A few years back the FAA was upset about young pilots attempting to set records and crashing in the process.

Were there any rules instituted regarding logging of time with a CFI / instructor? May a 9 year old or 12 year old log time flown with a CFI and use that time to qualify for a rating?

  • $\begingroup$ Hello Zeus, welcome to Aviation.SE. Which jurisdiction are you interested to hear the answers for, as this may vary from country to country? $\endgroup$ Feb 20 '15 at 8:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ FAA rules in USA. $\endgroup$
    – Zeus
    Feb 20 '15 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ I did not look into regs yet, but I know of kids that take lessons at that age (which sure isn't illegal) and log those so they can do their first solo (which requires a minimum age) ASAP. this goes for many countries btw,in Germany you can fly gliders solo with 14, but you need to be 16 to get your license... $\endgroup$ Feb 20 '15 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ More than just the FAA - after the death of 7 year old Jessica Dubroff (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Dubroff), Clinton introduced the Child Pilot Safety act, prohibiting anybody from attempting aviation records without already holding a licence and medical. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Feb 21 '15 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ I know a CFI friend, who's 4 year old holds 10 hrs dual in his logbook. $\endgroup$ Apr 2 '19 at 22:10

FAR § 61.83 states:

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 balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. [...]

A student pilot certificate enables you to fly a plane solo or on a solo cross country. In other words, you need to be at least 16 years old to fly a plane (non glider/balloon) solo.

This is an example of a student pilot certificate. It comes with your medical usually.

Now, back to your initial question. If you go through FAR §61.83 - §61.95 you will find all the regulations about student pilots (which would be the kind of pilot you are referring to ).

I have found no age restriction going through them for the pre-solo instruction. All it says that it must be done before soloing which does require a medical exam and certificate (but these don't have age restrictions either).

Summing up, a 9 or 12 year old child is legally able to take flying lessons with an instructor, but may not solo before his/her 16th birthday (no glider/balloons).

  • $\begingroup$ You might want to clarify what "you must have a medical before starting your training" means. It conflicts with your statement that there's no age restriction for pre-solo training. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Feb 20 '15 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ I knew someone who logged time before they were 16 but soloed and got their license after their birthday. I can confirm that this will "fly" with the FAA. $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Jul 22 '15 at 2:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.