Wondering how to become a commercial pilot? If you set your mind on filling the requirements, there’s not much holding you back.
Before you start making plans, consider what kind of pilot you want to be. Airline pilots are the most popular option, but there are a number of other ways to become a commercial pilot.
Different pilots undergo different training and requirements to hold their positions. We’ll explain to you how to become a commercial airline pilot.
How to Become a Commercial Pilot
A “commercial” pilot is any person who can legally charge money for their flights. Most people only consider airline pilots when they think of the profession. It’s important to think about the different options that you have, though.
Not all commercial pilots can fly in any way they want. An airline pilot, for example, is a commercial pilot, but not all commercial pilots are certified to fly for an airline. Other commercial pilots can fly cargo planes, give tours, become instructors, and more.
Before you get certified in any of these areas, there are a few qualifications that you must meet.
In order to become a commercial pilot, you must be at least 18 years of age. In the United States, you must also read, write, and speak the English language. You must also have a private pilot certificate.
You also need experience. The basic experience requirement is 250 hours of flight time to be a commercial pilot. It’s likely that you already have a medical certificate.
If not, you must get one. Commercial pilots must earn a 2nd class aviation medical certificate before they can fly. You can take the commercial training before the medical certificate in some cases, but it’s better to get the certification done before you take the training.
FAA Written Exam
You’re required to complete a written exam that’s similar to the one for a private pilot’s license. Once schedule your test, make sure to study up and pass the test. That goes without saying, but many people assume they know what they’re doing and fail to study.
They also fail the test. Even if you understand a specific plane really well, there are elements to commercial flying that you have not yet experienced. Be sure to study hard and pass the test the first time.
You may need to look over a flight training guide or two while you’re studying. It never hurts to brush up on things you may have already gone over.
Commercial Pilot Training
Once you’ve gotten the particulars out of the way, you’ll be set to start taking your commercial pilot training. This training is more rigorous and precise than private pilot training, so be ready for a demanding course.
Before completion, you’ll need to undergo 250 flight hours. Within that time you’ll need 100 pilot-in-command hours and 50 cross-country hours. Beyond that, you’ll need 10 instrument training hours and the same amount of time in a complex aircraft.
Find a Position
Not many people know how to become a commercial pilot. It follows that the applicant pool for positions is relatively small.
That also means that applicants are highly trained, and the hiring process is selective. Touch up your resume, prepare for the interview, and start your career as a commercial pilot!