What, if any, requirements are there to maintain a private pilot certificate? For example:
- Do I have to renew my certificate after a period of time? E.g. annually, 5 years, 10 years
- Do I have to receive a minimum number of continued training hours?
- Do I have to fly a minimum number of hours?
For instance, say I had enough money/time to go out and start the process of getting a private pilot certificate tomorrow, but I didn't plan to make use of it in the foreseeable future, would it cost me more in time and money than if I waited until I had plans to use it?
This is assuming I live and fly in the USA.
Related Question: How much, generally speaking, does it cost to learn how to fly?
Edit: Note I understand the safety aspect of not practicing and "getting rusty", for lack of a better term on my part, and that practically a certain amount of retraining would be required (though it seems that it is not legally required). The retraining is not mandated and I would need to retrain until I felt proficient enough technically and practically. Retraining would include familiarizing myself with the controls, instruments, radio, physics, etc.
My main concern was that (a) at some point I my certificate would expire and I would have to go through the process again, making the initial effort practically useless, (b) that I may have to pay a significant amount of money to keep the certificate from expiring, or (c) that I would have to commit to a certain number of hours (instructed or solo) per year to keep the certificate.