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Learning to Fly: Part 61 or 141?

by Jason Schappert

What do you mean by Part 61 or Part 141?

There are several avenues to take with your flight training. One of the biggest you’ll make (whether knowing it or not) is which part of the FAR/AIM you’ll be operating under. Part 61 and Part 141 both accomplish the same goal (obtaining your pilot’s license) but the rules and requirements to get there vary.

My Personal Experience

I did my private and instrument at a part 61 school and received wonderful training and made great aviation friends.

For my commercial training I decided to do it through a College that operated Part 141.

Day one was a wake up call. I felt somewhat behind in my Commercial ground school class. These terms like Hypoxia, Reading PIREPS and FA’s, Understanding how a thunderstorm is formed. All things I should have been taught as a Private Pilot I was lacking.

The Verdict

Part 141 made me a book smart pilot, Part 61 made me a real-world pilot. I’m blessed to have been to both worlds, and reaped the benefits of both.

My suggestion to you is to do a in depth evaluation of your learning styles. Are you very detailed oriented and like to have everything pre planned… Go 141. If you like the freedom of a flexible custom schedule… Go 61.

Either way you get the same license, regardless take no shortcuts, learn all you can, and keep at it.

People may think I’m crazy for saying this repeatedly but it’s true: A good pilot is always learning. (Regardless of which Part they fly under)

This is just an account of my experience, have a different opinion? Leave a comment below.

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  • http://www.martinrottler.com/ Martin Rottler

    It might also be worth it to note the differences in flight time requirements for certification vis a vis Part 141 and Part 61. Through your CPL, the requirements are less for Part 141 certification. Once you go for a CFI, however, there is no minimum hour requirement for Part 61 while their is for Part 141.

    I went though 141 at a local flight school, 141 via a university (UND) and part 61, and relished the opportunity to fly in each situation. I do think that, in spite of the lack of “book smart” development, Part 61 trains much better pilots.

  • http://www.martinrottler.com Martin Rottler

    It might also be worth it to note the differences in flight time requirements for certification vis a vis Part 141 and Part 61. Through your CPL, the requirements are less for Part 141 certification. Once you go for a CFI, however, there is no minimum hour requirement for Part 61 while their is for Part 141.

    I went though 141 at a local flight school, 141 via a university (UND) and part 61, and relished the opportunity to fly in each situation. I do think that, in spite of the lack of “book smart” development, Part 61 trains much better pilots.

  • Timur

    I like it, I just got my private license and I could not make decision,until I read your thought.

    thank you very much

    Timur

  • Pingback: Let’s Go Flying » Blog Archive » Getting The Most Out Of Your Ground School()

  • Raiko

    Great write. I did my PPL and instrument rating 61 but I most likely will go into 141 for my commercial. Probably a good idea for most pilots to do since they require way less hours that 61. Thank You

  • jay

    hey man nice writing. I’ve seen a couple videos from you on youtube about holds and type of entries I think and they’re a really good tool for study. thanks a lot keep up the good work.
    I did PPL and IR part 141 and was leaning towards doing CPL under part 61 .. ??

  • Choller

     I am learning part 141 but I pretty much did my own ground school ( I used both Gleim and the Cessna courses together).  I do find many of the FAA questions a bit ridiculous.
    I honestly did not really think about 61 versus 141 but then again I an doing this for me, not for a career.
    As far as which teaches the better flying, I would be difficult to convince that the 61 versus 141 has much to do with it and it is instead down the the instructor(s) and YOU.

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  • Bennkelly

    I am in the decision of choosing which part to go which and i think this had help me made my decision. Thank you for posting this, it was a big help to me.

  • Leon

    Very Comprehensive explanation. I am an undergraduate international student really interested in becoming a commercial pilot, but don’t know how to start. Thanks for the info.

  • Juno

    Thanks for helping me out making my decision!

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