Commercial Pilot Training Bay Area

A commercial pilot certificate is a significant step towards becoming a professional pilot. This license type allows you to operate as a paid pilot. It builds on the skills learned as a private pilot, but with tighter restriction on medical certificate (second class required), and the pilot must be able to demonstrate superior airmanship with a series of performance maneuvers held to a higher standard than previous certificates. There are separate single and multiple engine commercial ratings, and pilot will be required to obtain a type rating for different larger aircraft. This does not enable you act as a pilot in a scheduled passenger airline – for that, you will need an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.



A commercial pilot may act as pilot of an aircraft and be paid for the work.



In order to obtain a commercial pilot license, you will need:

  • Second Class medical certificate
  • At least a private pilot certificate

A full list of commercial pilot aeronautical experience requirements can be found in FAR 61.129 – the main requirements are:

  • At least 250 hours of logged pilot time, including, 100 hours of pilot in command time, of which 50 hours must be cross country
  • 20 hours of training that includes
    • 10 hours of instrument training
    • 10 hours of training in a complex aircraft
    • One 2-hour cross country daytime flight (distance > 100NM)
    • One 2-hour cross country nighttime flight (distance > 100NM)
    • 3 hours of single aircraft instruction time by an authorized instructor in the preceding 2 months
  • 10 hours of solo or PIC flight time, that includes
    • One cross country flight of not less than 300NM, minimum 3 landings, one leg must be over 250NM
    • 5 hours of night VFR flying with 10 takeoff/landings at a tower controlled airport
  • If a commercial multi-engine rating is sought, many of the above requirements will have minimum multi-engine times
  • Pass the aeronautical written knowledge test
  • Pass an oral examination and check ride, which includes advanced performance maneuvers and higher test standards than a private pilot certificate.