Getting my Private Pilot’s license

Today I finally passed my checkride and became a licensed private pilot. I started flight training for my 12th birthday and after an introductory flight in a Piper Archer, I was hooked. Then, the training began. I started training in an old C150. So old that there was duct tape on the cowling! Eventually the flight school got rid of that and I transitioned to the DA-20. After a few months in the DA-20 I had a knee surgery which grounded me for a few months. Once I came back, I switched to a G1000 C172.

I flew my first solo on my 16th birthday (the youngest possible age) and since then have been slowly working towards this day. Here’s my first solo post: My First Solo

One of the requirements to get the license is that I must be at least 17 years old. Today is my 17th birthday so I was finally able to accomplish my goal.


My practical today was at my home airport of KHPN and started at 7am local time, so I was obviously at the airport by 6. DPE showed up and we got started. He did a great job of calming me down and making sure I understood he was not looking for perfection. He clearly laid out the rules and everything went well. The next section was the oral, or the “conversation” as he called it, which went pretty well. All the questions were based on categories in the ACS and there were no trick questions. They were typically scenario based. I made sure to answer with brief responses in order to not dig myself into a hole. I only messed up about 4-5 questions out of the many and I passed. It lasted about 1.5 hours.

After the oral we went out to the plane and got started. After a very thorough preflight, I taxied out to runway 11 and departed. I flew the first few points on my planned cross country, then came a few simulated failures and a diversion. At my diversion airport we did some patterns with short and soft field landings and then continued on to do some maneuvers.

I did well and we headed back. The only real issue on the flight was that I came in a bit fast for my no flaps landing near the end. Luckily we had plenty of runway and I was able to float and bleed off that speed. After shutdown my DPE congratulated me and then went inside for all the paperwork stuff and that was it!


Luckily, weather held up long enough for me to take my father flying later in the afternoon. We did some patterns and some basic maneuvers and just enjoyed the view!

Here were some photos he took:

On final at KOXC

Just after departure from KHPN

On the upwind at OXC


So yeah, after 120 hours of flight I am now finally old enough/certified to be a private pilot! Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

113 Likes

Congratulations! I hope to see you flying one of my commercial airliner flights soon 😉

2 Likes

Congratulations, Will! It must feel like such an accomplishment.

Any long term goals you have in mind?

3 Likes

Congrats Will! That’s a huge achievement and a lot of people here will look up to you for your hard work and dedicated time to getting your license. :)

2 Likes

I can’t imagine how much that cost in total 💀

Congratulations, Will!

5 Likes

Congrats! This must have taken a lot of work

3 Likes

Congratulations Will! What an achievement and I am sure what every IF Pilot dreams of! And to get it at 17 is amazing! I do have One Question if you don’t mind me asking; does the feeling even after 120hrs in the air ever get normal; amazes me every time I get up the true capabilities of the aircraft! 😍

Very very lucky to get a chance on the G1000 as well must be a fantastic experience! Impressive stuff! 👏

3 Likes

Congratulations Will! This is for sure something to cherish forever!

Edit: Happy Birthday Will! Definitely did not forget that

2 Likes

Hopefully heading to the airlines! Thanks for all the warm wishes everyone :))


Well it depends what you consider to be normal. I’ve gotten used to the physical feeling (bumps and all that). I feel pretty natural up there but I cherish every time I’m in the air. It’s so peaceful!

4 Likes

Congrats! May we one day see you as a Commercial or Military pilot?

1 Like

Hopefully as a commercial pilot, but I’ve got quite a ways to go 🤪

2 Likes

Congrats and happy birthday aswell !

1 Like

Congratulations Will! I hope to be the same place as you soon! I just need this lockdown to end!

It’s such a massive achievement and I wonder where your going to fly too first. The skies the limit now!

4 Likes

You’re one step closer to your dream! Which airlines are your top 3 that you’d like to fly for?

1 Like

Anyone that’ll hire me! I’d like to end up with Delta but any of the legacy carriers I’m more than happy with.

1 Like

Thats definitely the attitude to go with! Hopefully you’ll be flying with an airline that treats you well, pays well and has good, enjoyable, destinations!

1 Like

Congratulations Will! This is a huge accomplishment🎉🎉. Wishing you the best for your career
(And also happy birthday)

1 Like

My dad tells everyone becoming a pilot that you should just be happy if an airline excepts you. Congratulations btw! 😃

2 Likes

Congrats! this is an amazing achievement!

13 Likes

Congratulations @Will_A

1 Like