Maybe you have always wanted to fly a plane. Getting your pilot's license is obviously the first step towards achieving that dream. But not all pilot's licenses are the same. Actually, in the U.S., there are six different types of pilot's licenses you can earn. Here is a brief look at each one of them.
This is the easiest license to obtain. It permits you to fly certain small aircraft, but only at a low altitude with one passenger. Training programs are typically only a month or two long, as you only have to log 20 hours of flight time to earn the license.
This license allows you a lot more flexibility than the sport pilot license, so it requires more work. You can fly heavier aircraft at a higher altitude, but only over certain distances and only outside of the altitudes used by commercial aircraft. Training should last a few months, as you need to earn 30 hours of flight time, plus many more instructive hours.
Most people start with a recreational pilot's license and then move onto a private pilot's license, which allows them to drive any single-engine plane and within the airspace used by commercial pilots. This license also allows you to fly at night. You'll need to learn additional maneuvers and log 40 hours or more of flight time.
The next level up is your commercial pilot's license, which allows you to fly multi-engine planes and earn money for doing so. Not all commercial pilots fly for large airlines; some fly for private companies. Since you will have to communicate with air traffic control and know how to operate various planes, earning this license requires intensive schooling.
If you love being a commercial pilot so much that you want to teach others, you can get your flight instructor's license. You may teach others who are simply earning their sport or recreational license or those who are earning a commercial license. Getting your flight instructor license typically only involves a few months of schooling once you're already a commercial pilot. You'll learn more about theory and teaching skills.
Airline Transport Pilot
What about aircraft that transport other aircraft? As it turns out, you need to be a specifically licensed airline transport pilot to fly them. You must have many hours as a commercial pilot before you can even begin the training program for this one.
For more information, contact a flight training school like Sunrise Aviation.