Building Flight Hours
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Building Flight Hours

cirrus aircraft flying

At various times during your pilot training and career, you may find that you need to get more flight hours to progress in your field. The most common reason for building flight time is to become an airline pilot. To earn your Air Transport Pilot's License, you will need a minimum of 1,500 hours of total flight time, with 250 of those hours spent as Pilot in Command.

Getting a Job with a CPL

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of jobs for CPL holders. The FAA lists the careers for a CPL-holding pilot, which include:

  • Pipeline patrol 
  • Banner towing, 
  • Aerial photography 
  • Traffic watch 
  • Crop-dusting 

It can be tough to find jobs like these. There are too many CPL-holding pilots all vying for very few jobs. Nearly all CPL holders are attempting to gain their ATPL and want to hour-build. If these jobs don't work out, there are a few other options.

Paying for Flying Yourself

The main disadvantage of paying for flying yourself is that it can quickly become expensive. You may have quite a lot of flying to pay for before you reach 1500 hours. If you do end up paying for your hour-building, it might be the only time in your piloting career that you can go where you want and fly whatever you wish to, with almost no restrictions! If you can afford it, this can be a fun way to build hours.

Becoming a CFI

Lastly, if you're unable to get a job with CPL and can't afford to pay to build your hours, you may want to consider flight instruction. This is a reasonably well-paid position, and flight instructors are currently in demand. This is probably the best option for you to get reliable full-time work while also building the hours you need.

When trying to decide how to build your hours, the first thing to do is reflect honestly on yourself and what you want to do with your flying career. Here at Elevate Aviation, we can help! Please visit our Salt Lake City Cirrus flight school today. 

Posted on Oct 12, 2020

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