Time for Single Engine Add-on Commercial


Well-Known Member
Anyone have a estimate of how many hours it typically takes in preparation for the single engine add-on commercial rating?


New Member
Anyone have a estimate of how many hours it typically takes in preparation for the single engine add-on commercial rating?
Not to beat on you, but that's kinda like asking "how long does it take to build a house?"

It depends on where you're coming from, and you don't state that. If you already have the AMEL and are wanting the ASEL add-on, then take a look at the chart in the ASA PTS book (FAA-S-8081-12B) on page 1-v. Pick up this handy publication, if you don't already have it.

Also available at the faa site: http://www.faa.gov/education_research/testing/airmen/test_standards/pilot/media/FAA-S-8081-12B.pdf

You'll see from the handy chart what you have facing you on the practical as far as tasks go. You'll need some ground on areas of operation I tasks F & G "performance and limitations" & "operation of systems", and the ground instruction should be logged by your CFI. In the air, you need to cover pretty much the entire "takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds" area of operation, area IV. For area V - performance maneuvers, you need to cover steep spirals, chandelles, and lazy eights. You also need to cover area of operation IX, emergency ops, including emergency approach and systems and equipment malfunctions.

You need to make sure that you have logbook endorsements for flight proficiency [61.127(b), 61.123, 61.129], as well as 61.31(e) complex endorsement, and you need to fly with a CFI and get a 61.39(a)(6) endorsement that you've logged training in the preceding 60 days for the practical and are prepared to take the practical exam.

Otherwise, if it's an initial commercial:
Take the knowledge test. Make at least a 90% - you're at the commercial level now, no excuse for not knowing your ###t.
The FARs are your friend, and contain everything you need to know. Look into FAR 61.129 for all of the following: Do you have the long solo X-country requirement knocked out ? If not, may as well go ahead and get that. Also, do you have the requisite 250 hours total time ? One thing that gets alot of people is the 5 hours solo night PIC with 10 full stop night landings at a towered airport. You can get that on your own as well. Are you instrument rated (or 10 hours instrument training?)

If you have all of that, you'll need to get 10 hours complex, and a complex endorsement. For the initial commercial, your total time training time including the instrument and complex training, needs to be at least 20 hours, per 61.129(a)(3).

In either case - initial or add-on to an commercial AMEL, you'll probably need at least 10 hours complex in make & model for the flight school to allow you to take the plane solo, I would guess. So that might be the minimum, essentially 10 hours dual complex on maneuvers, etc. before you could get a signoff.

Hope this helps you, and good luck with it !

Alright tgrayson, tear it apart :)


Well-Known Member
Guess I should have been more clear in the original post. Somehow I thought the 'add-on' part was the tell, but forgive me for being vague.

I have my multi commercial. Have plenty of complex. This is not an initial (hence the add-on part:)).

I have already gone through the PTS, and I know the requirements for the rating. What I was looking for was some kind of an idea from CFI's that have worked with multi commerical pilots in preparation for the single add-on as to the average amount of time they spent preparing for that checkride.

Perhaps this is an impossible question to answer, but I was hoping someone had worked with enough to have a ballpark idea.



Well-Known Member
Took me three flights, then my check ride. All you have to do is chandels, lazy eights, steep spral, etc. Straight forward and the DE knows your have a CPL, so he's just checking you know those "performance" maneuvers in the SEL plane.


Gone West
It all depends.

The last one I did was 3 hours flat.

One took about 15 hours, he hadn't been flying regularly.