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Commercial Pilot Program

A commercial pilot's license is one of the first steps taken by individuals that want to learn how to fly professionally. Having this license, means that you can be paid to pilot a plane carrying passengers or property.


To obtain a commercial pilot certificate or license, the FAA requires that he or she:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age

  2. Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English

  3. Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate. Later, if your flying requires a commercial pilot certificate, you must hold a second-class medical certificate.

  4. Hold at least a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. A commercial pilot is presumed to have an instrument rating. If not, his/her commercial pilot certificate will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 NM or at night.

  5. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor.

  6. Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70 percent or better. 

  7. Accumulate appropriate flight experience and instruction. A total of 250 hours of flight time is required.

  8. Successfully complete a practical (flight) test given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or designated pilot examiner and conducted as specified in the FAA's Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards.

Aeronautical Experience

Becoming a commercial pilot means you'll spend a lot of time doing what you love best...flying! A person who applies for a private pilot certificate with a single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time, which includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training.


The training must include at least:

  • Three hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

  •  Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, three hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes:

        (i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

        (ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

  • Three hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

  • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

  •  10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least:

        (i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

        (ii) One solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of           the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

        (iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with             an operating control tower.

Commercial Pilot Cost

  • Aircraft rental: $165/hr. (Piper PA28R-201 Arrow ) Instruction: $60/hr.

  • For the commercial rating, up to 50 of the 250 total hours required can be flown in our full motion REDBIRD FMX simulator.


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