Hours After Private

Hello all, and thank you ahead of time for your responses! Just finished my first solo at 15 hours, and I know I have a ways to go for my PPL and then CPL. Background is I am at a part 61 school, financing, and seem to be picking up everything relatively fast. I know there will be other challenges, or weather in my way potentially (although I’m in sunny Socal) so my question is based on IDEALLY receiving my CPL right at the 250 mark.

My question is after you obtained your PPL, what is your recommended hours and/or training path for instrument, multi, then commercial?

For instance did you pass your PPL checkride and just collect CXC Hours till you hit a certain amount of hours? 100 hours?150 Hours before you commenced with Instrument and Multi Engine? Do you suggest going right into Instrument training after obtaining your PPL? Open to any and all responses as I am just trying to gauge everyone’s experiences.

If money, time, and weather were not an issue what would you suggest if you could go back the day RIGHT AFTER passing your PPL checkride?

Thanks Again!


The your next rating should be your Instrument. The reason is you’ll need to build 250hrs for your CPL and if you only have your PPL your extremely limited as to the amount of flying you can accomplish only flying in VMC.

If your goal is to fly professionally you should also be looking to get your Multi Engine rating in there a well.


Thank you for your response Adam, much appreciated!!! I intend on going to the airlines for sure!

My question is do you recommend completing the Instrument IMMEDIATELY after I receive my PPL or do you recommend getting hours up a little bit first? Maybe do some cross countries first? And when doing my instrument, do you recommend doing Instrument and Multi engine back to back?

Just looking for clarity if there is any strategic way to go about Ratings and hours so that I dont overwhelm myself, or if there was a process that made for the smoothest transition or retaining information to each rating as it pertains to the hours immediately after PPL.


Congratulations on the solo, that is a huge milestone in your aviation career. The recommended path that ATP set, and other schools “mocking” ATP is as follows:

^(This may have changed since my attendance at ATP)

Once you pass your private checkride, I recommend doing instrument flights cross-country, you will need 500 hours PIC XC when you enter the airlines anyway. I would mix in after some time, maybe a night flight once and while, as the winter months approach, sunset time will begin coming sooner, so it won’t be as late night. If you delay any training you may watch your own progress degrade, which will prolong your own training and costs. However, you need 250 for the commercial training, if your school offers an AATD (Advanced Aviation Training Device), you may use UP TO 50 hours of that for your commercial certificate; in paragraph i. eCFR :: 14 CFR 61.129 – Aeronautical experience. (FAR 61.129)

The other thing I would suggest is completing your written exams for the instrument and commercial checkride, as soon as possible. You didn’t mention about post certificates, are you looking to instruct, if so you’ll need to complete a few more writtens.


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Thank you ! I do intend on instructing, Im working a corporate job right now that is luckily on EST time and remote, so im done with enough time to go to flight school 4-5 times a week here in SoCal. I plan on attacking aggressively so that i can receive my CFI, and leave the corporate job to focus full time on my Aviation Career and Hours.

I will definitely take your advice on knocking out the Writtens ASAP, i’ve seen that to be a common theme.

Much Appreciated!


Then I recommend completing your writtens in this order:

Having 4 to 5 lessons a week is a good target, especially if they’re around 1.5-hour blocks. That allows an extra day for weather or plane availability. As long as you don’t expect any delays with your training, you could continue working remote and train diligently with flying.


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