Commercial Pilots License (CPL)

Finally, we get to the Commercial Pilots License (CPL). Having this alongside a MEIR will allow you to operate single-pilot multi-engine aircraft and be paid for it.

To begin your CPL you must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a PPL (A)
  • Completed at least 5 hours night flying time
  • Completed at least 200 hours total flying time prior to your skills test. 100 of which must be as pilot in command
  • Completed 20 hours cross country flight time as pilot in command
  • Completed your 540KM (300NM) cross country flight as described in the hour building section
  •  Hold a valid EASA/CAA Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Passed all 14 ATPL Theoretical Examinations
  • Be at least 18 years of age

The training for the CPL is very similar to that of the PPL, however, you will be expected to be at a much higher standard, as well as consider the commercial side of the industry, such as requesting a straight-in approach when the airfield is quiet to reduce time and cost. You will also need to complete the training in a “Complex Aircraft”. This is an aircraft such as the Piper Arrow which has retractable landing gear and a variable pitch propeller. 

If you have followed the Integrated route, you must have completed at least 80 hours of dual instruction, and 150 hours total, including progress tests.

If you have followed the modular route, you will need to complete at least 25 hours of dual flight instruction, 10 hours of which must be under instrument conditions. If you hold an IR rating already, this will count for your 10 hours of instrument time. 

You will complete a skills test with a CAA examiner. You will be expected throughout the test to treat the examiner as if they are a paying passenger. This includes asking for their weight to calculate the mass and balance, as well as fully briefing them. The test itself will take around 90 minutes, and you will be assessed on everything from pre-flight planning, to your general air work, en-route procedures, diversions, approach and landing procedures, and abnormal and emergency procedures including a practice forced landing.

To pass you must demonstrate that you can operate the aircraft within its limitations. COmplete all manoeuvres with smoothness and accuracy. Exercise good judgement and airmanship. Apply aeronautical knowledge and maintain control of the aeroplane at all times.

The limits for manoeuvres are as follows:


  • Height. For normal flight +/- 100ft.
  • Heading. For normal flight +/- 10°. 
  • Speed. Takeoff and Approach +/- 5Kts. For all other flight +/- 10Kts

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