Commercial pilot license is the degree that authorizes a person to work as a commercial pilot. On the obtainment of this license, the learner becomes eligible to work as the commanding pilot of an aircraft. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the body that determines the criteria to obtain commercial pilot license (CPL).
This is the internal governing body that supervises the criteria on a global level. The actual criteria are different from country to country.
The criteria set by the ICAO to obtain commercial pilot license are as follows:
- The potential learner should read, write and speak English
- He/she must have a private pilot license
- He/she must have be trained as a commercial pilot
- He/she must have passed the written aviation exams.
- He/she must have a second-class medical certification
Once the above-mentioned conditions are fulfilled, the learner will appear for an oral and practical flight test. The governing aviation body will conduct this examination.
It is necessary for the applicant to pass a solo cross-country flight. This flight should be of 300 nm and should include two airfield landings.
Different types of commercial pilot licenses are present for different aircraft categories like helicopters, airships, gyroplanes, airplanes and balloons. There are several sub-qualifications present in the license given to the learner. These qualifications signify:
- Type of aircraft (single engine or multi engine) that the holder can fly
- Application of Instrument flight rules
How to become a pilot
To become a pilot, it is necessary to follow a systematic procedure. Here is a guide to that.
1. Flight training: Enrol for flight training under a licensed instructor. For this purpose, you can choose any of the three-mentioned below.
- Military flying school
- Flight school
- Flight clubs – These are a feasible alternative to flight schools. However, the duration of training is long.
2. College: Many employers prefer candidates with a college degree.
- If you do not want to go for any specialised learning, it is advisable to opt for basic college education.
- Mathematics and science especially physics should be in your list of chosen subjects
Note: it is always preferable for commercial pilots to have good writing skills.
3. FAA: Enrol in a flight training school which is FAA accredited. FAA stands for Federal Aviation Administration. Around 600 flight schools are certified under this body.
4. Flight Hours: There is a stipulated number of flying hours required by FAA
Minimum of 250 hours is required before you can take the commercial pilot license exam
Note that the flight hours should consist of night flying and country hours
Different airlines have different requirement of flight hours. For instance, new airlines demand 4,000 flight hours.
5. Instrument rating course: This course is important to pass. It gives an in depth knowledge of the key instruments that the pilot has to use. For example altimeter which is used to measure the height of the airplane above the ground. Pilots also use instruments during poor visibility.
Importance of flight school
Learning to fly is one of the most rewarding adventures you can experience. Through this, you can lead yourself into an interesting career with loads of travel opportunities. To ensure that you become an informed and confident pilot, comprehensive aviation training is required. For this purpose, you need to select a good and reliable flight school.
To select one of the best aviation schools, it is important that you first understand what training you want. Every aviation school offers different types of flight training. To understand what type of training is best for you ask these questions:
- Why do you want to learn to fly?
- What do you want to achieve from this training?
- What is your long-term aviation goal?
Answering these questions will help you select the flight school catering to your needs.
Angela is a renowned writer who has written several articles on a wide array of topics. In this article, she talks about how to become a commercial pilot.