Angeles!  We know you’re going to love it!

how to get a pilots license quickly

Types of Licenses

There are several different certifications you can receive while training to become a pilot and seeking out the best flight school near you. And if you were wondering how to get a pilots license in less than a year, we’ll explain that too!Here we will only discuss licenses. 

Sports & Recreational License

These two separate licenses are similar in that they require the least amount of hours spent in training and are severely restricted in what and where you can fly than our next two licenses, which we will focus on in this article. 

Private Pilots License  

A private pilot’s license or PPL is the first training and license you will receive. There are different ratings for the types of aircraft you will be able to fly once you have gained your license. 

Although the minimum time of flight time needed to become a private pilot is 40 hours, there are several exams you must pass. This makes the added time of proper training to increase for classroom and flight hours with and without an instructor on board. 

PRO TIP: Get your private pilots license from Los Angeles based Ascent Aviation Academy!  We offer convenient and affordable financing and are located at Van Nuys Airport!

Commercial License

A commercial pilot license allows a pilot to fly aircraft as a job and be paid. Commercial pilots can be passenger airline pilots or cargo pilots. 

A commercial license requires an extensive number of hours of training beyond the private pilot’s license. A commercial license will require a minimum of 250 hours of flight time plus classroom instruction needed to pass the testing. Due to the number of hours required in training, the commercial license seeker will not be able to receive licensing to fly within a year. 

Eligibility for a Private Pilot’s license

Here is what you will need to receive a private pilot’s license. 

  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Be able to read, write, speak and understand English
  • Receive an endorsement from a certified instructor based on several factors
  • Pass a knowledge test
  • Receive flight training and endorsement from a certified instructor for a practical test
  • Meet all of the required training hours
  • Pass a practical test on the aircraft rating sought
  • Perform basic math: adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing
  • Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate 

Student Pilot Certificate and Medical Certificate

To receive a private pilot’s license, you will need to have a student pilot certificate and a medical certificate. You will need to visit an FAA aviation medical examiner to obtain both certificates. You must have a medical certificate before flying solo. 

Find the Right Flight School for You

Once you have been cleared to train as a pilot through the FAA aviation medical examiner you are ready to find a flight school that is for you. To make sure you receive your license within a year, you must choose the right school. 

What the School Needs to Offer 

To complete your private pilot’s license in the least amount of time, you will need to be dedicated. Regular and steady training on the student’s part is essential to success in any program. 

Some students, whether for financial or scheduling conflicts, take years to achieve their certifications. Long periods of time between instruction, certainly can be harder on the knowledge retention for the student. It will also cost more in the end since most flight schools instruct in blocks of time, which can be cheaper than the occasional ad hoc training. 

Part-Time or Full-Time Student

If you wish to gain your private pilot’s license, you must attend training at least what is considered part-time and even better full time. 

  • Full-Time: Able to train at least 3-5 times a week, plus regular studies. 
  • Part-Time: At least train 2 times a week while keeping up with studies

A student who applies themselves full time, and makes training a priority will achieve a private pilot’s license in about three months. A student who applies the same hard work during part-time training can achieve a private pilot’s license in about six months. Once again, the students who finish in these time frames are the ones who have made it a life goal to study and practice to obtain licensing in a short amount of time. 

A flight school must be as determined as the most motivated student. As a student, if you wish to train full time, 3 to 5 times a week, the school you choose should afford that opportunity. Another attribute of a well-established flight school is if they have a virtual program for the student to take some or all of the ground classes. This type of training can save the student the time of commuting to the school during a busy schedule when not required to be on site. 

Either part-time or full-time, finishing within a 6-month period allows a student pilot time to work on other certifications.  Gaining a private pilot’s license is only the beginning for those who want to pursue further instruction. Certification in instrumentation, qualifying for various other aircraft types, and continuing education to achieve a commercial rating can be completed faster once students have their private pilot’s license.   

Money Restrictions

Many potential students think it is too challenging for licensing with a private pilot’s license costing around $12,000 and a commercial around $50,000. Most schools and third-party lenders have financing available for student pilots. These numbers are also comparable to most university costs for a degree. 

Some of the best flight schools offer guaranteed employment of around 30hr, after a commercial rating. This certainly does not happen coming out of school for college students. 


By applying oneself and choosing the right flight school, a student can achieve a private pilot’s license in less than a year. Not only will the student be able to be licensed in a short amount of time, this will place them on a fast track to gaining a commercial rating and making a career for themselves in aviation. 

Call flight school Van Nuys Ascent Aviation Academy and find out all about getting your license through a reputable school in Southern California.  We have so many different options for your training and can’t wait to hear from you.  You can contact us at any time as well with any of your questions.

Ascent Aviation Academy is conveniently located at Van Nuys AirportHere is a link to our listing on Google for your convenience.  Our address is 16425 Hart St Suite 101, Van Nuys, CA 91406 if you feeling like paying us a visit.

We hope that you have learned how to get a pilot’s license in less than a year and wish you luck!

Ascent Aviation Academy is a top-rated flight school in Van Nuys known for comprehensive training, licensing and discovery flights.  Located conveniently at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) we have world-renowned flight instructors, top of the line aircraft and different options for financing.

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