FAA Practical Test
John W Beck, PhD, ATP, DPE


Commercial Pilot Prerequisites
Part 61 Private Pilot to Commercial Pilot ASEL only.
  1. Prerequisites

    q Valid private pilot certificate and third-class medical (or greater – a second-class medical is required to exercise commercial privileges once you pass your checkride).

    q At least 18 years old

    q Read, speak, write, and understand English

    q 70% or better score on commercial pilot knowledge test.

  2. Minimum Aeronautical Experience

    q 250 hours of flight time, including at least

    q 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes

    q 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least –

    q 50 hours in airplanes

    q 50 hours in cross-country flight (10 hrs. or more in airplanes)

    q 20 hours of training on the areas of operation in §61.127(b)(1) that includes at least –

    q 10 hours of instrument training using a view-limiting device including attitude instrument flying, partial panel skills, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, and intercepting and tracking navigational systems. (5 of the 10 hours must be in airplanes)

    q 10 hours of training in a complex aircraft (retractable landing gear, flaps, and controllable pitch propeller or turbine powered)

    q One 2-hour day XC flight in a single engine airplane, w/ total straight-line distance of more than 100nm from original point of departure.

    q One 2-hour night XC flight in a single engine airplane, w/ total straight-line distance of more than 100nm from original point of departure.

    q 3 hours of practical test prep flights within the preceding 2 calendar months with a CFI

    q 10 hours of solo flight time in a single engine airplane OR 10 hours of flight time performing the duties of PIC in a single engine airplane w/ a CFI on board, including –

    q One XC flight of not less than 300nm total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straightline distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point.

    q 5 hours night VFR w/ 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (each with a flight in the traffic pattern), at an airport w/ an operating control tower

  3. Endorsements Required for the Checkride
    These endorsements are specifically required for the checkride.

    q Practical Test Endorsement – Certifies you're ready for the checkride.

    q Recent Training Endorsement – Certifies you have the 3 hours of dual in the last 2 months. (See above)

    q Knowledge Test Deficient Areas Endorsement – Certifies your instructor has gone back over, and trained you on knowledge test questions you missed.

    Plus, you should already have these endorsements in your logbook:

    q Complex Aircraft Endorsement (§61.31(e))

    q Knowledge Test Endorsement or Review of Home Study Curriculum (§61.123)

    Note: You needed this endorsement before taking the knowledge test.