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What are the different types of airline pilot certifications?

6 July 2021   Learn to Fly Pilots

Are you considering getting your pilot certification? Many people dream of learning to fly. Whether you’re interested in having a career as a commercial pilot, or perhaps you want to take up flying as a part-time hobby, there are six different types of pilot certifications you can obtain in the U.S. In this article, the team at Monmouth Executive Airport will go over what to expect with each U.S. pilot certification.

Commercial pilot

Becoming a certified commercial pilot allows you to have a career as a pilot for commercial airlines. Scheduled commercial flights are subject to separate federal regulations, so when you’re a commercial pilot you must abide by these aviation regulations. When training to become a commercial pilot, there’s more focus on precision and technical knowledge about flight operations.

Private pilot

This is the most common type of pilot certification. Training for this certification is more intensive than other types of pilot certifications because private pilots have fewer restrictions, including being able to fly at night. 

Being a private pilot isn’t a viable career path though, because private pilots are not allowed to be compensated for their services. Many people who obtain a private pilot license do so in order to fly their own personal aircraft, and they must learn multiple maneuvers while logging a minimum of 40 hours of flight time.

Sport pilot

If you want to fly a small aircraft in your local area at low altitudes only, sport pilot certification may be for you. It’s the easiest pilot certification to obtain, but it does come with restrictions: you can only have one passenger, you cannot fly at night, and you cannot fly above 10,000 feet.

Recreational pilot

A step up from a sport pilot, recreational pilot certification allows you to fly heavier aircrafts without needing the advanced training of a commercial pilot. With this certification, you can fly a maximum of 50 nautical miles from your point of departure and you can only fly during the daytime.

Flight instructor

Becoming a certified flight instructor is another career option, and many people obtain this certification while studying for additional pilot certifications. It’s a great way to gain experience while learning about various flight topics in greater depth.

Airline Transport Pilot

This is the most advanced certification and is required for anyone who wants to be a commercial pilot. The most basic requirements include: being at least 23 years old, and having a minimum of 1,500 flying hours logged.

Learn to fly in NJ at Monmouth Airport

Whether you’re just exploring your interest in being a pilot or you’re interested in obtaining additional certifications, our NJ flight school is ready to help you achieve the next steps in your journey. We’ve taught thousands of people to fly and our flight instructors are among the best in the industry. 

For more information about earning your pilot certification in NJ, if you’d like to know more about flying lessons, please contact our flight school team at Monmouth Executive Airport today. Discover why so many people in NJ come to us to get their pilot certification.