Types of Pilot Licenses and Pilot License Requirements

Types of FAA Pilot License Certificates

pilot license school

When making the decision to go for a pilot license to become a pilot, there are a great number of factors that you should take into consideration before starting the journey to becoming a pilot. The entire process involves a considerable amount of money, effort, and time being invested by the student pilot and should not be taken lightly.

If you decide to go for a more advanced pilot license like the CPL or ATP, the the amount of time, money, and effort increases substantially. Hence, it is important that you take this decision of which type of pilot license you would like to obtain with great care. Every candidate wants to be sure that they are making the best decision while receiving  their money’s worth in professional pilot training. Therefore, looking for the deal that is the cheapest is usually not the ideal option when it comes to selecting the best flight school or certified flight instructor for your pilot training.

All that you want to make sure is that you are able to learn quality skills while completing the pilot training in the shortest amount of time and for the cheapest amount of money as possible. Getting a pilot license requires mandatory flight hours of varied flying experience, with each type of pilot license having different prerequisites that need to be met before going for the pilot license exam and check ride.

Please read on to find out more about the FAA requirements for each type of FAA pilot certificate .

student pilots Student Pilot License-

This is the very first type of pilot license you will receive in order to be able to start flight training.

The requirements to get a a student pilot license are as follows-

– At least 16 years old, 14 for balloon pilots, and glider pilots.

– Be able to speak and understand the English language fluently.

– You have to also go to an FAA approved medical examiner to receive a FAA medical certificate stating that you are fit to fly.


fly-a-plane-private pilot licensePrivate Pilot License-

The very first pilot license that you will be working towards is the FAA private pilot license certificate.

There are several different types of pilot licenses under the GA pilot license classification. Recreational pilot license, sport pilot license, glider pilot license, and the full blown private pilot license certificate.Each type of GA pilot license has different criteria that have to be met before receiving any variation of the private pilot license a.k.a. GA pilot license.

Private Pilot License Requirements-

– 16 for gliders and 17 years old for engine powered airplanes

– At least 35-40 hours of varied flight training. Most student pilots train for upwards of 60+ hours.

– Pass the FAA medical and eye exams-

– Pass the FAA written knowledge exams

– Pass the FAA check ride.

– CFI endorsed log book and letter of certification.

Click Here to Read More About Our FAA Private Pilot License Training Course

CPL flight school- 250-flight-hours

commercial pilot schoolCommercial Pilot License Requirements-

In order for you to become a full-fledged commercial pilot you must satisfy the following FAA Requirements

1. To be eligible as a commercial pilot you must be at least eighteen years old.

2. You must be literate and speak fluent English in order to pass a written, oral examination, and communicate with airport towers.

3. You must have attained at least a license in private piloting or full-filled the requirements in FAR 61.73 list of requirements.

4. Another requirement is that you must pass both the FAA knowledge / practical test and Check ride. The flight instructor must also have certified the applicant as being prepared to take the knowledge test based on class rating and air craft category they are seeking, according to FAR 61.125.

5. One must have completed a minimum of either 190 or 250 flight hours of varied flight experience depending on the set of FAA regulations he/she has applied under, Part 61 or Part 141.

6. Holding at least a second class FAA medical certificate.

7. You must have a pilot log book endorsed by an FAA certified flight instructor.

Single Engine and Multi Engine commercial pilot license requirements

There are several different types of commercial pilot licenses that you can obtain from the FAA. There is the single engine commercial pilot license and a multi-engine/landing commercial pilot license. Most CPL training courses usually include Instrument rating courses so the CPL can fly above clouds, at night, and/or during inclement weather. Most CPL holders also go for their CFI, CFII, and MEI instructor pilot ratings along with their CPL as they can immediately start a pilot career by being  able to train student pilots while gaining more flight time towards their ATP pilot license.  These are the different variations of CPL certificates that a pilot can obtain according to their specific piloting goals from a FAA commercial flight school.

You must achieve the following FAA CPL requirements:

Commercial Single Engine Pilot License

1. One must log 250 hours of flight time

2. An applicant must also spend about 100 flight hours in a powered aircraft whereby 50 hours must be done in a single engine airplane.

