Title 14 of the Code of Federal Aviation Regulations outlines the laws and requirements for aviation in the U.S. General Aviation pilot training falls under two parts – Part 61 and Part 141. The main difference is the requirement for minimum flight hours to obtain Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot Certificates.
- Minimum hours required before Private Pilot Certification Check-ride: 40 flight hours
- Minimum hours required before Commercial Pilot License Check-ride: 250 flight hours
- Minimum hours required before Private Pilot Certification Check-ride: 35 flight hours
- Minimum hours required before Commercial Pilot License Check-ride: 125 flight hours
Note: how long it takes individual students depends on the frequency of flights, dedication, and ability to learn.
Another factor that differentiates a Part 61 flight school from a Part 141 school is accountability. Part 141 schools are systematically audited by the FAA and are required to have detailed Training Course Outlines (TCO) and meet specific student pass rates. Flight schools operating under Part 61 do not have the same accountability requirements by the FAA. These Part 61 schools do offer flexibility in training to move around lesson objectives. More information can be found at the FAA Regulations webpage.