Commercial Pilot Privileges and Requirements
As a commercial pilot, you may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire and may be paid to act as pilot in command.
A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and does not hold an instrument rating will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 NM or at night.
Requirements to Obtain a Commercial Pilot Certificate:
- Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate. Later, if your flying requires a commercial pilot certificate, you must hold a second-class medical certificate.
- Hold an instrument rating. A commercial pilot is presumed to have an instrument rating. If not, his/her commercial pilot certificate will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 NM or at night.
- Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course.
- Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70% or better. The commercial pilot knowledge test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions selected from the airplane-related questions in the FAA’s commercial pilot test bank.
- Accumulate appropriate flight experience and instruction (see 14 CFR 61.129). A total of 250 hours of flight time is required.
- Successfully complete a practical (flight) test, which will be given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or designated pilot examiner; it will be conducted as specified in the FAA’s Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards.
Ground training: The trainee will cover during the ground training the following courses.
- ATC procedures
- Airframes & systems, electrics, power plant, emergency equipment
- Weight and balance
- Flight planning & monitoring
- Human performance & limitations
- General navigation
- Radio navigation
- Operational procedures
- Principles of flight
- At least 250 hours of piloting time including
- 20 hours of training with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight
- Other requirements including several "cross-country" flights, i.e., more than 50 nautical miles from the departure airport (which include Day VFR and Night VFR 100 nm between points, with a time of at least two hours;
- Also one solo cross country of at least 250 nm one way, 300 nm total distance, with landings at three airports and both solo and instructor-accompanied night flights
Examination – Written:
- Pass a 100-question FAA aeronautical knowledge written test
Examination – Practical:
- Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an FAA inspector, FAA-designated examiner, or authorized check instructor conducted as specified in the FAA’s Commercial Airman Certification Standards.
The applicant must demonstrate the ability to:
- Operate the airplane within its limitations
- Complete all maneuvers as smooth and as accurate as required by Commercial ACS
- Exercise good judgment and Airmanship
- Apply aeronautical knowledge
- Maintain control of the airplane at all times.
- Instructor Fee: $40/hourly (must be completed in complex aircraft)