Commercial Singe Engine Land 141/61


Well-Known Member
I had originally started my Commercial training via part 141. Things changed and I am switching to part 61. Under 61 there seems to be no structure or progress checks etc. My question to those JC'rs that know, seeing that the magic number is to get to 250 hours, do most students that train under part 61 just fly as much as possible and do you make sure that each flight is at least 50NM from your starting point so as to log cross country time? I read in here somewhere that a student pilot is flying 5 hours per day and simply back and forth between a couple airports. Is that OK to do? It does not seem that is a way to progress and learn how to be a good commercial pilot? So, when you hit the 250 hour mark do part 61 pilots then select one of the many places that advertise a Commercial ticket in 5 days or so and get er done? Any comments and suggestions please. Also, has anyone gone to Sheble Aviation in Arizona? They advertise a Commercial SEL in 3 days and $3,000.00?
Some pilots just fly back and forth between a few local airports, and work their way to 250 hours. They have rather limited experience, and it usually shows when they try to move forward towards their first job. The same is true with many CFI's. They fly the same 1 or 2 hours over and over, gaining little experience that is relevant in the "real world". There are some CFI's that will do long cross countries with students as part of your training and time building. I flew from NY to Miami and back in a 172 when I was working on my Instrument Rating and from FL to California and back in an Arrow when I was working on my Commercial. It did cost more money, but I was happy with the experience that I had. Real world ATC, differing terrain, landing at different airports, flight planning/alternates, weather, and much more. I would recommend it to anyone.

As far as getting your Commercial, why not hire an instructor to fly with you during a few of your last 20 hours before you reach 250. That is what most people do. They get 230 hours or so, and then fly with a CFI for half of the last 20 hours and work on their commercial maneuvers. If you are renting a plane anyways, why bother paying for one of the accelerated places?
Are you looking to go right into your CFI after you get your commercial? If so, get comfortable with all the commercial maneuvers in the left seat, then go up with a CFI and learn how to do them and teach them from the right seat as well as all the landings, ground ref, etc required on the CFI ride. It will kill some time and when you get your commercial all you'll really need is some fine tuning and the writtens and you'll be close to getting your CFI
If your doing it all 61 now, I would find the cheapest rental you can fine like a 150/152. And take some trips, build some XC, and enjoy it! You don't need a "fast" 172 and hour in a 152 and an hour in a 172 are both 60 min long, why not save some money?
Once you get your license no one will ever know whether it was acquired through P141 or P61. It doesn't matter. The only thing 141 does is prescribe and proscribe your training, whereas P61 allows flexibility. Under 141, your training is more like going to school with regularly scheduled classes in accordance with some prescribed syllabus. Yeah, you can knock a few hrs of training off here and there, but really there is no material difference. At the end of the day, you're ready when you're ready. As far as training locally vs training on XCs is concerned, that's a different question. I would opine that any training you can get in the context of actual trips to unfamiliar airports is time well spent. Much more productive and conducive to putting all the pieces together than the same routine local training flights all the time.