Continuing the effort to track “how much time it becomes to get a _______________ pilot certificate/rating”, I have collected some more data from some additional examiners around the country and increased the sample size. It has even allowed some data validity to add the Commercial Single Engine certificate.
With that said, here is the data as it has evolved.
Many of the original data points made in the previous blog post are largely unchanged in their effect. A couple of things that are of interest to note as the data has developed further.
- Private Pilot Total Time Up, slightly, and averaging closer to equivalent between FAR 61 based and FAR 141 based training, with FAR141 now showing a slightly (2 hours) less average total hours gained at the time of private pilot issuance.
- Average time at Instrument Rating, up by a few hours, but definitely showing a pattern of lower hours at an instrument rating issuance under FAR 141 training than FAR 61 training.
- Initial Commercial Single Engine Certificate issuance is showing a significant difference in total time experience at issuance of that certificate, with lesser time being the norm for FAR 141 Commercial Single Engine Certificate applicants; likely taking advantage of the cutdown in hours available under these programs.
- Initial Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate issuance are showing a significant difference in total time experience at issuance of that certificate, with lesser time being the norm for FAR 141 Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate applicants; likely taking advantage of the cutdown in hours available under these programs.
Note: This blog post may be updated with additional data compilations, but for the moment, I wanted to get this data out. Check back later for updates. I will post an update date on this of a more current date if I have added.
Last Updated: 9-21-2019
Sometimes, you just get that lucky gap.
On a recent flight, we found ourselves trying to go west through a big wall of thunderstorms climbing to altitudes over FL400, definitely higher than we could fly in the Twin Cessna. So, the first plan was to go east and around, adding nearly an hour of flight to the distance. As we flew, we had ADS-B weather being delivered to the panel and our iPads, so it definitely helped the plan, and looked like the following.
Getting closer, we “thought we might have a hole” between some of the cells.
Working with ATC and some leniency to “deviate as necessary”, we found ourselves in VFR-on-top conditions between layers at FL200 looking at one of the coolest passages between weather I have seen and just had to share it.
The tunnel to clear weather ahead was welcoming, and welcome that it stayed open as we headed through!
In the end, this is how it looked on a FlightAware track after the fact. Not my most technical blog post, but I just through it was kind of a cool experience to share and an example of how sometimes with a little work you can make flights happen safely, well, with a little luck also.
So how many flight hours DOES it take to get a private pilot certificate? Or an instrument rating? Or even a commercial pilot certificate?
Well, the FAA does gather this data on the application forms that it collects when a practical test is conducted for a certificate or rating, but, to the best of my knowledge, it is not collected, collated, and reported in any way to the public as an aggregate.
But that doesn’t stop us from being curious, so I took the data from the FAA 8710-1 forms from the over 1000 practical tests I have given and collated it into a couple of data points that are now presented in this small, but highly intriguing chart.
The below chart collects data from practical tests I have given (primarily in Michigan) and helps create a general understanding of how many hours of flight and simulator time that applicants had accumulated at the time of granting of various pilot certificates and ratings. Specifically, we compiled the data for the initial private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and initial commercial multi-engine certificate events
With that said, here is what we found.
You just botched that short field landing on your private pilot test. Ugg. The examiner issued you a notice of disapproval. What do you do now?
Ask the examiner to let you try it again?
Well, they can’t let you do that, but you will get another chance at it when you retest.
How about retesting in the same day?
Technically, it is an option. But is it a good option? Now that’s where the discussion begins. Continue reading