3. At least 100 hours of flight time piloting in command which contains 50 hours in a single engine aircraft and 50 hours over a cross country flight about the same engine aircraft.

4. Another necessity is that you simply do at least 20 hours within the various aspects of IR, VFR, and varied flight operations, including:

At the very least 10 hours of airplane instruments training, of which,  five hours needs to be completed in a single engine airplane

At the very least 10 hours of learning in an airplane that has retractable landing gears, flaps, along with a controlled frequency propeller or an airplane that is wind turbine powered.

At the least 2 hours of flight in the cross-country flight under VFR conditions which might be:

At the very least 100 nautical miles in the straight range distance by point associated with departure.

At least 2 hours of flight in the cross-country flight under VFR nights conditions that contain a long distance of 100 nautical miles covered in the straight range from stage of departure.

5. You should also do more than 10 hours of solo flights in a single engine airplane consisting of not less than 300 nautical miles covered in a cross-country flight and 5 hours in VFR night conditions, and 10 successful take-offs and landings in flight pattern at an airport that has an FAA controlled tower.

CMEL- multi engine commercial pilot licenseCommercial Multi Engine Pilot License-

A Commercial pilot multi-engine rating applies to a FAA commercial pilot license certificate that requires a private pilot airplane rating, commercial single engine  airplane rating, instrument rating, and a multi-engine class rating in order to receive the CMEL (Commercial Multi-Engine Landing). The multi engine commercial pilot license requires that each candidate log at least 250 hours of varied flight time, including the following types of varied flight time-

– 100 flight hours in powered aircraft. 50 of the flight hours need to be in an engine powered airplane.

– 100  flight hours hours as pilot-in-command (PIC), including— 50 hours in airplanes, 50 hours in cross-country flight hours with at least 10 hours being flown in an engine powered airplane.

– 20 hours of flight training on the areas of operation listed in FARs §61.127(b)(2) — 10 hours of instrument rating(IR) pilot training with use of view obstruction device while executing pilot training for- altitude instrument flying, partial flight deck panel skills, recovery from unusual flight altitudes and conditions, and tracking navigational systems. At least 5 out of the 10 flight training hours must  be completed in a multi-engine airplane;

-10 hours of flight training in a multi-engine airplane. The dual engine aircraft should  either have a retractable landing gear,  flaps,  remote pitch propellers, or is run by jet turbines.

– Must complete a 2hr. cross country flight in a multi-engine aircraft in the day time. This CMEL requirement makes the student pilot fly 100 plus miles from their departure location.

– Must complete a  2hr. cross country flight in a multi-engine aircraft  at night. This CMEL requirement makes the student pilot fly 100 miles from their point of departure while doing so at night.

– The student pilot must complete 3+ hours of flight training time with their CFI in preparation for the CPL FAA tests and CPL check ride. These 3 hours have to be done within 60 days before taking the CPL/CMEL exams and check ride.

– The CPL candidate must also complete 10 hours of solo flight  training time in a multi-engine aircraft or 10 hours of PIC flight training time in a multi-engine aircraft with a certified flight instructor and in compliance with FAA  §61.127, including-

-A 300 nautical mile cross-country flight. This flight training requirement requires that the student pilot executes 3 landings; and

–  CMEL student pilots also need to conduct 5 hours of flight training at night in VFR conditions. This flight training mission requires that the student pilot  executes 10 takeoffs and 10 landings in flight traffic patterns at an airport with a FAA tower.

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The last type of pilot license or pilot certificate is the  coveted “Airline Transport Pilot License”-

airline transport pilot licenseAirline Transport Pilot License-

ATP Pilot License Eligibility Requirements-

In order to qualify to become an airline transport pilot, a person must:

– Be at least 21-23 years of age.

– For ATP candidates that are 23 years old- Please refer to FARs §§61.159, 61.161, or 61.163,

– For ATP candidates that are 21 years old- Please refer to FARs §61.160

– The ATP candidate must be able to read, write, and speak the English language fluently.

– The airline transport certificate candidate must be presentable, professional, and display strong moral character.

The ATP certificate candidate must meet the following criteria-

– Candidate must have a Commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

– If the ATP candidate was in the military, refer to FARs§61.73 for Military pilots, their experience, and requirements needed to obtain an airline transport pilot license.

