How to Start

If you are new to flying, the first thing is to decide which rating to start with, Sport, Recreational, or Private. If you plan on a commercial pilot career, then you should start with Private. If you plan to fly two seat simple aircraft locally for weekend daytime fun, consider Sport Pilot. Recreational Pilots may fly 4 seat aircraft (longer range and more baggage space) during the daytime but are limited to one passenger. See
What Certificate.

Next you may need to get a medical certificate. Sport Pilots with a valid US Driver’s License do not need a medical. For Recreational, Private, and above you will need at least a third class medical. If you plan on a commercial pilot career, get a first or second class. If you have any prior medical history such as ADD, Depression/Anxiety, Diabetes, Cardiac Issues, talk to an AME or AOPA Medical Specialist before you apply for a medical. You may be able to obtain a Special Issuance Medical Certificate with these issues, but if you get a denial first, it prohibits you from Sport Pilot and is a lot harder to get a medical certificate later.

Locally we recommend Dr. Bruce Seatton and Dr. Andrew Grossman for medicals, but a list of Aviation Medical Examiners in your area is available on the FAA website. Dr. Seaton is at Address: 357 Williamson Rd, Mooresville, NC 28117
Phone: (704) 664-7328. Dr. Grossman is at 131 Medical Park Rd # 308, Mooresville, NC 28117. (704) 660-2640.

You will need to visit FAA Medical Express to create an application.
Med Express

Next, you will need flight gear and training material. See our Training page for a list of recommended items. See Gear to Start.

You will need to apply for a Student Pilot license on the FAA IACRA website here: IACRA. You will need an instructor to digitally sign the application. You will need to have proof of citizenship (a valid unexpired US Passport or a birth certificate) and a government issued photo ID on hand.