Pilots' Licenses Collection

Pilot's licenses became a requirement in the United States after the 1926 Air Commerce Act, however, private organizations issued their own licenses prior to this date. Prominent international organizations, such as the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), issued licenses to aviators around the world. The FAI was founded in 1905 through the collaboration of aviation clubs from eight countries, those being France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. These licenses often served to allow individuals to participate in aeronautic events endorsed by these organizations. Licenses were available for different vehicles with licenses available across various disciplines, with examples being separate documents for balloonists and heavier-than-air pilots. Military organizations often had their own licenses with their own standards. Including examples of licenses issued by various international organizations, the collection provides insight into the types of license that were issued to military and civilian pilots during the first half of the twentieth century.