– Foreign ATP certificate holders; the ATP certificate must have been issued through a country that has pilot training programs and governing bodies that are approved by the International Civil Aviation, of which, the ATP can have no geographical limits.

– All ATP candidates must complete all of their flight training;  ground school, mandatory flight training hours, aircraft type ratings courses, IR/ME ratings, and receive their ATP graduation certificates from an FAA approved flight school as specified in §61.156 before they can schedule the FAA knowledge test.

– Pass all FAA knowledge tests according to FARs §61.155(c)

– Pass all of the related FAA practical tests on the flight operation listed in §61.157(e).

– The ATP candidate must also pass the FAA medical/EYE exams to receive a 1st Class FAA medical certificate clearing them to fly as an airline transport pilot.

Dual ATP and EASA Pilot Training Course-

Epic Flight Academy offers a unique program for student pilots who want to to become FAA/EASA dual certified. This program is approved by the EASA and allows the student pilot to complete the majority of their flight training, ratings, ground training, additional flight hours, and airline training all in one  multi engine commercial pilot training program. After the student pilot graduates from the dual FAA/EASA commercial pilot program then all they have to do is take a quick EASA Instrument Rating Conversion Course to complete the entire  FAA/EASA flight training program. Once complete, the student pilot can fly almost anywhere  in the world as a professional pilot.

Dual FAA - EASA pilot license training course

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About our US Flight School-

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Epic Flight Academy-  international flight academy that has been training pilots from all across the globe for over 15 years. Specializing in accelerated pilot training programs at our FAA approved flight school USA: private pilot licenses (PPL), commercial pilot licenses (CPL), Instrument Ratings(IR) and ME ratings, certified flight instructors (CFI, CFII, MEI), and airline transport pilot licenses (ATP).


How to Become A Commercial Airline Transport Pilot

How to Become A Commercial Airline Pilot – ATP

how to become a commercial airline pilot

Interested in starting a commercial airline transport pilot career?

If you have ever dreamed about becoming a professional ATP pilot, you may want to strongly consider taking action now to get your ATP pilot license. The reason, their is a severe ATP pilot shortage worldwide and even more so in the USA, of which, opens the door of opportunity for people interested in starting a career as an ATP pilot.

Continue reading to find out more about the steps involved in becoming a commercial airline transport pilot.

Step 1-
Preparation & Research
If you are interested in becoming a pilot, gaining as much knowledge as possible about the in’s and out’s of flying, FAA regulations, pilot training, flight schools, and pilot careers would be highly advisable as the preparation and research will all contribute to how successful you will be with your commercial airline pilot career.

Furthermore and more specifically, conduct some research on the requirements needed for becoming a commercial airline pilot, the lifestyle of a commercial airline pilot, and the different career
paths a commercial airline pilot can take. This will allow you to fully
understand what commercial airline pilots have to endure as part of this particular exciting pilot career path.

After you have conducted your research, get your hands on any and all available pilot school training materials, go online and find pilot training resources, and you can even start playing with different flight simulators to get the feeling of flying. Becoming a commercial airline pilot is not easy, nor is it cheap. This is why you should research, prepare, and educate yourself so you have enough knowledge on the steps required to get your commercial airline pilot license.

Step 2-
Student Pilot Certificate-

The requirements for a student pilot certificate are simple; you must be at least 16 years old, pass a
medical exam, and pass an eye exam.

There are two options you can take – You could choose to enroll into a flight school or aviation college first, and allow them to assist you with filing for your student pilot certificate, or you could file for it yourself and then enroll in an accredited flight school or find an approved FAA certified flight instructor.

Step 3-
FAA Flight School or FAA Flight Instructor

If you are going for your commercial airline transport pilot license, the best choice is to go with an approved FAA flight school or aviation college versus hiring a certified flight instructor. You should choose a flight school that offers accelerated pilot training programs, an ample supply of up to date aircraft, a low ratio of student to certified flight instructors, a clean safety record, etc.. When choosing a flight school, there are a number of criteria to take into consideration, such as- What works for your current situation? Do they offer flight school financing and/or flexible payment options? Do you plan on going to a local flight school or do you plan on traveling to another state or country to receive your flight training? What are the living accommodations for student pilots? How is the overall area where the flight school is located? Is there transportation for students? Are the things to do for student pilots when they are not in flight school? Does the flight school have good reviews and ratings?

