The FAA is empowered by the United States Congress to promote aviation safety by prescribing safety standards for civil aviation programs and pilots. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), formerly referred to as Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR), is one of the primary means of conveying these safety standards. [Figure 1-16] 14 CFR part 61 specifies the requirements to earn a pilot certificate and obtain additional WSC privileges if already a pilot. 14 CFR part 91 is General Operating and Flight Rules for pilots. The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) provides basic flight information and operation procedures for pilots to operate in the National Airspace System (NAS).
Basic Pilot Eligibility
Title 14 CFR, part 61 specifies the requirements to earn a pilot certificate. This regulation also states the pilot applicant must be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. The FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) establish the standards for the knowledge and skills necessary for the issuance of a pilot certificate. It is important to reference both of these documents to understand the knowledge, skills, and experience required to obtain a pilot certificate to fly a WSC aircraft. [Figure 1-17]
Pilot applicants and students flying solo must have a valid driver’s license or a current third-class medical certificate issued under 14 CFR part 67. In addition to a valid driver’s license or a medical certificate, each pilot must determine before each flight that he or she is medically fit to operate the aircraft in a safe manner. If using a valid driver’s license to exercise the privileges of a sport pilot certificate, then all restrictions on that driver’s license are also upheld. A current FAA third-class medical certificate must be obtained to exercise the privileges of a WSC private pilot certificate. Existing pilots, including previous student pilots, who have had their FAA medical certificate or most recent application denied, revoked, withdrawn, or suspended by the FAA, are not allowed to operate using a driver’s license until the denial on the airman record is cleared by having a valid third-class medical certificate issued.