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Q: Airplane pilots license for a young person. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Airplane pilots license for a young person.
Category: Sports and Recreation
Asked by: clicker5-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 04 Nov 2002 02:14 PST
Expires: 04 Dec 2002 02:14 PST
Question ID: 98039
What is the youngest age, a person can take legal flying lessons, and
what is the youngest age, where a person can have a pilots license to
fly a non licensed person as a passenger?

Request for Question Clarification by rcd-ga on 04 Nov 2002 02:20 PST
What country and/or state?

Request for Question Clarification by cobrien-ga on 04 Nov 2002 02:20 PST
Did you have any particular geographical location in mind, or are you
looking for information worldwide?


Request for Question Clarification by leep-ga on 04 Nov 2002 02:21 PST
Hi there clicker5.  Should we assume that you are asking about U.S. licenses?
Subject: Re: Airplane pilots license for a young person.
Answered By: byrd-ga on 04 Nov 2002 08:09 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Clicker!

Glad to hear you're interested in flying .... or are you asking for a
young friend or relative?

Doesn't matter - the answer's the same.  There is NO legal requirement
or restrictions on age for taking flying lessons.  A student of ANY
age, young or old, can take flying lessons, provided, of course, that
(s)he can find an instructor willing to teach and, in the case of a
young student, has the permission and a legal liability release signed
by his/her responsible parent/guardian.

There IS a legal age, however, to qualify for a student pilot
CERTIFICATE, which is essentially just a 3rd Class Medical
Certificate, and without which you cannot legally solo an aircraft or
earn a license:

"To be eligible for a student pilot certificate, an applicant must: 
(a) Be at least 16 years of age for other than the operation of a
glider or balloon.
(b) Be at least 14 years of age for the operation of a glider or
(FAR Part 61.83)

"To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must: 
(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or
(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon."
(FAR Part 61.103)

There are many other regulations governing exactly what you can do
within these broad general guidelines.  All of the legal requirements
regarding pilot certification are spelled out in excruciating detail
in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter 1,
Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), Part 61.  Learning these
regulations is one of the first things a student pilot is asked to do,
and is a very large part of learning to fly, so if that's your desire,
you can begin right here:

In addition, if you'd like to read all the FARs (good bedtime reading
I assure you if you should ever suffer from insomnia!), the main page
is here:

Like it or not (and most of us don't), learning these regs, or at
least learning what they are, what they cover, and where and how to
look things up is a fact of life for pilots of all kinds from student
to seasoned pro, so is a good place to begin.  You'll get all too
familiar with them if you continue!

If you want to explore what is involved in taking flying lessons and
don't quite know where to start, here are a few places to start
looking: This is the website of the Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association and one of the best available resources for
information about flying and learning to fly.  Look over on the
left-hand side, in the Public Menu, and click on "Learn to Fly." or more specifically$pass*49622318! is one of the most comprehensive aviation-related sites
out there, with numerous resources for those wanting to learn about
all aspects of flying. is a website maintained by Cessna, which
oversees numerous Cessna Pilot Centers around the country, and has
some very good information on learning to fly, whether or not you
choose to use one of their centers.  The Civil Air Patrol has a cadet program for
persons ages 13-18 in which you can learn to fly gliders and/or
powered aircraft, and even earn your license.  You can take
Orientation flights with experienced CAP pilots first to learn more. 
If you can find an active unit near you, this could be a very good
start for a young person.

Remember, there is NO AGE LIMIT on learning to fly.  If you're too
young now, learn anyway.  You don't even need to fly with an
instructor until you're ready to start working toward your own legal
first solo and/or license.  If you know a licensed pilot who is
willing to take you up, start there (making sure you have your parents
permission, of course).  Many a pilot has.  In fact, the Experimental
Aviation Association (EAA) has what they call a "Young Eagles"
program, in which volunteer pilots take young people up for their
first flight.  You can learn more about that here:

But you don't have to stick with an organized program.  For example,
if you know someone who is a licensed pilot, and (s)he and your
parents are willing, you can start there as well.  I know many pilots
who have taken their children or grandchildren or other children up
from as young as a few weeks old, and they'll literally grow up in
airplanes, eventually earning their own certificates when they're old
enough.  But they'll already know how to fly.

Other places you might check for information include your local Yellow
pages under "Aircraft Flight Training Schools," where you'll find a
list of certificated instructors.  Some newspaper classified sections
under "Aircraft" also have ads from instructors.  Go to your local
airport and look for the FBOs, the Fixed Base Operators or small
businesses that are usually on the other side of the airport from the
big commercial terminal.  This is where you'll find flight instructors
and students.  Hang out and ask questions.