If you are traveling into the US for flight school – Do you have a visa, green card, or passport? If not, do you have your visa paperwork in order?

The final and most important question you should be asking yourself is- Am I ready to commit myself to finishing flight school so I can graduate with a commercial airline transport pilot license?

Step 4-
Different Types of Pilot Licenses-

After you get your student pilot license, immediately get
started logging your FAA required flight hours to receive your
FAA private pilot license certificate. You only need 40 hours of
flight time to obtain your private pilot license, along with
passing tests and exams.

If you go to a FAA approved flight school, you will only need to
log 190 hours, if you choose to go with a private FAA approved
flight instructor, then you will have to log 250 hours of flight
time. You will also need to pass all required exams and tests.

Obviously the more flight hours you have the better. Moreover,
the faster you can gain the required 1,500 flight hours needed
to receive your ATP, the faster you will receive your
commercial airline transport pilot license certificate. After
you have over 1500 flight hours and have passed all exams and tests,
then you will will finally be on your way to becoming a
commercial airline transport pilot for a major airline.

Ground School Courses-
It is a good idea to gain as much knowledge about flying as it
is the actual flying of an aircraft. Make sure you take your
ground school classes and IR (Instrument Rating) classes, of
which, will be needed in order to obtain the Commercial Pilot
License and the Commercial Airline Transport Pilot License, or

Step 5-

Accumulate Flight Time –
As soon as you get started on your path to becoming a commercial
pilot or commercial airline transport pilot, you will need to
immediately start accruing as many flight hours as possible. In
short, the faster you log your FAA required flight time needed
to receive your private pilot license, the faster you will be on
your way to becoming a commercial pilot, and the next step of
commercial airline transport pilot.

Pilot License Flight Hour Requirements
PPL- 40*
CPL- 250*
ATPL- 1,500*

Tips: Go flying as much as possible in different aircraft and in
different weather conditions. Jump into a flight simulator to
gain more flight hours.* You can become a certified flight
instructor after receiving your CPL, which allows you to gain
flight hours by training other pilots on top of being able to
receive a paycheck while doing so.

Step 6-
Commercial Pilot License Requirements-

– 250 Hours of flight time- In various weather conditions
– At least 18 years of age with valid photo ID
– Pass a physical exam, eye exam, and obtain 2nd class medical
– Pass the flight exam
– Score at least a 70% on the written and oral exams
– Take the IR course and pass exam
– Take the Multi-Engine Rating Course and pass exam
– Certificate from FAA approved flight school or instructor.

Note: Most CPL license holders become flight instructors as they
can immediately start working as a professional pilot while
getting paid and earning more flight hours towards their ATP or
Commercial Airline Transport Pilot License.

Step 7-
Commercial Airline Transport Pilot License Requirements-

– 1500 Hours of flight time- In various weather conditions
– At least 23 years of age with valid photo ID
– Pass a physical exam, eye exam, and obtain 2nd class medical
– Pass the flight exam
– Score at least a 70% on the written and oral exams
– Take the IR course and pass exam
– Take the Multi-Engine Rating Course and pass exam
– Certificate from FAA approved flight school or instructor.

Step 8-
Commercial Pilot Career to Airline Pilot Career-
Most new pilots that just received their CPL go on to find
employment immediately upon graduation as a certified flight
instructor. New commercial pilots do this as they can instantly
start working as a professional pilot while earning a paycheck
and gaining additional flight time towards their commercial
airline transport pilot license requirements.

After meeting the required 1500 hours of flight time for the ATP license, passing all exams and tests, and meeting all of the other related FAA requirements, then you will be able to obtain your airline transport pilot license and be able to start working for a major airline.

Are You Ready to Become a Professional Commercial Airline Transport Pilot?

Are You Ready to Take The Next Step Towards Becoming a Professional Commercial Airline Transport Pilot?

Come and learn how to fly with our dual accredited international flight school-
Epic Flight Academy-
Successfully Training Pilots from ALL OVER THE WORLD for Over 15 Years

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