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Types of Pilot Certificates
There are several classes of pilot certificates, which vary in difficulty, expense and prior experience required. The Flyers offer training for most Airplane ratings. For further details on these certificates, keep reading, or visit the FAA page for the complete scoop.
Private Pilot
The Private certificate is the first rating that most people get. It requires a minimum of 40 hours of training, although most people take 60-70 hours. This license will allow you to fly anywhere in the country under Visual Flight Rules, which basically means staying well clear of clouds, poor visibility or other adverse weather. Many pilots consider the Private to be a "license to learn;" that is, you are qualified to fly alone, carry passengers and whatnot, but the wise pilot will exercise a good deal of caution and conservative decision-making until more experience is gained.
A Recreational certificate is available which gives its bearer many of the privileges of a Private pilot, but has many limitations and restrictions that limit its utility. The Flyers do not recommend or offer training for the Recreational certificate. A
Third Class Medical Certificate is required for issuance of a Private or Recreational Certificate.

Commercial Pilot
Commercial Certificate allows the pilot to fly and carry passengers for compensation or hire. As a practical matter, however, quite a bit of flight experience and/or an Airline Transport Pilot rating is generally needed for most operations involving paying passengers. Without an
instrument rating, a Commercial pilot's passenger-carrying privileges are restricted. The Commercial rating will increase your proficiency in the airplane, teach you more about the intricacies of its operation, aerodynamics, and introduce you to the operation of complex aircraft (with retractable landing gear and constant-speed propeller). A Second Class Medical Certificate is required to exercise the privileges of a Commercial pilot.

Instrument Rating

The instrument rating is added to an existing pilot certificate; it is not an independent pilot certificate. Instrument training allows the pilot to maneuver the aircraft solely by reference to flight and navigation instruments. This allows flight under poorer weather conditions than is legal or intelligent for Private pilots, and can vastly increase the utility of your flying, since the risk of being trapped away from home or being forced to alter plans by bad weather is much reduced. While there are still many weather conditions that would preclude a flight even with the instrument rating, it is a valuable experience and will make you a better and safer pilot even if you rarely use it under actual instrument conditions.


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