As a commercial pilot, you can be paid to fly an airplane. There are a lot of rules and regulations involved with being a commercial pilot because while you can finally be paid to fly, you have to make sure that you are qualified for each and every flight that you want to be paid for.
The completion time of the commercial pilot certificate will vary based on scheduling, weather, and competency level of the student. More frequent training will result a better skill retention level and a faster completion time. Therefore, students training 1-2 times per week should expect 3-6 months to complete the requirements, whereas students training 3-4 times per week can expect 4-6 weeks to complete training.
STAGE I – Commercial maneuvers
This stage will introduce you to the commercial maneuvers. You will have seen most of these maneuvers in your private training but now the standard is higher. There are a few new maneuvers introduced as well.
STAGE II – Cross Country Flight Experience
Time to see the world both with and without your instructor!
STAGE III – Complex aircraft and Night Flying
The introduction of the complex aircraft and towered night landings.
STAGE IV – CHECKRIDE
The end of your training will consist of preparation for your practical test. You will work with your instructor on all of the required ground knowledge items and flight maneuvers until you can meet the standards of the practical test. The practical test is taken with an FAA designated examiner and will consist of an oral exam and a flight test. Your instructor will insure that you are completely prepared not only to pass the checkride but that you are an overall safe and competent pilot.
FAA REQUIREMENTS (FAR 61.123)
To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Receive ground training and pass FAA written test.
- Receive the required flight training and a logbook endorsement from your instructor, certifying that you have met the requirements.
- Be at least a private pilot
AERONAUTICAL (Flight) EXPERIENCE (61.129)
(a)Log at least 250 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:
- 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes.
- 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least -
- 50 hours in airplanes; and
- 50 hours in cross-country flight of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes.
- 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in § 61.127(b)(1) of this part that includes at least -
- Ten hours of instrument training Five hours of the 10 hours required must be in a single engine airplane;
- 10 hours of training in a complex aircraft
- One 2-hour cross country flight (Day) that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
- One 2-hour cross country flight (night) that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
- Three hours in a single-engine airplane with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test.
- Ten hours of solo flight time in a single engine airplane or 10 hours of flight time performing the duties of pilot in command in a single engine airplane with an authorized instructor on board (either of which may be credited towards the flight time requirement under paragraph (a)(2) of this section), on the areas of operation listed under § 61.127(b)(1) that include -
- One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point. However, if this requirement is being met in Hawaii, the longest segment need only have a straight-line distance of at least 150 nautical miles; and
- 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
- 110 Hours Flight Time (Cessna 152) $11,660.00*
- 10 Hours Flight Time (Beach Sierra) $1,780.00*
- 55 Hours Flight Instruction $3,025.00*
- Pre/Post Flight Briefings $605.00*
- Jeppesen Inst/Comm Pilot Kit $305.00
- FAA Written Exam $165.00
- FAA Practical Test $500.00**
Minimum Cost for Commercial Pilot Rating $18,040.00
- The ground instruction times is approximate and depends on the knowledge level of the student.
- The number of hours for the commercial license varies greatly from student to student.
* The above costs are based on FAA Part 141 minimums.
** These costs are averages and vary depending on Aviation Medical Examiner or Designated Pilot Examiner.
These prices are a guideline to approximate total flight costs. They are based on current (January 2017) aircraft prices in the lease expensive aircraft suitable for that type of training. All times are based on FAA Part 141 minimums, or an average from past students. Everyone learns at a different pace, therefore, these times are not guaranteed for everyone.