Different Types of Pilot Licenses

There are several different types of U.S. pilot licenses a person can earn, and Sierra Charlie Aviation can customize a pilot training program to prepare you for your private pilot license or commercial pilot license.

Sierra Charlie Aviation is conveniently located at Scottsdale Airport (SDL), where we enjoy 300 days per year of aviation-perfect weather. We are a certified Cessna Pilot Center (CPC), a specially selected FAR Part 61 flight school that represents top-quality, professional flight training.

Our high-quality flight training team is composed of highly experienced Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) who have trained everyone from Sport Pilots to Flight Instructors and recreational flyers to airline pilots. Our students enjoy flying with pilots who have handled every situation one could possibly encounter in the air.

Sierra Charlie Aviation’s growing training fleet includes three Cessna 172 Skyhawks, one round gauge and two that are G1000 equipped and coupled with GFC700 autopilot. Additionally, the fleet includes a Cirrus SR22T, a high-performance aircraft that is equipped with Garmin Perspective Avionics, GFC700 Autopilot, and air conditioning.

Types of Pilot Licenses

If you plan to take flying lessons, it’s important to understand the different types of pilot licenses:

Sport Pilot: A sport pilot license is meant for pilots who wish to fly for fun in “light sport” aircraft only. You can fly yourself and one passenger in daylight hours in good weather below 10,000 feet. This is the only pilot license that does not require a medical certificate.

Recreational Pilot: As a recreational pilot, you can carry only one passenger in single-engine aircraft of 180 horsepower or less with up to four seats. You can fly below 10,000 feet during daylight hours in good weather, and must stay within 50 nautical miles of your home airport.

Private Pilot: Most sought-after is the private pilot license. The training requirements are more involved than those of the sport or recreational pilot but, once you earn your license, you will be able to fly any single-engine, piston driven aircraft anywhere in the US, day or night, in any conditions acceptable to Visual Flight Rules (VFR; minimum of 3 miles of visibility).

Commercial Pilot: The commercial pilot license allows you to be paid for your flying services. Recent changes to FAA regulation allow training received in Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA), like our Cessna 172 Skyhawks, to replace the need for training in a complex aircraft.

Flight Instructor: The flight instructor certificate allows you to train others to fly. If you have a commercial pilot license and want to gain hours or go into a career as a pilot, a flight instructor certificate can be a logical next step.

Airline Transport Pilot (ATP): Pilots who want to fly for scheduled airlines are required to have the ATP certificate. Typically, you will need 1,500 hours of logged flight time.

Sierra Charlie Aviation thrives on your success! If you are in the Scottsdale area and need more information about the different types of pilot licenses, get in touch with us today at (480) 474-4115. Getting started is as easy as scheduling a Discovery Flight to get first-hand experience in the pilot’s seat.