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Do Airlines Prefer Part 61 or Part 141?

There are many opinions about whether you need Part 61 or Part 141 training to be an airline pilot. Is one preferred by potential, future employers over the other? Is one more comprehensive training than the other? What do Federal Aviation Regulations dictate pilots are required to obtain for commercial careers?

If you’re wondering whether airlines prefer Part 61 or Part 141 training, we have answers.

What is Part 61 Flight Training?

Part 61 is often a more flexible training option for prospective pilots. The schedule and environment can be better for part-time students with work and personal commitments to juggle while in flight school.

Students who wish to continue to become pilots, flight instructors, or ground instructors can take Part 61 classes and be fully prepared for the job they want.

What is Part 141 Flight Training?

In contrast, Part 141 typically offers a more structured training option for prospective pilots. More of a full-time, college-like flight school schedule means students can finish their training in a shorter amount of time. All Part 141 curriculum is FAA-approved.

Like Part 61 training, students in a Part 141 training program can become airline pilots, flight instructors, or ground instructors with ease.

Main Differences Between Part 61 and Part 141 Flight Instruction

Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between Part 61 vs Part 141 flight training:

Private pilot certificate minimums:

  • Part 61 – 40 flight hours
  • Part 141 – 35 flight hours

Flight hours for instrument rating:

  • Part 61 – 90 flight hours
  • Part 141 – 35 flight hours

Commercial pilot certificate minimums:

  • Part 61 – 250 flight hours
  • Part 141 – 190 flight hours

The instructional styles and timelines of Part 61 and Part 141 may differ, but there’s both flight time and on-the-ground pilot training to prepare students for a job in aviation. Overall, you can expect to spend fewer hours training for Part 141 in a more structured environment on your journey to becoming an airline pilot.

Which Do Airlines Prefer?

In most pilots’ experience, neither option is better than the other when it comes to preparing for a job as an airline pilot. Airlines don’t have a preference as long as pilots have completed the necessary training and have the required certificate upon completion.

Both training tracks adequately prepare pilots-in-training for FAA tests, both in the air and on the ground. As long as your training includes the following, you’ll be prepared to earn your commercial pilot license:

  • Technically Advanced Aircraft time (TAA)
  • Advanced ground reference maneuvers
  • Advanced takeoffs and landings
  • Advanced flight maneuvers
  • Extended cross-country flying
  • Review for the FAA knowledge test
  • Review for the FAA check ride

How to Choose Between Part 61 and Part 141 Flight Training Courses

The type of flight school you attend should be determined by what type of student you are. How much time each day do you have to devote to your training? If you need to juggle a job, a family, or other responsibilities, the part-time, Part 61 school might be most beneficial to you. It will take longer to earn your pilot certificate, but it may be less stressful.

If, however, you’re ready to focus solely on your flight training, knock it out faster in a full-time, Part 141 program. Plus, your flight hours may vary based on previous experience you already have in flight training.

Enroll in Part 141 at FLT Academy

FLT Academy is a Part 141 flight school, with lesson plans that meet all requirements for pilot training. Contact us today to get started on the admissions process so you can take the first step toward your dream career today.