There are numerous ways to answer this question, but in short, the answer depends upon your aviation goals and aspirations. However, for new students, the first step is usually obtain their Private Pilot certificate (license).
Upon becoming a licensed private pilot, you are then able to fly for pleasure, in good weather, and split costs with your passengers. Private pilots can fly during the day or at night, and may fly and single-engine, propeller driven aircraft.
After obtaining a Private Pilot certificate, many people choose to continue their education and becoming instrument rated. This allows a person to fly under Instrument Flight Rules, or “IFR,” for short. On top of being able to fly through, takeoff, and land during foggy or cloudy weather, many people enjoy the insurance benefits and added level of security that an instrument rating affords.
This rating allows a person to fly for a profit in a limited manner. Upon becoming a licensed commercial pilot, you can, for example, conduct aerial photography, sightseeing tours, pipeline surveying, and aerial banner towing operations for hire.
Certified Flight Instructor:
This allows a person to teach and provide training for others wishing to obtain their sport, recreational, private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificates.
Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument:
This allows a person to teach and provide training for others who wish to obtain their instrument rating.
* Please note that at this time, FTX Aviation staff can only conduct flight training for the Private, Instrument, or Flight Instructor-Instrument ratings due to aircraft limitations.
**Some individuals have inquired about the “sport” or “recreational” certificates. Further information on these certificates can be obtained by inquiring with the FAA or AOPA. FTX Aviation cannot conduct training for these ratings at this time.