For Solo Flight:
You can fly solo with a ‘Student Pilot Certificate’ as soon as your instructor thinks you are ready and endorses your ‘Student Pilot Certificate’ for solo flight. Your instructor will also put several endorsements in your log book showing the training you have completed prior to solo flight.
To carry passengers as a Sport Pilot:
To carry a passenger you need at least a Sport Pilot certificate for the category and class of aircraft you will fly. To get your Sport Pilot license, you take a Practical Test, also known as a check ride. The test consists of an oral portion and a flying portion. To get ready for your checkride you must:
Pass an FAA written test
Complete 15 hours of flight time with an instructor including 2 hours of cross country training
Complete 5 hours of solo flight time
Get the required endorsements from your flight instructor
Fill out an online application FAA Form 8710-11 at iacra.faa.gov
Have your instructor electronically sign your application
Your Sport Pilot certificate lets you carry one passenger in a light sport aircraft, sunrise to sunset, up to 10,000 feet. You must stay out of Class B, C and D airspace unless you take additional training and get an endorsement for those airspaces. If you want to fly above 10,000 feet or at night, you need your Private Pilot certificate.
Private Pilot requirements:
Pass FAA written test for Private Pilot
20 hours of flight time with an instructor which includes 3 hours of cross country flight training and three takeoffs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower
–If you want night privileges, 3 hours of night flight are required
10 hours solo flight, 5 of which must be solo cross country, including one solo cross country over 100 nautical miles with landings at a minimum of 3 points, and a minimum of 50nm straight line distance between two of those points. 61.107 (b)(10)
For example, KDTS to KJKA (63nm), JKA to PNS (27nm), PNS to DTS (37nm) exceeds the requirement at 127nm. A shorter route is K54J to KMAI (50nm), KMAI to K1J0 (22nm), K1J0 to K54J (29nm) for a total of 102nm.