Going Part 121

To get to the airlines, it’s important to understand the basics of flight training and start off on the right foot from Day 1. At Cape Fear Aviation Flight Training, a large portion of our student body has an interest in going to the airlines. Together, we pair students up so they can study together and fly together to save money on flight time.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Be at least 23 years of age1.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Meet at least one of the following requirements:
    • Hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating
    • Meet the military experience requirements under §61.73 to qualify for a commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating2
    • Hold a foreign airline transport pilot license with instrument privileges or a foreign commercial pilot license with an instrument rating, that—
      • Was issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation; and
      • Contains no geographical limitations.
  • Hold at least a third-class medical certificate3.

What Are the Steps to Become an Airline Pilot?

To become an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), you must complete the following:

  • Receive a graduation certificate from an authorized training provider certifying completion of the Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP-CTP) that includes academic training in the areas listed under 14 CFR §61.156(a)
  • At least ten (10) hours of training in a flight simulation training device (FTD) qualified under 14 CFR Part 60
  • An aeronautical knowledge exam, administered by the FAA
  • Practical test (aka. checkride)

What Aeronautical Experience is Required?

As a civilian:

  • At least 1,500 hours total time, including:
    • at least 500 hours of cross-country flight time
    • at least 100 hours of night flight time
    • at least fifty (50) hours in the category and class of aircraft in which the rating is sought (e.g. Airplane Multi-Engine Land)
    • at least seventy-five (75) hours of instrument flight time (actual or simulated)
    • at least 250 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC), including:
      • 100 hours of cross-country flight time
      • 25 hours of night flight time

As a military or former rated military pilot of an Armed Force of the United States:

  • At least 750 hours total time, including:
    • at least 200 hours of cross-country flight time
    • at least 100 hours of night flight time
    • at least fifty (50) hours in the category and class of aircraft in which the rating is sought (e.g. Airplane Multi-Engine Land)
    • at least seventy-five (75) hours of instrument flight time (actual or simulated)
    • at least 250 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC), including:
      • 100 hours of cross-country flight time
      • 25 hours of night flight time
Brian Thomason

Testimonials

"A year ago, I walked into Cape Fear Aviation Flight Training as an Army Chinook Pilot with little more than a Private Pilot Certificate in fixed-wing aircraft. With the help and training of the professional instructors at CFA, I was able to complete my training for Airplane Instrument and Commercial Multi-Engine with minimal excess hours. Less than a year later, I have retired from the military and now fly as an ATP, Part 121 airline pilot with GoJet Airlines flying the CRJ 700/900 series." Brian Thomason, First Officer at GoJet Airlines

1 The Restricted ATP (R-ATP) Certificate requires applicants to be 21 years of age.
2 If the person is a rated military pilot or former rated military pilot of an Armed Force of the United States.
3 A third-class medical certificate is required to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. A first-class medical certificate is required to exercise the privileges of a Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Source: 14 CFR §61.23(a)(3)(iii)