Someone with absolutely no prior flying experience or other pilot’s license must receive between 45 to 65 hours of combined instruction and solo practice time to be ready for a check ride, which is a combination oral and flight test with an official Federal Aviation Administration examiner. Before an instructor signs off on the check ride, a candidate must pass a written examination.
The written examination may be at a computerized testing facility and generally consists of multiple choice questions. Flight schools generally offer classroom and flight instruction, as well as solo flight practice time. Achieving a commercial pilot license or rating usually requires between 150 and 180 hours of combined instruction and flight time. Another way to train is to join the U.S. Armed Forces.
The U.S. Army trains warrant officers as aviators. However, to participate in the Warrant Officer Flight Training program, a candidate must first pass the Selection Instrument for Flight Training and earn a minimum score of 110 in the General Technical section of the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery. Once completed, a candidate must attend the Warrant Officer Candidate School and move on to the basic training component of the Warrant Officer Flight Training program.