FAA – PPL written exam

What you need to know about the PPL written exam ?

Attaining the status of a commercial pilot is a milestone. As a commercial pilot, you will be able to fly for compensation or hire. This could include flying people, cargo, or in a variety of other capacities. Many commercial pilots pursue careers as flight instructors, charter pilots, and/or with the airlines.

As the regulation says in the §61.103 (d) you will need to:

Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105 of this part

61.105 : Aeronautical knowledge

  • (a) General. A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor, or complete a home-study course, on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  • (b) Aeronautical knowledge areas.
    1. Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
    2. Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
    3. Use of the applicable portions of the “Aeronautical Information Manual” and FAA advisory circulars;
    4. Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;
    5. Radio communication procedures;
    6. Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
    7. Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;
    8. Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;
    9. Weight and balance computations;
    10. Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;
    11. Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;
    12. Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and
    13. Preflight action that includes—
      1. How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and
      2. How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.

To pass the written exam you will need to receive an endorsement from a CFI.
Most of the flight school / instructor will ask you to do 2 tests with a score more than 85% before to give you the endorsement.

All FAA written tests are multiple choice questionnaires and are entirely computerized.
The D-day you will have 3 hours for 100 questions and a minimum score of 70%.
Depending of the center you will do the test you will be able to bring all the stuff you need including a non-programmable calculator.

How to train ?

Where to take the exam ?

• I dont need to tell you than you can do it in the USA in a approuved center.
Please find the list on the pdf.
Expect between $100 and $150 and there are usually no delay there… (if you fail the test, you can do it again 1h later)

Source: https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/

• You also can do it in Flight Safety at Paris Le Bourget

The FAA test center is only open the WEDNESDAYS FROM 13:00 TO 17:00 and the THURSDAYS FROM 9.30 TO 17.30. You can expect a delay of 3 months and the fees are 210 €


Maud Duboscq – DOS Assistant – FAA/TSA Administrator
FlightSafety International • Paris-Le Bourget Learning Center • Zone Aviation d’Affaires
• 1300 avenue de l’Europe • BP 25 • 93352 Le Bourget Cedex • France
Tel: 33-(0) • Fax: 33-(0)
maud.duboscq@flightsafety.com • flightsafety.com

To schedule an exam, call, fill and send the following documents to Maud Dubosq


Flight Center at Paris Le Bourget is not an approved center any more.

After your writen ?

The written exam is valid for two years. If you do not take or pass the practical part / check ride during this period, it will expire and you will have to retake it. No prorogation is possible.

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