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Airline Transport Pilot

 

The Airline Transport Pilot license or ATP is the highest level of aircraft pilot certification. By the time you have reached this level you are now a professional pilot. Those certified as Airline Transport Pilots are authorized to act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft in air carrier service, corporate flight department, or charter operator. Usually required for insurance reasons it signifies that you and you alone are ultimately responsible for the safety and well being of the passengers or cargo aboard your aircraft.


Eligibility Requirements: FAR 61.153

To be eligible for an airline transport pilot certificate, you must:

  1. Be at least 23 years of age.
  2. Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  3. Be of good moral character.
  4. Hold at least a commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating.
  5. Meet the aeronautical experience requirements that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  6. Pass the knowledge test.
  7. Pass the practical test.

To exercise the privileges of an airline transport pilot certificate, you must hold a current first-class medical certificate. For more information on medical certificates click here.

FAR 61.159 - Aeronautical Experience: Airplane Category Rating

If you are applying for an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane category and class rating, you must have at least 1 500 hours of total time as a pilot that includes at least:

  1. 500 hours of cross-country flight time.
  2. 100 hours of night flight time. (If you have performed at least 20 night takeoffs and landings to a full stop, you may substitute each additional night takeoff and landing to a full stop for 1 hour of night flight time. However, not more than 25 hours of night flight time may be credited in this manner!)
  3. 75 hours of instrument flight time in actual or simulated instrument conditions. (A maximum of 25 hours, or if the training was accomplished in accordance with Part 142, a maximum of 50 hours of simulated instrument time in an approved flight simulator or approved flight training device that represents an airplane may be credited.)
  4. 250 hours of flight time in an airplane as a pilot in command, which includes at least 100 hours cross-country flight time and 25 hours of night flight time.
  5. Not more than 100 hours of the total aeronautical experience requirements for this rating may be obtained in accordance with FAA Part 142 in an approved flight simulator or approved flight training device that represents an airplane.

    FAR 61.161 Aeronautical Experience: Rotorcraft Category and Helicopter Class Rating

    If you are applying for an airline transport pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating, you must have at least 1 200 hours of total time as a pilot that includes at least:

    1. 500 hours of cross-country flight time.
    2. 100 hours of night flight time, of which 15 hours are in helicopters.
    3. 200 hours of flight time in helicopters, which includes at least 75 hours as a pilot in command.
    4. 75 hours of instrument flight time in actual or simulated instrument conditions, of which at least 50 hours are obtained in flight with at least 25 hours in helicopters as pilot in command. (A maximum of 25 hours, or if the training was accomplished in accordance with FAA Part 142, a maximum of 50 hours of simulated instrument time in an approved flight simulator or approved flight training device that represents a helicopter may be credited.)

    Cost for ATP certificate:
    The costs for the ATP license vary. If you choose to get the ATP on your own you need to budget at least 5-10 hours of flight time in a multi engine aircraft. Some companies and flight schools offer a package deal for obtaining your ATP.

    Books on Airline Transport Pilot

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