Commercial License Information
The commercial license is the next step for private pilots that
aspire to fly for a living, whether teaching as a CFI, or flying for hire.
Typical jobs for a commercial license would include flying traffic watch,
pipeline patrol, or teaching flying after you get a CFI rating. In order
to fly charter or for the airlines, you'll need to go one step further and get
the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license.
Commercial Pilot Requirements
You must be 18 years old and be able to read, write, and speak English
fluently. It's recommended that you get your instrument rating before the
commercial license; otherwise your commercial certificate will be endorsed with
a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on flights beyond 50 NM or at
night. Prior to taking your checkride, you'll need to take the FAA Commercial
written exam and have accumulated:
- 250 hours total flight time
- 100 hours flight time as pilot in command
- 50 hours of cross country flight time as pilot in command
Your training for the commercial must include 20 hours of dual training in
the commercial areas of operation including at least:
You'll also need 10 hours of solo flight in a single-engine airplane training in
the areas of operation required for a single-engine rating, which includes at
- 10 hours of instrument training of which at least 5 hours must be in a
- 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear,
flaps, and controllable pitch propeller
- One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine airplane
in day-VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more
than 100 NM
- One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine
airplane in night-VFR conditions, consisting of a straight-line distance of
more than 100 NM
- 3 hours in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test
within the 60 days preceding the test
- One cross-country flight of not less than 300 NM total distance, with
landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line
distance of at least 250 NM
- 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
You must pass the commercial pilot knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.
The test is 100 multiple choice questions from the FAA's
databank of about 700 questions. You can prepare for it through home study with books or DVDs.
The final step is
the practical flight test with an FAA-designated examiner. The exam contents is defined
by the FAA's Practical Test Standard (PTS), and it includes both an oral exam and a
need a complex airplane for your commercial training and checkride. We
have both Piper Arrows and a Cessna 177RG in which you can train. Give us
a call today to get started!
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