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Commercial Pilot License

 

If you want to be paid for your expertise in flying, you must get commercial pilot license. All I can say right now is that it has huge list of requirements.

Approximate costs: $12,000
Approximate time: 1 month to eternity

Commercial Pilot Requirements:

General (Sec. 61.123):

To be eligible for a commercial pilot certificate, a person must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age;
  2. Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.
  3. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
    • Conducted the required ground training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.125 of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought; and
    • Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test that applies to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  4. Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.125 of this part;
  5. Receive the required training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
    • Conducted the training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought; and
    • Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.
  6. Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this subpart that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought before applying for the practical test;
  7. Pass the required practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought;
  8. Hold at least a private pilot certificate issued under this part or meet the requirements of §61.73; and
  9. Comply with the sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

Aeronautical knowledge (Sec. 61.125):

  1. General: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor, or complete a home-study course, on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  2. Aeronautical knowledge areas:
    • Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to commercial pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
    • Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
    • Basic aerodynamics and the principles of flight;
    • Meteorology to include recognition of critical weather situations, windshear recognition and avoidance, and the use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
    • Safe and efficient operation of aircraft;
    • Weight and balance computations;
    • Use of performance charts;
    • Significance and effects of exceeding aircraft performance limitations;
    • Use of aeronautical charts and a magnetic compass for pilotage and dead reckoning;
    • Use of air navigation facilities;
    • Aeronautical decision making and judgment;
    • Principles and functions of aircraft systems;
    • Maneuvers, procedures, and emergency operations appropriate to the aircraft;
    • Night and high-altitude operations;
    • Procedures for operating within the National Airspace System; and
    • Procedures for flight and ground training for lighter-than-air ratings.

Flight Proficiency (Sec. 61.127):

  1. General: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  2. Areas of operation:
    • For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport and seaplane base operations;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Ground reference maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Slow flight and stalls;
      • Emergency operations;
      • High-altitude operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
      • For an airplane category rating with a multiengine class rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport and seaplane base operations;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Slow flight and stalls;
      • Emergency operations;
      • Multiengine operations;
      • High-altitude operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a rotorcraft category rating with a helicopter class rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport and heliport operations;
      • Hovering maneuvers;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Emergency operations;
      • Special operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a rotorcraft category rating with a gyroplane class rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport operations;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Flight at slow airspeeds;
      • Emergency operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a powered-lift category rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport and heliport operations;
      • Hovering maneuvers;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Ground reference maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Slow flight and stalls;
      • Emergency operations;
      • High-altitude operations;
      • Special operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a glider category rating:
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport and gliderport operations;
      • Launches and landings;
      • Performance speeds;
      • Soaring techniques;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Slow flight and stalls;
      • Emergency operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a lighter-than-air category rating with an airship class rating:
      • Fundamentals of instructing;
      • Technical subjects;
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport operations;
      • Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Emergency operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.
    • For a lighter-than-air category rating with a balloon class rating:
      • Fundamentals of instructing;
      • Technical subjects;
      • Preflight preparation;
      • Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      • Preflight procedures;
      • Airport operations;
      • Launches and landings;
      • Performance maneuvers;
      • Navigation;
      • Emergency operations; and
      • Postflight procedures.

Aeronautical Experience (Sec. 61.129):

