If you are planning to fly as a career, there are certain training and certification requirements you must meet. First, you cannot begin getting paid as a pilot until you earn your commercial pilot certificate. However, a commercial pilot certificate is NOT the same thing as an air transport pilot license which is required to become an airline or charter pilot.
To obtain an ATP certificate, you must:
Minimum hour requirement
The FAA’s current requirement for an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate is roughly 1500 hours, which includes 500 hours of cross-country time, 100 hours of night time, 50 hours in the class of airplane for the rating, 75 hours of instrument time and 250 hours of time as pilot in command.
However, if you flew in the military or complete a college flight program, you may qualify for a Restricted ATP Certificate (R-ATP). Restricted ATP hours are as follows:
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