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Private Pilot:
What to do after the Private Pilot Certificate

by Darren Smith, CFII/MEI
from Getting the Most from Your Flight Training

Congratulations on your accomplishment.  Now the real learning and flying begins.  Maybe you're looking to improve your skills, build new skills, or build time towards your commercial pilot certificate, these tips will give you the answers you are looking for.

Private Pilot Navigation:  General Info Private Pilot | Why its a good time to become a pilot | Why become a pilot? | What it means to be a pilot | Why Pilots are Amazing People | Getting Started & Training Sequence | FAQs about getting started | How to select a flight instructor | FAQs: Becoming a private pilot | FAA's Student Pilot Guide Advice to new student pilots | Information for Foreign Students | How to save money on your flight training | Thinking of an Airline Career? | Pilots are very special people by John KingAbout Checkrides | Private Pilot Ground School | Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus | Getting the Most From Your Ground School | Private Pilot Rating Requirements | What to do after the Private Pilot Certificate | Flight Training for Veterans | You Get What You Pay For

1.  Build cross country experience.  Not only will your pilot-in-command cross country experience give you experience with new airports, it will help you build your aeronautical decision making skills.  You'll further develop your talents in weather analysis and build precious experience that will count towards your instrument rating.

2.  Take an IFR Adventure to build hood time, cross country, and get a taste of instrument flying with real IFR.

3.  Get a float rating.  There's nothing more relaxing than a splash & go in a nearby lake.  I did mine at Jack Brown's Seaplane Base but a big list is available at seaplanes.org and you wont regret it. 

4.  Take the emergency maneuvers course, inverted of course.  You'll learn wake turbulence recovery not to mention some real fun aerobatic maneuvers at http://www.richstowell.com

5.  Get your instrument rating!  Your first 300 hours of experience are called "the killing hours" because of the large number of accidents that
      low time pilots get into.  Improve your odds with an accelerated instrument rating training to get your Instrument Rating.

6.  Get some endorsements:
      a.  Tailwheel endorsement - Fly into grass strips while improving your stick and rudder skills not to mention your crosswind technique

      b.  Complex endorsement - Take five hours of training with a flight instructor to learn about complex aircraft.  You'll need this for your                  commercial certificate. 

      c.  High Performance endorsement - Want to fly something with some real power?  To fly anything with an engine larger than 200HP,  
          you'll need a high performance endorsement.

7.  Get a multi engine rating.  Multi-engine flying really improves your aeronautical knowledge, systems knowledge, and flying skill.

8.  Expose yourself to other forms of aviation... Gyroplanes, Helicopters, Gliders are all great forms of transportation and will surely be your           next big "rush" as you expand your horizons.

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