  1. For an airplane single-engine rating: Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must 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 --
      • 10 hours of instrument training of which at least 5 hours must be in a single-engine airplane;
      • 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, or is turbine-powered, or for an applicant seeking a single-engine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a seaplane that has flaps and a 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 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine airplane in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 3 hours in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.
    • 10 hours of solo flight in a single-engine airplane on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(1) of this part, which includes at least --
      • 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.
  2. For an airplane multiengine rating: Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating must 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)(2) of this part that includes at least --
      • 10 hours of instrument training of which at least 5 hours must be in a multiengine airplane;
      • 10 hours of training in a multiengine airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and controllable pitch propellers, or is turbine-powered, or for an applicant seeking a multiengine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a multiengine seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a multiengine airplane in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a multiengine airplane in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 3 hours in a multiengine airplane in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.
    • 10 hours of solo flight time in a multiengine airplane or 10 hours of flight time performing the duties of pilot in command in a multiengine airplane with an authorized instructor (either of which may be credited towards the flight time requirement in paragraph (b)(2) of this section), on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(2) of this part that includes at least --
      • 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 with a traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
  3. For a helicopter rating: Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating must log at least 150 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:
    • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters.
    • 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least --
      • 35 hours in helicopters; and
      • 10 hours in cross-country flight in helicopters.
    • 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(3) of this part that includes at least --
      • 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.
    • 10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(3) of this part, which includes at least --
      • One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern).
  4. For a gyroplane rating: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and gyroplane class rating must log at least 150 hours of flight time as a pilot (of which 5 hours may have been accomplished in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a gyroplane) that consists of at least:
    • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 25 hours must be in gyroplanes.
    • 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least --
      • 10 hours in gyroplanes; and
      • 3 hours in cross-country flight in gyroplanes.
    • 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(4) of this part that includes at least --
      • 5 hours of instrument training in an aircraft;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a gyroplane in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a gyroplane in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 3 hours in a gyroplane in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.
    • 10 hours of solo flight in a gyroplane on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(4) of this part, which includes at least --
      • One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern).
  5. For a powered-lift rating: Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a powered-lift category rating must 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 a powered-lift.
    • 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least --
      • 50 hours in a powered-lift; and
      • 50 hours in cross-country flight of which 10 hours must be in a powered-lift.
    • 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(5) of this part that includes at least --
      • 10 hours of instrument training, of which at least 5 hours must be in a powered-lift;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a powered-lift in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a powered-lift in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 3 hours in a powered-lift in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.
    • 10 hours of solo flight in a powered-lift on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(5) of this part, which includes at least --
      • 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.
  6. For a glider rating: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a glider category rating must log at least --
    • 25 hours of flight time as a pilot in a glider and that flight time must include at least 100 flights in a glider as pilot in command, including at least --
      • 3 hours of flight training in a glider or 10 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(6) of this part, including at least 3 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test; and
      • 2 hours of solo flight that include not less than 10 solo flights in a glider on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(6) of this part; or
    • 200 hours of flight time as a pilot in heavier-than-air aircraft and at least 20 flights in a glider as pilot in command, including at least --
      • 3 hours of flight training in a glider or 10 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(6) of this part including at least 3 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test; and
      • 5 solo flights in a glider on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(6) of this part.
  7. For an airship rating: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category and airship class rating must log at least 200 hours of flight time as a pilot, which includes at least the following hours:
    • 50 hours in airships.
    • 30 hours of pilot-in-command time in airships, which consists of at least --
      • 10 hours of cross-country flight time in airships; and
      • 10 hours of night flight time in airships.
    • 40 hours of instrument time, which consists of at least 20 hours in flight, of which 10 hours must be in flight in airships.
    • 20 hours of flight training in airships on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(7) of this part, which includes at least --
      • 3 hours in an airship in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test;
      • One cross-country flight of at least 1 hour in duration in an airship in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • One cross-country flight of at least 1 hour in duration in an airship in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical miles from the original point of departure.
    • 10 hours of flight training performing the duties of pilot in command with an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(7) of this part, which includes at least --
      • One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
      • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern).
  8. For a balloon rating: A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category and a balloon class rating must log at least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot, which includes at least the following requirements:
    • 20 hours in balloons;
    • 10 flights in balloons;
    • Two flights in balloons as the pilot in command; and
    • 10 hours of flight training that includes at least 10 training flights with an authorized instructor in balloons on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(8) of this part, which consists of at least --
      • For a gas balloon --
        • 2 training flights of 2 hours each with an authorized instructor in a gas balloon on the areas of operation appropriate to a gas balloon within 60 days prior to application for the rating;
        • 2 flights performing the duties of pilot in command in a gas balloon with an authorized instructor on the appropriate areas of operation; and
        • One flight involving a controlled ascent to 5,000 feet above the launch site.
      • For a balloon with an airborne heater --
        • 2 training flights of 1 hour each with an authorized instructor in a balloon with an airborne heater on the areas of operation appropriate to a balloon with an airborne heater within 60 days prior to application for the rating;
        • Two solo flights in a balloon with an airborne heater on the appropriate areas of operation; and
        • One flight involving a controlled ascent to 3,000 feet above the launch site.
  9. Permitted credit for use of a flight simulator or flight training device:
    • Except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section, an applicant who has not accomplished the training required by this section in a course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter may:
      • Credit a maximum of 50 hours toward the total aeronautical experience requirements for an airplane or powered-lift rating, provided the aeronautical experience was obtained from an authorized instructor in a flight simulator or flight training device that represents that class of airplane or powered-lift category and type, if applicable, appropriate to the rating sought; and
      • Credit a maximum of 25 hours toward the total aeronautical experience requirements of this section for a helicopter rating, provided the aeronautical experience was obtained from an authorized instructor in a flight simulator or flight training device that represents a helicopter and type, if applicable, appropriate to the rating sought.
    • An applicant who has accomplished the training required by this section in a course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter may:
      • Credit a maximum of 100 hours toward the total aeronautical experience requirements of this section for an airplane and powered-lift rating, provided the aeronautical experience was obtained from an authorized instructor in a flight simulator or flight training device that represents that class of airplane or powered-lift category and type, if applicable, appropriate to the rating sought; and
      • Credit a maximum of 50 hours toward the total aeronautical experience requirements of this section for a helicopter rating, provided the aeronautical experience was obtained from an authorized instructor in a flight simulator or flight training device that represents a helicopter and type, if applicable, appropriate to the rating sought.
    • Except when fewer hours are approved by the Administrator, an applicant for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane or a powered-lift rating who has satisfactorily completed an approved commercial pilot course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter need only have 190 hours of total to meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this section.

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