Licences & qualifications


This is the basic level license.

The theoretical is the same as that of the PPL (minimum 75%) and the flight test resembles the shape of that of the PPL (A).

Once the license in your pocket, it is possible to take a maximum of 3 passengers in flight after an experience of 10 hours of additional flight as a PIC.


This license authorizes its holder to exercise privileges as a pilot at the controls of a light piston aircraft without limit of export of passengers.

The minimum age to hold a PPL is 17 years.

Although 45 hours is the minimum requirement, most people generally need around 60 to 80 hours to reach the sufficient level, some people even need even more. Always according to the person, the objective is to make your first solo flight after 15-20 hours of flight.

You do not have to hold a PPL before obtaining a commercial pilot license (CPL). However, I think it is always good to have a first aeronautical experience and to have the reflection to tell yourself if you are made for an aeronautical career or not.


The CPL is a much more advanced PPL, requiring greater flight precision and a higher level of piloting.

The holder of a CPL may act as a pilot at the controls of a small piston engine aircraft with less than 9 passengers for commercial purposes. The minimum age to hold a CPL is 18 years.

The CPL is only valid for multi-engine airplanes if the CPL proficiency test is passed in a multi-engine airplane, otherwise the privileges are limited to single-engine airplanes.

You must also have passed the following 13 CPL theoretical exams with a pass mark of 75% or more:

010 Air law 
021 Airframe and systems, electricity, motors
022 Instrumentation
031 Masses and centering
032 Performances
033 Flight preparation and monitoring
040 Human performance and its limits
050 Meteorology
061 General navigation
062 Radio navigation
070 Operational procedures
081 Principles of flight
091 VFR communication


The airline transport pilot license, is the European aviation pilot license, of the highest level. It is essential for the exercise of Captain of a CS-25 certified aircraft (called “heavy”).

The term “frozen ATPL”, although unofficial, is commonly used for a pilot holding CPL, IR-ME, MCC, as well as ATPL theoretical, but do not yet have the required experience or have not yet passed the ATPL practical test.

The theoretical exam includes 14 certificates. A number is assigned to each:

010 Air law and Air traffic control procedure
021 Cells and systems, electricity, motors
022 Instrumentation
031 Masses and centering
032 Performances
033 Flight preparation and monitoring
040 Human performance and its limits
050 Meteorology
061 General navigation
062 Radio navigation
070 Operational procedures
081 Flight mechanics
091 VFR communication
092 IFR Communication

A number of airlines regularly state their preference for applicants who have achieved an average pass mark of 85%, so in reality this is the minimum you should aim for.


In order to operate in cloudy or instrument weather conditions (IMC), which means piloting the aircraft using only its instruments without reference to the ground or the horizon, the pilot must hold an instrument qualification, always specific to a single-engine or multi-engine airplane.

During the instrument rating training, the instructor will give the student special glasses to make sure he cannot see outside.

During this phase of training, the focus is on student pilots with decision skills, with a lot of training given as pilot-in-command under supervision. This essentially means that, although the instructor has overall legal responsibility for the flight, the student is encouraged to act as the pilot-in-command.

In addition to the theoretical exams required to pass a CPL, you must also pass another exam:

– IFR Communications


The Multi Crew Coordination (MCC) is a complementary training to the commercial pilot license and to the instrument flight qualification.

To be able to exercise on a multi-pilot machine, the pilot must have completed this training. It is therefore a prerequisite for qualification as a multi-pilot. Almost all commercial aircraft are operated with a minimum of two flight crew members, a captain and a co-pilot, and must work together effectively to ensure the safety of the operation.

The course takes place in a simulator, usually on a popular commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 737 or the Airbus 320. The course emphasizes non-technical skills (crew resource management) such as taking decision making, teamwork and communication.

This is the first time that you have become familiar with multi-crew standard operating procedures (SOPs) in an air environment. The course usually includes around 20 hours of simulation and is very intense.


A type rating is the approval of the operation of a specific commercial aircraft. Previously the type rating was paid for by the airline when it employed you, but it is now becoming more and more common for the applicant to pay for the type rating himself when he is offered a job or at the end of ATPL training to become more employable.

Type rating is required to operate a specific aircraft that meets one of these requirements:

  • Carries more than 9 passengers
  • Has a maximum takeoff weight of more than 5,900 kg
  • Is a jet plane

To start a type rating, the candidate must have a valid instrument flight rating and have passed the 14 theoretical exams.

There are certain generic type ratings, for example a type rating on the Airbus A320 allows the holder to operate the A318, A319, A320 and A321. Likewise, the completion of a type rating on the Boeing 737 NG allows the holder to operate any B737 series, both classic and next generation (300-900).


After completing your type rating, you are ready to actually fly the aircraft for the first time. You board an empty plane and perform approximately 6 take-offs and landings (“touch and go”) with an examiner. If you can do it, the next time you fly, it will be with passengers on board.


Line training is the final phase of training to bring you to the “line standard”. Previously, you had flown the plane only once during your basic training without passengers. During the online training, you fly the plane, with passengers, under the supervision of a commander. It usually takes between 30 and 80 sectors (flights) and you are let go when you are judged competent with airline SOPs, soft skills and aircraft management.

You are then released “on the line” where you will fly with normal captains. This is where learning really begins and you never stop throughout your career!



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