What You Can Do with a Private Pilot License

Nov 25, 2022

With a private pilot’s license (PPL), you can take your recreation and career in all sorts of uncharted directions and to exciting new heights!

If you haven’t yet pondered all the cool things you can do in a helicopter or plane once you’ve gotten your pilot certificate — buckle up. We’re sharing some of the top hobby and professional pursuits you can do with an aircraft as a private pilot.

private pilot certificate

How Do You Get a Private Pilot Certificate?

First things first: What’s the path to pilothood?

It depends on what sort of aircraft you want to fly, the type of PPL and endorsements you’re after, and which training program you do. However, your pilot certificate program will map out a course for you to satisfy all the requirements.

In the US, you’ll have to complete ground school and a certain minimum number of flight hours. You’ll also need to be at least 17 years old, be able to communicate in English, and have a valid third-class medical certificate.

You can take a leisurely barrel roll through the details with these resources:


private pilot

So Many Things You Can Do with Private Pilots Licenses!

Having your pilot certificate opens up whole new worlds to you. You can use your private pilot’s license to have fun, to get things done in a different way, or even make some money.

Below are some ways you can put that PPL to solid use. Items with ($) are things you can do and potentially legally earn income from with a private pilot license. Particular activities might have additional requirements or restrictions — so you’ll have to see what’s permitted with your license and in your location.

Enjoy Personal & Business Travel

As a private pilot, you’re free to roam about seeking adventures. You’re allowed to do cross-country or international flying. You can fly yourself on vacations or business trips. For those work-related jaunts, you’re even allowed to bring co-workers with you.

Take Friends & Family Up

Do you like playing tour guide? If so, this might just be the role for you! With your private pilot certificate, you can fly your favorite folks to see the sights from above. You may be giving them a unique experience they might not otherwise get to have.

Do Aerial Photography

If you’re a shutterbug, picture this. You can go up and click away to your soul’s content. You’re sure to get tons of amazing shots and create some outstanding memories. 

Make a Difference by Volunteering

No matter what cause has captured your heart — there’s probably an aviation opportunity there. For example, you could help with search and rescue missions, animal rescue and transport, and education and outreach at schools.

Join the Civil Air Patrol

The CAP is a federally-supported public service organization. Its members assist with disaster relief, emergency services, and homeland security. It also offers aerospace education and leadership training programs.

Participate in Exhibitions

Many towns have air shows or other events at which aircraft might be needed or featured. This can be a truly special way to get active in your area and give back to your community.

Attend an Aviation Festival

These are like meetups for aviation enthusiasts. They’re held all over the country and are a terrific chance to connect with other flying fanatics. Swap stories, check out interesting gear, hone skills, and watch demonstrations.

Fly Aerobatics

One of the advanced endorsements you can work towards as a private pilot is the one for aerobatics. With this badge, you can do all sorts of hot-dog maneuvers that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Tow Stuff 

You don’t need a commercial license to tow banners and gliders. As long as you aren’t being paid to do these gigs, you’re good to go tow to your heart’s content.

Take a “Flying-Related” Job ($)

While this isn’t a means of padding your bank account by flying, it’s still a legitimate consideration. There are certain non-flight positions that require or greatly benefit from you having a PPL. Think or ground school instructor. Going into the military is another option.

Become a Commercial Pilot ($)

Your private pilot’s license is a stepping stone to your commercial pilot’s certification. With a CPL — a lot of doors open. There are various kinds and levels of commercial licenses but some of the eventual paths you could go down include: commercial airline pilot, professional sightseeing pilot, cargo air ambulance pilot, and flight instructor.

private pilot license

Onwards & Upwards — Get Your Pilot Certificate with Pureflight!

Without a doubt, this diverse list of possibilities has your mental propellers spinning. You’re envisioning yourself in the pilot’s seat of a small plane or helicopter….

The question is: Are you ready to get your private pilot license training off the ground?

With Pureflight, it’s a no-brainer. We can help you move from having an aviation dream to living an aviation reality. Our highly-rated training programs make getting your PPL straightforward and take less time than you might think. Contact us today to get started!

Get Your License Today

With decades of experience training pilots and working with industry partners, Pureflight has sharpened and streamlined its aviation training programs to provide a truly one-of-a-kind training experience for our students.

Operating an intentional fleet with unrivaled maintenance quality and facilities, we accept student loans and VA funding and provide high-quality, personalized training for flight students from around the world.