How fast can you get through flight training?

  • August 30, 2023

Flight training is challenging and rewarding, but there are several steps that everyone must go through to become an airline pilot. How fast can you do it and what factors make the difference?

A talented Redditor just showed us how fast a dedicated student can take flight! He was able  to go from his Private pilot checkride to complete his CFI/CFII/MEI in just over 5 months, 13 months later he had the 1500 hours required for and Air Transport pilot license, all told he went from working on a ground crew to being a 757 Captain Delta in six and a half years!


The Keys to Accelerated Flight Training

  • Aircraft Type: The aircraft used for training plays a pivotal role in determining the duration of the program. For instance, the training duration for a single-engine aircraft like the Cessna 172 is generally shorter compared to more intricate aircraft like the Cirrus SR20. Hence, students often opt for the Cessna 172 for accelerated and cost-effective training.

  • Training Programs: The structure and pace of training programs differ across flight schools. While some offer condensed training modules, allowing learners to obtain their licenses swiftly, these accelerated programs are usually rigorous and necessitate extensive dedication.

  • Prior Experience: An individual's background in aviation considerably impacts the duration of their training. Those with a history, such as military aviators or individuals already holding a private pilot's license, typically spend less time in training compared to newcomers.

  • Pilot Aptitude and Effort: Some people learn more quickly, but everyone can get though it, if they put in the effort. Being a pilot takes work, and the more effort you put in the faster you can go.

If you are a talented pilot, in an accelerated flight training program...

Chart of accelerate flight training timeline.

On average, a private pilot license takes most people 6-12 months. For a commercial pilot license, it's approximately 12-18 months, getting all the necessary licenses and flight hours for an airline transport pilot license is usually between 18-24 months. 

IMG_1866Accelerated flight training programs, like the Flex Air Pilot Pathway program, offer a comprehensive approach, enabling students to secure all necessary licenses within 10-12 months. This fast track prepares them for their first paid jobs as a certified flight instructor. This helps them work toward the 850 hours needed for a commercial pilot license and eventual to the 1500 flight hours needed to qualify for their air transport pilot license. Given the airline pilot retirement age cap at 65, it it is obvious why potential pilots prioritize such accelerated programs.

While the path to becoming a pilot can varies, it's paramount to underscore the intensity and dedication demanded by flight training. Choosing the right flight school, the right aircraft, and a suitable training program tailored to your aspirations and needs is essential. If you are dedicated and want to go fast the Flex Air Pilot Pathway program is for you.

Read more about the fastest way to become an airline pilot.