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P&N can train pilots for these certifications. These should not be confused with ratings or endorsements, which are separate training requirements that allow a pilot with a certain type of certificate to perform additional types of flying. Certificates can be added onto for additional privileges, but are the base of your certification. Private pilot is the initial certification most pilots start with and is the foundation of most pilot's training. Sport and recreational certifications require less hours, but come with more limitations and are only used in specific cases. Commercial is next, if you want to make a career out of it! The flight time for each certificate counts towards the flight time for your next hours requirement. Each certificate requires passing a written exam at our FAA approved test center and taking a flight exam (check ride) with an FAA designated pilot examiner. 



PRIVATE PILOT (Fixed Wing and Rotorcraft)

Business/Pleasure Flying

The most common pilot certificate is the private pilot certificate. Because the training requirements are more intensive than that of the recreational or sport pilot, private pilots are allowed to do much more, like fly at night and at controlled airports. Private pilots can also fly any aircraft in the category allowed. For instance, most private pilots are certified for the category “Aircraft-Single Engine Land,” which means they can fly any single engine land airplane (as long as they also have the appropriate ratings and endorsements, like those needed for a high-performance aircraft or complex aircraft.) Private pilots, like recreational and sport pilots, are not allowed to fly for commercial purposes, and must not be compensated for pilot services. Private pilot training consists of multiple maneuvers and at least 40 hours of flight time, 20 of which must be with an instructor. This is what P&N most commonly teaches. 

Total Flight Time Required:

40 Hours



Local Flying

The introduction of the sport pilot certificate makes the recreational pilot certificate much less common of a choice than the sport pilot or private pilot certificate, but it can be a good option for pilots who want to fly heavier aircraft than those used for sport pilot training, but who don’t necessarily want to move on to more advanced training. The recreational pilot certificate requires at least 30 hours of logged flight time, including 15 hours of dual instruction. Recreational pilots are limited to flights less than 50 nautical miles from their departure airport, can only fly during the day and must stay out of controlled airports. 

Total Flight Time Required:

30 Hours



For Hire

The commercial pilot certificate allows a pilot to be paid for their flying services. Since there are separate regulations for scheduled flights, commercial pilots must also abide by any additional federal aviation regulations pertaining to commercial flying operations. Becoming a commercial pilot means learning how to fly complex aircraft, which have retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable-pitch propeller. Commercial flight training also demands more precision and knowledge about professional flight operations. Possible careers include:

-Charter Pilot

-Cargo Pilot

-Aerial Surveying

-Rides and Tours

-Aerial Photography

-Agricultural Spraying

Total Flight Time Required:

250 Hours



Light Airplanes

A sport pilot is the easiest and least restrictive certificate a student can obtain. It’s meant for those pilots who wish to fly in light aircraft only, at low altitudes in their local area. Sport pilots are limited to just one passenger, and are prohibited from flying at night, above 10,000 feet, or in controlled airspace. The advantage to a sport pilot certificate is that it only requires 20 hours of logged training time, and most applicants are not required to obtain an FAA medical certificate. Typically we instruct this certificate in the student’s own aircraft.

Total Flight Time Required:

20 Hours




For those that want to gain hours or go into a career as a pilot, a flight instructor certificate is the next step for many. Although some pilots bypass the flight instructor certificate, many choose to instruct as a way to build experience while getting paid to fly.

Becoming a flight instructor involves learning a bit about instructional design, learning theory, and going into all commercial pilot topics much more in depth. The flight instructor certificate allows pilots to share their knowledge of flight with others while gaining necessary experience. Not all pilots go on to fly for an airline, in fact P&N instructors are dedicated to instruction. Some make a career of flight instruction, becoming a chief instructor, pilot examiner, or instructing on the side while flying as a corporate pilot in smaller jets. 

Total Flight Time Required:

250 Hours



Airline Pilot

The airline transport pilot (ATP) is the most advanced pilot certificate one can obtain, and it’s necessary for those who want to fly commercial airliners for a living. All commercial airlines now require a pilot applicant to have an ATP certificate. To become eligible for an ATP certificate, a pilot must have logged at least 1,500 hours and be at least 23 years old. These are the different types of pilot certificates (or licenses, as many people incorrectly call them.) 

Total Flight Time Required:

1500 Hours


Once you earn a certificate with P&N, you can add additional privileges to it. Once you earn a rating, it is attached to your certificate. Multi-engine and helicopter are technically certificates as well, but are normally accomplished after earning at least a private pilot certificate in a single engine airplane. Although you can earn you initial certification in a helicopter or multi engine, it will be much more expensive than starting in a single engine airplane. You will take a check ride with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. 




A helicopter rating can be obtained as an add-on to the Private Pilot Single-Engine Land certificate or on it's own. It’s a quick and easy add-on for those that already have private pilot or commercial pilot certificates. For those that don’t already have a private pilot certificate, helicopter training would also involve private pilot training in the helicopter. P&N is one of the few flight schools in the midwest that offers helicopter training. We use Enstrom F28 helicopters, the safest and most stable in the industry. 

Minimum Time:

40 Hours



Ominous Weather

An instrument rating allows a pilot to fly by sole reference to the instruments in the flight deck, and without any reference to the ground outside. This type of rating can be added on to a private pilot certificate or commercial pilot certificate. A certified flight instructor (CFI) must add an instrument instructor rating to his certificate (CFI-I) in order to instruct students that want to obtain an instrument rating. Most pilots complete their initial private pilot certificate, then go on to add the instrument rating before becoming a commercial pilot. 

Mimimum time to add on to existing certificate:

40 Hours



Larger Aircraft

A multi-engine rating is an add-on rating to the private pilot certificate. A multi-engine rating is necessary for most advanced training schools, and for those who want to go on to fly in the airlines. For others, it’s an optional add-on rating. A multi-engine rating will allow a pilot to – you guessed it – fly in a twin engine aircraft.  (Aircraft with more than two engines require a type-rating specific to that aircraft.) A CFI that wants to instruct in a multi-engine airplane must first obtain a multi-engine instructor rating (MEI). We have multiple multi-engine instructors on staff.

Mimimum time to add on to existing certificate:

7 Hours


Endorsements are the best way to advance your skills and become well rounded without having to go through additional testing. Endorsements can be approved by P&N's certificated flight instructors. Many can be accomplished in less than 10 hours. 



Conventional Gear

For aircraft that have a tailwheel configuration instead of tricycle gear, extra training is needed for the pilot, mainly because a tailwheel has different landing and steering characteristics than a tricycle gear aircraft.  There is no minimum hour requirement to obtain a tailwheel endorsement, but it usually takes just a few hours of landing practice to get it. Some people say that the best pilots are Tailwheel pilots!

You should try it!

Average Time

10 Hours

Piper Handles.jpg


Retractable Gear

A complex endorsement is needed for aircraft that have retractable landing gear, movable flaps, and a controllable-pitch propeller such as a Piper Arrow. Flying an airplane with these complex systems requires an additional endorsement from a certified flight instructor because systems and procedures will be different.

Average Time

5 Hours


Depending upon which of our 3 P&N Locations you want to attend, select from the following links:

Marion Airport
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