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Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP  
User currently offlineBio15 From Colombia, joined Mar 2001, 1089 posts, RR: 7
Posted (9 years 10 months 5 days ago) and read 15192 times:

Hello. I was interested in knowing the precise differences between a commercial pilot and an ATP. I would appreciate any help.

Thanks in advance


4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineUndehoulli From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15187 times:

Well, there is a dramatic difference in the number of hours required to obtain the commercial certificate as opposed to the ATP. Us lowly commercial pilots need only 250 hours (sometimes less if you train under 141) compared to 1,500 for the ATP. There are a few other miscellaneous hour requirements in there for the ATP too (X-C time, etc...) Also you need only be 18 for the commercial, 23 for an ATP. One interesting thing is that to get your ATP, the FAA requires you to be of "Good Moral Character"!

PIC's for 121 carriers are all ATP's, while the FAR's require you to be a commercial pilot to act as SIC. Both certificates allow the holders to fly for compensation or hire, and actually training for F/O's is usually done to ATP standards just as it is for captains. Many airline F/O's, especially at major airlines, are already ATP's, having been captain on another aircraft type, or their employer requries them to have an ATP before being hired, or they get their ATP as part of training.

User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15183 times:

Quoting Undehoulli (Reply 1):
sometimes less if you train under 141

yup...190 is the number I believe...

In short, experience is the difference. The FAA isn't going to make you pay for your first 1200 hours and wait until you're 23 to have an aviation job, otherwise there would be VERY few pilots. So, they have this commercial pilot thing in there to give pilots an opportunity to gain experience (and money) as well as teach newer students before they are responsible for hundreds of lives each time the wheels leave the ground.

As a commercial pilot myself, I'm glad it's there, otherwise I would be one of those in the back instead of the front  Smile

Your CptSpeaking  wave 

...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 9248 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15162 times:

"Good Moral Character"

An arbitrary designation by any measure knowing some ATP's I've had the pleasure of acquaintance with  Wink

The same designation is required by most state bar associations to receive license to practice law.

If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineBio15 From Colombia, joined Mar 2001, 1089 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15152 times:

Hi, thanks for the responses. I'm am about to begin training for aquiring the Commercial Pilot license, but under different regulations. I am not from the United States but from Colombia. The ATP and Commercial pilot licenses exist in Colombia, but I wasn't aware of what their difference was.

It is very common to find aeronautical divisions on different countrys using the FAA regulations, or very similar ones at least, and Colombia is no exception. Therefore I assume many of the things you have mentioned hold for my country as well.

The question arised because I was recently taking the class 1 medical exams to get the temporary student license, and when filling out the paperwork there was a field to choose between "Piloto de Transporte de Línea Aérea" (ATP in spanish), or the other licenses available, so I wondered what it was.

I am still in the preliminary phases of beggining my aviation career so I still need to clarify some things. I am certain I will learn about this and other things as soon as I begin my courses, but I find it helpful to be one step ahead by researching a bit on this forum before starting my studies.

If there's any additional information I would appreciate it.


*edit: I just found out a relevant regulation of the Aerocivil (colombian aeronautical division). It states you must be 21 years of age to be elegible for the ATP license.

[Edited 2006-07-03 08:01:27]

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