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Private Pilot License Vs. Commercial Pilot License: What's The Difference?

by Krin Murphy

If you have always loved the idea of flying but never really investigated whether you could actually end up in control of a plane, then you might not realize that this goal is an achievable one that you do not have to simply dream about. It only takes a bit of dedication and time to end up with a real pilot's license and all the qualifications you need, the only question you need to answer is what type of pilot do you want to be? There are two major categories: a private pilot license and a commercial pilot license, so what is the difference?


The good news is that most people in your position can get a private pilot license with a fairly small amount of total hours of flight time, in addition to tests and theoretical knowledge learned on the ground. That is because these planes (for private use) are often smaller and easier to control. On the other hand, commercial pilots have to complete many more hours of flight training at the very least (and much more to fly commercial airlines with passengers), as well as a lot more theoretical knowledge. If you want to make this your career, pilot training programs are there to make sure you keep everyone in the skies as safe as possible.

Level Of Health

Due to the fact that when you are flying a commercial airline, you are much more likely to have the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of passengers in your hands, the level of health you need to achieve to gain a commercial pilot's license is higher. There are three (or four, depending on how you count them) levels of fitness for pilots, and to be a commercial pilot you need to be in the top bracket. For a private pilot license, you can generally be third class, which is still very healthy but not as stringent. 

Plane Size

Naturally, a private pilot license only grants you access to smaller planes that are not able to be used for major cargo transportation or loads of passengers. However, that does not mean you are not able to carry any passengers, far from it. Getting a private pilot license can be a great way to show your friends the sky from vantage points they've never seen before and can be so much fun. Just know that you can't fly any type of plane with your license, and to get in control of larger aircraft you will need a higher class of license.  

For more info about private pilot programs, contact a local company.