Pilots are required to have a valid pilot license before they can fly their aircraft. How can you verify whether or not someone has a valid pilot license?
Pilots are responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members during flight operations. They also ensure that the aircraft operates according to regulations and standards.
A pilot license is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is valid for five years.
The FAA requires pilots to renew their licenses every five years. If you want to know if someone has a valid pilot license, you can ask them directly.
Alternatively, you can check the status of their license using the FAA’s database, as this would give you a more reliable answer.
In this article, we look at how you can check if a pilot has a valid pilot license and why having a valid license is so important to fly any airplane. Let’s jump in.
What Is A Pilot License?
A pilot license is an official document from the FAA that certifies a person as qualified to operate an aircraft. It allows people to legally take off and land airplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, model planes, etc.
The FAA issues pilot licenses to individuals who meet certain requirements.
These requirements include passing a written test and demonstrating proficiency with specific skills such as flying instruments, navigation, aerodynamics, weather, and emergency procedures.
People must be certified to use a particular type of aircraft before they can apply for a pilot license.
For example, someone cannot get a private pilot license unless he or she has passed a medical exam and holds a commercial pilot certificate.
The FAA also issues certificates of competency to students who pass the FAA’s flight training program. This means that these students have demonstrated sufficient knowledge and skill to safely operate an airplane.
Why Do I Need To Have A Valid Pilot License?
Having a valid pilot license is necessary because it permits people to fly aircraft. Without a valid license, no one can legally operate an aircraft.
If you don’t have a valid pilot license, you could face serious penalties including fines and jail time.
In addition to being able to fly an aircraft, a pilot license is also needed to work as a flight instructor, air traffic controller, airline captain, or another aviation-related job.
There are several types of pilot licenses available: student pilots, sports pilots, recreational pilots, private pilots, commercial pilots, and airline transport pilots.
Each has different requirements, prices, and restrictions, but how do you check the status of a pilot license? Is your pilot license valid?
Checking Your Pilot License Status Online
You can check your pilot license online using the FAA’s website. All you need to do is enter your name, date of birth, and social security number into the search engine.
You will then see a list of all the information about your pilot license. The first thing you should do is make sure that your license is active.
This is done by checking the “status” box on the top right corner of the page.
Once you find out whether or not your license is current, you can click on the “view details” button to view more information about your license. Here, you will see the expiration date and the last renewal date.
Performing An FAA Pilot License Search
If you ever needed to check if someone’s pilot license was valid for yourself, you can use the FAA pilot license lookup. You would need to visit the FAA website and enter the following into the form:
- Last Name
- First Name
- State or Country
Only the last name is needed to find the license, but the system does not show any results when there are over 50 records that match the search criteria.
An alternative is to use a website called Instant Checkmate. This is a public records search engine that turns public records into reports for people to read.
You will need a membership, but after obtaining one, you could find if a person has a valid FAA pilot license. You can also use this resource to give a background check on the pilot.
Manually Checking Someone’s Pilot License
More commonly done in Europe for licensed pilots to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), you can also check if the pilot has a valid license yourself. You would need to check:
- Photo ID
- Pilot License
- Pilot Medical
You would need to check that the ID matches the name on the Pilot License first and check which type of license you are looking at. It will be printed on the license and should say “Flight Crew License”.
Section II of the license will say the type of license. If it was a commercial pilot, you would see CPL(A) or an experienced commercial pilot would have ATPL(A) and CPL(A).
The ATPL(A) means “captain on a big plane”. Private pilots would say PPL(A) and if it has an ‘H’ too, this also means helicopter.
You would also need to see the XII Certificate of Revalidation where you will find the “Valid Until” section.
Your pilot would also need to be rated on plane type, with a valid rating of B757/ 767 for example. However, this doesn’t allow the pilot to fly a single-engine, one pilot plane.
To fly this plane you would have to have a Single Engine Piston Land rating.
The medical comes separate again. In section III you need to check the Certificate number. This needs to match the Flight Crew License number. In section IX you will be able to see the expiry date of the certificate.
Can Someone With No Experience Fly An Aircraft?
Yes! There are many different types of aircraft available today. Some of these aircraft require very little experience while others require extensive training. However, there are some aircraft that anyone can fly without prior training.
For example, most small aircraft like ultralights and microlights can be flown by anyone with basic flight training. They usually cost less than $10,000.
Other aircraft like sailplanes, hang gliders, paragliders, and powered parachutes (see also “Are There Parachutes On Planes?“) are much harder to learn. These aircraft often cost thousands of dollars and require years of training.
How Do I Achieve My Pilot’s License?
Despite there being many different types of pilot licenses, generally, there are two ways to achieve your pilot’s license.
One way is through the traditional route. This involves taking a course and passing a written test and then doing a practical exam.
Another option is to take private lessons from someone who already holds a pilot’s license and then pass a written test and a practical exam.
If you want to go down the traditional route, you will need to do all four parts of the process. You will need to attend a ground school, take a written test, do a practical exam, and get your instructor’s endorsement.
If you want to take a private lesson, you will only need to do three parts of the process.
First, you will need to pay the instructor to teach you how to fly. Next, you will need to take a written test. Finally, you will need to pass a practical exam.
What Is The Cost Of Getting Your Pilot License?
It depends on what type of license you are getting. For example, the cost of getting a private pilot license in Canada ranges from about $300 to $1,200 depending on the province.
In addition, the cost of getting your pilot license varies based on whether you are going to use it for pleasure or business purposes. For example, a commercial pilot license costs between $2,500 and $5,000.
Finally, there are other expenses associated with becoming a pilot such as insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
Insurance costs vary depending on the type of aircraft you own. Fuel prices fluctuate depending on where you live.
Maintenance costs depend on the type of aircraft. This only comes with flying your planes, however. Flying commercially for a job actually comes with a pretty hefty salary.
We hope after reading this article you have gained more knowledge about how to become a pilot.
Most importantly, whether you are checking online or in person, there are ways of checking if a pilot has a valid license and before flying any plane, it is the responsibility of the airline to do so.
Without a valid license, safety is compromised, and you put people’s lives in danger in the sky. This is why it is so vital that a pilot has a valid pilot’s license. It ensures an all-around successful flight.