What is a Commercial Pilot License?

Getting Your Commercial Pilot’s License

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What is a Commercial Pilot?

A commercial pilot is a pilot who has completed the necessary requirements and training to fly and be paid for their flying.  You could be paid to fly cargo, passengers, skydivers, etc.  Any flying job requires you to hold a commercial pilot license.

What is a Commercial Pilot License?

A commercial pilot’s license or CPL allows a pilot to fly passengers or cargo for compensation. With a Commercial Pilot License, you can now get paid to fly, but there are many regulations around this that you will learn about during your flight training. In order to obtain your commercial pilot license, you will need to pursue ground and flight training to dive deeper into aviation knowledge and further develop your flying skills. 

Who can obtain a Commercial pilot’s license?

To earn your CPL you must:

Should you become a Commercial pilot?

It depends on what your reasons for flying are. If you know you want to get paid for flying or simply enhance your skills as a pilot, then yes.  Pilots can and do make respectable earnings. However, experience and flight time tend to dictate that. In other words, don’t expect to make big bucks right out of flight school. Commercial flight training will sharpen your skills and the maneuvers that you will learn are incredibly fun.

How long does it take to get your Commercial Pilot’s license?

Where you are at in your life and why you want to begin flight training will determine how long it will take to obtain your Commercial pilot certificate. If you are regularly attending flight school and have good structure, it is possible to earn all of your licenses and ratings quickly. There are pros and cons to choosing an accelerated track. It is best to find what pace works the best for your learning. Your instructor can be a valuable resource when making this decision. If you are flying for fun, it can take several years to build the appropriate amount of flight time. If you’d like an estimate based on your specific scenario, email cfi@fly8ma.com to ask an instructor.

Here are the requirements you must meet before you take your check ride.

250 hours total20 Dual10 Solo ASEL or 10 w/CFI performing PIC duties
100hrs in powered AC10 IFR Training (5 in ASEL)300nm XC (250nm straight line) 3 airports
50 in airplanes10 Complex or TAA5 night VFR w/ 10 Takeoffs and Landings at a towered airport
100 PIC2 cross-country day 100nm
50 in airplanes2 cross-country night 100nm
50 XC (10 of the 50 in airplanes)3 checkride prep

How can you get your Commercial Pilot’s license?

There are different pathways to obtaining your commercial pilot’s license. Here are some of the typical steps you can expect when working towards your CPL

Step OneComplete ground school
Step TwoObtain a Private Pilot’s License
Step ThreeObtain an IFR Rating
Step FourObtain any endorsements
Step FiveBuild time, Master Commercial Maneuvers
Step SixComplete Commercial written exam
Step SevenPass Commercial Checkride


Check out our CPL written bootcamp! Our students have 100% pass rate on their first try.

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