Student Pilot Resources

Becoming a Student Pilot

Effective April 1, 2016, the procedure for becoming a Student Pilot changed.  Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are not longer authorized to issue combination Airman Medical and Student Pilot certificates to applicants. New student pilots will go through a process similar to that of private pilots, receiving their hard plastic student pilot certificates in the mail. Students need a student pilot certificate in order to fly solo in an aircraft but they don’t need one in order to start training. This process provides the Transportation Security Administration time to review student pilot applications as part of an anti-terrorism screening program mandated by Congress. Unlike student pilot certificates under the old rules, the new certificates will never expire

Medical certificate:
The process for getting a medical certificate is still the same – make an appointment with the nearest Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). A database of AMEs is located here:

Student pilot certificate:
In order to get a student pilot certificate, you’ll need to complete an application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website OR by paper using FAA form 8710-1 and submit it to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor. The authorized individual will process your application and submit the required documents to the Airmen Certification Branch; once reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application. 

You are eligible for a Student Pilot Certificate if:

•You are at least 16 years old. (If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.)
• You can read, speak, and understand English
When you fill out the application, you will also need to provide proof of identity, such as government-issued photo ID

For assistance on getting started with your IACRA APplication , visit the FAA IACRA New User Guide or check out this video

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a pilot on the FAA Pilots portal. There you can find information on pilots certification (technically it is not a pilot “license” but a pilot certificate!), flight training, regulations, and other aspects of flying.

These past issues of the FAA Safety Briefing newsletter focus student pilot and will be of interest. These links are .pdfs of the newsletter, but on the Safety Briefing homepage, you can subscribe or download iPad or Kindle formats-

FAA Safety Briefing Student Pilot Guide, Part I

FAA Safety Briefing Student Pilot Guide, Part II


You can also download a copy of the FAA Student Pilot Handbook here

Student Pilot Ninety-Nines Membership

Too often,  learning to fly is a solitary effort. You think  “Has anyone else ever experienced the same challenges or problems I am now facing?”  The answer is YES.  “Will I ever do this maneuver right?”  The answer is YES.  “I wish I could talk to other women who have gone through this.”   YOU CAN.
Women student pilots can join The Ninety-Nines as Student Pilot members.  You must have an FAA issued Student Pilot Certificate (or equivalent document for non-U.S. applicants).  You can remain as an Future Woman Pilot member in The Ninety-Nines for up to two years.

More good news is that by joining as a student, at the discounted rate of $35 per year,  you start accumulating the membership tenure required to apply for an Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship!  Every member with at least a year of membership is eligible to apply for an AE grant that will cover the cost of one entire rating or pilot certificate.

With The Ninety-Nines,  you are in the company of friends.  You receive understanding,  encouragement and mentoring.  You can participate in 99s sponsored flying activities, aviation education and community service.  When you earn your pilot certificate,  you are eligible to join as a full member,  ready to help others coming in as students. So let your dreams take flight and come join us- the only organization exclusively for women pilots.

AOPA Flight Training Magazine

Another must have for any student pilot is a subscription to Flight Training Magazine.  The first 6 months are FREE to you as an introductory gift,  so you may as well sign up! It’s like a CFI in your mailbox every month. 

Visit Flight Training Magazine for more information- it’s excellent!