Getting Started on Learning to Fly


Learning to fly takes the right tools, the right knowledge, and the right talent.

  • The Current FAR / AIM – That’s right that big ole book.  This is the ultimate reference.  Know this book inside and out and why do you need me?

  • Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual – Easy reading and well produced.  Thorough and comprehensive, with a lot of pictures and graphics.
  •  Jeppesen Private Pilot Maneuvers Manual – Same as above.  The maneuvers will make more sense after about 15 hours of flight.
  •   Airplane Information Manual (AFM / POH) – For the Make and Model you are training in.  You have to know what you’re flying, so this is the manufacturer’s guidelines for operating.
  • Checklist – Every phase of flight has a checklist, Checkmate is a great product.  Be sure to get the appropriate checklist for the Make and Model that you will use in training.
  • Gleim’s Private Pilot Written Exam Guide – The “red” book. 

      Use of this book is really pretty simple:

  •    READ the question,
  •    And move on. 

        Do this more than twice through and take the test within a day or two.  No Joke.  It works.

        Also, consider use of Exams4Pilots.org for practice knowledge exams...

  • FAA Practical Test Standards, Private Pilot Single-Engine Land (PTS)  - No surprises, this little book warns you of the expert skill you will achieve.
  • Jeppesen Private Pilot Practical Test Study Guide.  For that last minute preparation before the checkride.
  • Current local aeronautical sectional chart – Read and KNOW the legend, symbols, and airspace (cross reference the FAR / AIM).
  •   Current Airport Facilities Directory (AFD) – green is “official”, the blue or the brown are better.  I prefer the brown Flight Guide – Western States.

  • Plotter and Flight Computer – Any rotating plotter is OK, but I prefer the Kwik Plot.  Flight computer (E6B) is mandatory, although there are calculator types only the old school is allowed (says me).  I prefer APR with the multi-color face because it is easier to learn.


  • FAA Aviation Weather and Aviation Weather Services – Weather, what can I say?  It takes time to understand, but this will help...
  • Kneeboard and notepad – Whatever keeps you organized.  I use the Jeppesen black tri-folding three ring kneeboard.

  Whatever it is you can get it on eBay!

  • Quality headset – The one that fits best and is in your price range will do. David Clark and Lightspeed offer a range of hearing protection and cost.  I use the David Clark H10-13S.
  • FAA Medical Certificate and Student Pilot Certificate.  This medical is given only by Aviation Medical Examiners (as designated by the FAA)

          Concerned about the process, or the medical requirements?  Visit flightphysical.com for more information.


  • Last but not least, a little logbook to record all the flying you will do.  Smaller logbooks are easier to carry around as a student.



On a budget for your flight training?  We can help - click here


Christopher Freeze Learn to Fly FAQs Flight Gear Part 61 Ground School Free FAA Pubs