This Is How Much Practice Pilots Need To Fly A Passenger Plane

Have you ever wondered just how much practice a pilot needs before they’re allowed to ferry passengers across the clouds? The answer might surprise you.

In the United States, all pilots are required to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time under their belts before they can fly a turbine-powered engine aircraft carrying passengers. However, this rule only came into effect in 2013. Before then, pilots needed much less experience to fly passenger aircrafts.

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Prior to the 2013 rule changes, pilots only needed to qualify for a commercial pilot certificate to co-pilot a large passenger plane. Such certificates only take 250 hours of flight time to earn.

These newer regulations were a direct response to the 2009 crash of Colgan Air 3407, a domestic flight from New Jersey to New York that crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York. An investigation revealed that the pilot had failed five flight tests and wasn’t following procedure during the flight.

Now, all passenger plane pilots in the U.S. are held to strict standards and must prove themselves capable of keeping passengers and crew safe in the skies.