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Order of Ratings

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Well-known member
Mar 5, 2002
At the moment I am working on my PPL. My question is what rating next? In what order should or do most people get their ratings? Thanks

Depends on what you want to do...

At this point you can either do your Instrument or Multi-Engine...

I did the following:

Private - SEL
Private - MEL
Instrument/Commercial - MEL
Commercial - SEL (add-on)

Thats how ERAU-PRC did it back then (and I think they still do it that way today... I ended up with about 250 hours of which 65 were multi-engine...

A lot of people go:

Private - SEL
Instrument - SEL
Commercial - SEL
Commercial Multi-Engine - Add-on

Doing it this way you usually only come out with around 20 or so hours of multi-engine time...
Depends on what you want to do.

When I started flying it was for a hobby and for fun, I was 15 so couldnt do much after I soloed except fly and build time.

I did so much flying that by the time I had 350 or so hours someone offered a job towing banners. I then got my commercial so I could do that.

So If it will benifit you to get a limited commercial then do it.

You might as well let it (flying) start earning you money, sooner the better.

I did the cfi ratings backwards. I got the instrument instructor first, then multi instructor, then single engine last. I thought it was a bit easier, and made sense for what I wanted.

Also, places like ATP Inc have you come with your se private, then they get you the multi private, so you can log pic time. Then you do your instrument, commercial and cfi in the twin. After that, you add on single engine instructor and commercial. That way, you get a lot more twin time, and as soon as you get the total time, you will be qualified to fly for a regional. I can't tell you how difficult it is to get multi time when you are a low time single engine pilot. You have to get the multi time anyway, might as well use the time for some of your training. Good luck to you.
"Out of Order" ratings

I started flying strictly for fun. I worked on ratings back then primarily because I was doing a lot of flying and wanted something to show for them. I also worked on ratings because I wanted to be a good pilot. Also, my work schedule hamstrung my flying availability, which affected the order I earned my ratings.

After Private, I earned Commercial, then Instrument, then CFI-I, CFI, Commercial Multi, and, finally, MEI. So, I also had a limited Commercial for a little while.

Don't do it that way, if you can help it. You can get your Instrument at 125 hours. Get it as soon as possible after you get your Private, either single or multi. I like getting multi right after Private and earning your Instrument in a multi. But, if you are waiting for multi until later, start working on Instrument as soon as you get your Private. IFR is professional aviation and the sooner you develop and hone those skills the better. Instrument training develops your control touch and feel for flying, which will help you greatly with the rest of your training. That's what I should have done in my training.

A lot of people who earn initial Commercial-Instrument certification in the multi hop into the right seat of the multi, earn intial instructor certifcation as MEIs and CFI-Is in the multi, and get Commercial single and CFI-A in a simple single. I think that's a great plan, because it maximizes the value of your multi training time, you're fresh off Commercial-Multi-Instrument, so your knowledge should be there, and you don't need a retractable for CFI-A because you demonstrated it already for the other two instructor ratings.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your training.
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I woudl like to some day have the following ratings and licences.

Commercial, Instrument ASEL and AMEL and take a course in aerobatics.

I'm thinking about CFI, I never really thought of getting it, but it depends on how serious I am about venturing into professional aviation...

So I know of two main approaches (basically what Falcon Cpt said):

Single Engine Way:

Private Pilot Licence
Instrument Rating (Single Engine)
Commerical Licence (Single Engine)
Multiengine add-ons (VFR, Instrument, and Commercial)

Multi-Engine Way:

Private Pilot Licence
Multi Engine Rating (Private, VFR)
Instrument Rating (Multi Engine)
Commercial Licence (Mutli Engine)
Single engine add-ons (Instrument, Commercial)

The second path is more expensive, but you get much more multi-time.

Now...for the first order, how many multi check rides do you need...two? one for VFR-IFR and one for Commercial? or can you do it all in one checkride?

and how about for the second order, do you need an Instrument single add on, or just a commercial?

And Falcon Cpt, you would only get 65 hours of multi from doing your Multi VFR, Instrument and Commercial? So basically...if you go "Multi Way" you don't fly singles until your Commercial single add on? is that it?

The instrument rating is
'Instrument - Airplane'
so it counts for single and multi (only 1 check ride needed).

I fly for fun, so here's the order I used:

PP Glider
Commercial - Glider
Commercial ASEL
Commercial AMEL
and then much, much later

And now, 27 years after getting my 1st CFI rating, I'm adding MEI.
Mine was sort of like this:

Commercial-Multi (Didnt do the ASEL Commercial)
So if you go "Single Engine Way" how many Multi checkrdies do you need?

if you go "Multi Engine Way" you only add Commercial Single Engine right?

multi I'm guessing VFR-IFR in one checkride, and Commercial Multi in another?

Instrument Ride Single &? Multi

What the deal with the instrument rating?

Some people say you only need to do one IFR ride, but I've done an instrument ride in the single, then later did instrument stuff on my initial multi-commercial ride. (Single-Engine approaches, etc.)

If you don't do IFR stuff on a multi ride, and you have an instrument in the single, don't they put "multi-engine limited to VFR only"?

Am I wrong?

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