Give the gift of flying

How old do you have to be to fly yourself?

How old do you have to be to fly yourself? Blog

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Much younger than driving a car. Did you know that?

First flying lesson: from 8 years

Flying is a little different from driving lessons. This is because a training plane has full controls on the left and right. When you have a flying lesson, the instructor is always the captain and can fully control the plane.

That is why there is no minimum age. But many flight schools keep 8 years as a lower limit for a first flying lesson. Because if the student is much younger they are often too small to reach the pedals and look over the dashboard.

First solo: from 16 years of age

If you are really going to do your flying training then you have to start flying alone ("solo"). This is allowed from the age of 16.

Most student pilots fly their first solo about a year after starting flight training. Therefore, it does not make much sense to start long before your 15th birthday.

Examination: from 17 years of age

You can take the exam for a pilot's licence from the age of 17. That is still earlier than getting your car licence. Isn't that special?

More information

More information about our flying lessons, parachuting, flight simulations and fear of flying courses:

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Do you want to know more about flying?

Then download our theory book "How an aeroplane flies" completely free of charge. This booklet describes in an accessible way the background of a first flying lesson. So that before or after your lesson you can read back what happened around you. You will read about, among other things:

  • How lift is created and thus how an aeroplane can fly
  • How to make a turn with an aeroplane
  • What the traffic rules on the ground and in the air are
  • And what all the buttons and gauges in the cockpit mean

You can also order the book as a real book on or give it as a present with a flying lesson.

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About Eveline van den Boom

The author of this article is Eveline van den Boom. In 2006, she received her first flying lesson as a birthday present; a beautiful flight over Rotterdam. That tasted like more!

In 2010, she got her PPL licence in Lelystad. In 2011, an aircraft was purchased: an Aero AT-3. This aircraft is still flying in the fleet with callsign PH-EVB.

She wrote the theory books "Theory of Flying" and "Theory helicopter flying". These can be ordered with your flying lesson and are also separately for sale on

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