Commercial Pilot

Ready to start making some money with your flying? Then you’re going to need a Commercial Pilot License.

Basically, a CPL allows you to be hired and paid for your flying. There’s lots you can do with a CPL: You can become a Certificated Flight Instructor. You can fly rides and tours. You can become a crop duster or even a fire bomber. You can tow banners, fly traffic watch or aerial photography, and mapping.  You can fly corporate aircraft, including jets for hire. You can do anything except fly airliners carrying passengers. (For that you’ll need an Airline Transport Pilot license, an ATP.)

CPL’s are divided into multi engine and single engine types.  You can complete your training in either or both; it depends on what you would like to do with your Pilot Certificate on completion. If you want to move toward an Airline Job then a Multi Engine Airplane is what you should train in, and you will wind up with a CPL, Multi engine Land Airplane license.  Conversely, if you take your check ride in a single engine aircraft, you’ll get a CPL, SEL Airplane license.  If you get a CPL, SEL, you can’t do CPL operations in a MEL airplane, and vice versa.  We happen to have both multi engine and single engine aircraft, so you can do either, or both.  (You don’t want to limit yourself.)




To obtain a CPL, you must be able to read, speak, and understand English, must be at least 18 years old and hold a current FAA Medical Certificate and a Private pilot Certificate.

You must also have logged

– 100 hours as pilot-in-command,

– 20 hours of VFR cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command, including a cross-country flight totaling at least 300 NM,with full-stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodromes of departure

– 10 hours of instrument training,

– 5 hours of night flying including one cross-country flight, and

– 5 solo take-offs and 5 landings 5 hours in a complex airplane.

You have to have at least 250 hours logged by the time you take your check ride.

If you don’t want any limitations on your license, you should also have and Instrument Rating, and you should take your check ride in a complex aircraft.  (We have those.)

The CPL written test is basically just a Private Pilot test with additional questions about what you can or cannot do with your CPL and more in depth questions on weight & balance, aircraft performance, etc. The oral exam on the practical test (check ride) is basically the same.  The flight portion of the check ride is flown to higher standards than the Private Pilot check ride, and there are four new maneuvers to learn: Chandelle, Lazy 8, 8’s Around Pylons, and Precision Landings.  While very few check rides are actually fun, with a little training and practice, it should be an easy pass.