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Dec 23, 2001
I was wondering if you needed to get your CFI or MEI prior to recieveing a commerical liscense. Also, i read a lot about what you learn during your Private training, but what about commericial?

Thanx for your help, maybe one day soon i will be flying up there with all ya.
14CFR61.183(c) says you need your com or atp before you get your CFI or higher CFI rating. As far as your second question, I couldn't quite understand the exact question.
The Commercial Certificate is a prerequisite for any instructor rating, therefore you cannot hold a CFI or MEI until after you earn your Commercial.

As for commercial training, in a nutshell, there are a series of manuevers that are designed to sharpen your skills (Chandelles, Lazy 8's, 8's on Pylons) that build on all other tasks from your private training. You will also have to demonstrate proficiency in a complex aircraft (controllable flaps, prop, and landing gear).

Hope that helps.

Ok, thank you.

I will be getting my private and or instrument over the next couple of years, mostly because of the financial aspect of flying. I want to eventually be able to fly for money so i thank you very much for your help.

The commercial certificate (there is no such thing as a commercial license for pilots in the United States) is essentially a glorified private pilot certificate, with a few more privileges. It allows an individual to carry persons or property for compensation or hire. Otherwise, the privileges are no different.

The commercial certificate is restricted to flying more than 50 nm, or at night for hre, without an instrument rating.

As the previous posters stated, the commercial certificate is a prerequisite for obtaining the Flight Instructor certificate. There is only one instructor certificate: there is no such thing as a CFII or MEI. The instructor certificate has ratings which define the teaching privileges; the instrument, and multi-engine ratings. However, these are not separate certificates, but simply ratings on the flight instructor certificate.

A Ground Instructor certificate has no pre-requisites. One need not hold a pilot certificate of any kind, or a medical certificate. There are no practical tests, and one need not have an instructor's endorsement to take the knowledge exam ("written" test). One need only take the Fundamentals of Instructing exam, and one of three different ground instructor 'written' tests to qualify for the certificate. Application is made directly to the FSDO (flight standards district office), and the temporary certificate issued in person.

The ground instructor certificate will enable you to teach ground subjects required for the issuance of a certificate or rating, and will enable you to recommend applicants for a knowledge exam. It also enables you to endorse logbooks for instruction given, and this instruction may be credited toward a certificate or rating, as appropriate.
You will need your commercial ticket before proceeding with CFI and MEI. Your Commercial will allow you to fly for hire. CFI and MEI are just two things that you can do for hire, and you need separate checkrides to do them.

If you're like most, your Commercial checkride, while not a cake walk, will be the easiest of your checkouts. The written test will consist of mostly the same subject matter as the private, but some of it will be more in depth.

As far as the flying goes, most of it is just knocking out the specific requirements in the FARs. But rather that just punching holes in the sky, you can incorporate fun trips, taking friends or family to new places. Most of it will be done without an instructor. When you get close to your 250 hours, get your instructor back and practice your commercial maneuvers. Then you can go practice these by yourself to get ready for your ride.

Go get that PPL first. You will surely have lots of questions in that arena before moving on to instrument and commercial. This group is more than happy to help, and there are pilots of all capacities here.

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While the commercial pilot certificate is a prerequisite for application for the flight instructor certificate, acting as a flight instructor is not necessarily "flying for hire."

A flight instructor is being employed as an instructor, not a pilot. A flight instructor is not being paid for pilot services, and is not necessarily flying commercially.

A flight instructor need not have a current medical certificate, or be flight current with respect to landings, instrument, or flight review, in order to instruct; so long as the instructor is not acting as PIC.

Most people go for their Instrument rating after they get their Private certificate. You need 125 hours total time and several other requirements to get your Instrument rating, if you're training under Part 61. You need 250 hours total under Part 61 to get your Commercial.

I agree that the Commercial written isn't all that much tougher than the Private. For your Commercial certificate with a single-engine rating, you do need to fly to somewhat tighter standards than for Private. You will learn several new maneuvers, such as chandelles, lazy eights and steep spirals. I do not believe you have to learn eights-on-pylons and eights-around-pylons anymore. Those are ground reference maneuvers; the eights-around are an amplification of turns about a point. Short field landings are to tighter tolerances; you have to land beyond and within 50 feet of a designated point as opposed to 100 feet for the Private. If your instructor is doing his/her job, you should be flying to Commercial standards or nearly so by the time you take your Private practical.

Once you have your Commercial-Instrument, you can go for your CFI. Of course, along the way, if you want to be a professional pilot, you need to earn your multiengine rating.

Hope that helps, along with the excellent comments from the posters above.
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Just to clarify one thing...

You will need to demonstrate Eights On Pylons and be able to calculate pivital altitude. The steep spirals are no longer part of the PTS for the Commercial ride.

Happy flying,


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