What is a Commercial Pilot License?

A Commercial Pilot License or CPL, is required to legally be paid for flying a plane commercially.

What is required to earn a Commercial Pilot License?

Expect to spend between six months to two years earning your pilot’s license. Exact requirements include: 

  • 250 hours of flight time, 100 hours of which must be in powered aircraft, and 50 must be in airplanes.
  • 100 hours of pilot-in-command time, 50 of which must be in airplanes.
  • 50 hours of cross-country time, 10 of which must be in an airplane.
  • 20 hours of training, including 10 of instrument, 10 of complex or TAA, and a smattering of cross-country and practical test preparation.
  • 10 hours of solo training, including a smattering of cross-country and night.

A prerequisite for this certification would be at least a Private Pilots License (PPL). Applicants must be 18 years or older, able to read/speak/write English, and be eligible to obtain a Second Class Medical Certificate This will be needed for CPL privileges). This certification requires between 190-250 flying hours depending on the type of flying school being used. 190 hours for Part 141 schools (usually more local flight schools) and 250 for Part 61 schools (usually larger programs focusing on professional pilot training).

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