Learning to fly is the beginning of a lifelong adventure of which you
will never tire if it once takes hold of you.  If you're too young to
solo or earn a certificate right now, don't wait, there's no need. 
Start where you are and when you've reached the legal age you'll be
all the better for the wait and the knowledge you've gained!

Please do ask if there is anything that's not clear.  My answer is
based on my own knowledge and experience as a certificated Commercial
Pilot with Airplane Single-Engine Land and Instrument ratings.  In
addition, I am a SAR/DR Mission Pilot with the Civil Air Patrol, where
I fly with a local squadron.

The links provided were taken from my own extensive list of
aviation-related bookmarks.  However, if you'd like to search further
on your own, I'd suggest using "flight training" "flight instruction"
"learning to fly" as main search terms.

Best of luck to you.  See you in the sky!

clicker5-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Hello byrd-ga:
Thank you for the excellent answer.
You earned 5 stars.
I also want to thank everyone who made comments.

Any other comments, on the following explanation of my question are
more than welcome.

The reason for the question Is: 
We have a small Private Foundation in Southern California, and we are
having meetings with our local police department in regard to the
local youth gangs.
We are discussing, how can the police have a significant relationship
with the gangs or individual gang members..

It is possible, that our foundation would provide funds to the police
department, for sightseeing flights, or flight instruction, or
providing enough hours for a pilots license.

I don’t know if we are trying to invent a new wheel or what.  We are
in the discussion stage, and do not want to put money into a worthless

Subject: Re: Airplane pilots license for a young person.
From: sfernald-ga on 04 Nov 2002 02:24 PST
In the United States, the youngest age is 16 to take legal flying
lesssons and 17 for private pilot cerification.

I found this on Harrisburg Jet Center flight school student
information page. The FAA is a national agency so I believe this age
limit should apply to all states.
Subject: Re: Airplane pilots license for a young person.
From: byrd-ga on 05 Nov 2002 06:58 PST
Hi Clicker,

Thank you very much for the rating.  I'm glad you were pleased with
the information, and I also appreciate the clarification as to the
reason for your question.

Congratulations on your efforts to improve your community and the
lives of the young people in it.  If you should succeed in infecting
any of them with the flying bug, it'll certainly keep them off the
streets!  :-)

I've been musing on your ambition and wondering what the best way to
approach it would be.  After thinking/talking it over, my strongest
inclination is to suggest that you organize a program under the
auspices of Civil Air Patrol, which I feel would allow you and the
police dept. to maximize your efforts without having to "reinvent the
wheel," so to speak.

Just to give you an overview, CAP is organized as follows: National,
Region, Wing (State), Group, Squadron and Flight, with Flight being
the smallest unit.  Squadrons/Flights can be Senior (adult), Cadet, or
Composite, which includes both Senior and Cadet members.  New units
can be started under the sponsorship of an existing squadron.

Since Civil Air Patrol already has a well-established cadet program in
place, organizing in this way would allow you to avoid having to work
out all the "bugs" yourself as far as what is/isn't allowed in
involving young people in an organzied aviation or learn-to-fly
program.  That's already taken care of.  In addition, the working
relationship CAP already enjoys with many civil defense and law
enforcement agencies would lend itself well to the type of program you

And then you might want to consider that your foundation dollars would
likely go further than if you had to set up a new program by yourself.
 Consider that CAP is a 501(c)(3) Corporation, so would be an
appropriate recipient for funds.  Also, its identity as the official
civilian Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, which allows it to receive
Air Force funding, would help to stretch your dollars.  And, although
regulations currently require any outside funding/donations above a
certain amount to go to the Wing (State), appropriate negotiation at
that level could ensure that the monies you provide directly benefit
the flight/squadron to which the young people you're trying to recruit

I'd suggest finding a local squadron that could either absorb these
young people, along with the adults (police) who are interested in
working with them, or find a squadron willing to sponsor and supervise
a new unit specifically for the purpose.

If you'd like to explore this possibility a little more, here are some
links for you:

--CAP California Wing main page:
--CAP California Wing Cadet Program main page:
--CAP California Wing unit locator page:

Whatever approach you ultimately decide to use, yours is a commendable
and worthy goal and I wish you all success.

Blue skies and tailwinds!
Subject: Re: Airplane pilots license for a young person.
From: byrd-ga on 05 Nov 2002 07:37 PST
I clicked too soon.  My apologies.  I also meant to include
information about Civil Air Patrol's "Middle School Initiative."  This
is a relatively new program formed to reach younger students than the
existing cadet program traditionally targets.  You can learn more
about that here:


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