What Do I Need to Know Before I Start?
Your training is comprised of two parts – flight training and ground training. In ground school, you will gain the knowledge needed to be a proficient pilot. You have several options for ground training, but the goal is to successfully complete your aviation knowledge test. Flight training takes place in the airplane. You will learn skills and gain experience necessary to safely operate an airplane on your own and pass your check ride.
How Long Will It Take?
The Federal Aviation Administration has established the minimum training time for the Commercial Pilot Certificate. They require a minimum of 250 total flight hours, of which at least 20 hours are with a FAA Certificated Flight Instructor and 10 hours of solo flight. The flight time that you obtain while training for your Private Pilot Certificate and Instrument Rating, as well as any other flight time you might obtain along the way, can be applied to the 250 hours of total flight time required.
Most new pilots do not complete their training in the 20 hours of minimum time with the flight instructor. This is due to a number of reasons but the most significant is how often that a person flies. The less frequently you fly the longer skills take to develop. The more frequently you fly the faster these skills will develop.
If you fly two to three times a week, you will minimize the amount of flight time required to obtain the Commercial Pilot Certificate. At this pace it will take approximately 5 to 6 months to complete the training and approximately 40 to 50 flight hours with the flight instructor and 10 hours of solo flight assuming you start the training with at least 200 hours total flight time.