Don't Underestimate It
I didn’t pass my commercial checkride the first time. If you didn’t read about it, here is the link. Well, I did pass the second time which feels great! In this blog I’ll talk about how there seem to be a couple of misconceptions about obtaining, or rather ‘earning’, your commercial license.
First off, a lot of people say that getting your commercial license is “easy, it should take you about 10/15 flight hours”. And, for most people this is true. Some take longer, or some get to the commercial level of flying even faster. However, I don’t agree that the training is easy. The thing I noticed most is the following; the flying portion is relatively easy, yes. It is a bit more complicated than the Private Pilot maneuvers you learn. However your knowledge needs to be to the standards of well, a commercial pilot ofcourse. Things like common carriage, private carriage and commercial operators. You have to know these things inside-out. The basics are easy, but there are a lot of grey areas. Be sure to know these well as during your checkride you’ll get asked about them for sure! And well, you are going to be a commercial pilot. No excuses, know your things.
“With earning your commercial license comes great responsibility”
What also is a big difference between a new commercial pilot and a new private pilot is the type of knowledge these pilots poses. As a private pilot you know everything to fly safely from A to B, it’s the basics of what’s to come if you further your training. However, on the other hand as a commercial pilot you have to know and understand why and what you are doing. There is a slight, but very important, difference between knowing and understanding that i’m trying to emphasize.
If we take a look at the maneuvers you have to master during your commercial license they are plentiful; from lazy-eights to eight-on pylons and even steep spirals to cover a few. Even though they are a lot of fun to perform they can be quite difficult.
I particularly had some trouble doing lazy-eights. Which happens to be one of the hardest commercial maneuvers. It takes calculation, situational awareness and great feel for the plane you are flying to do this maneuver properly.
How to do a lazy-eight
But, if you are working on your commercial license, or plan on obtaining it in the near future don’t underestimate the level of knowledge you need to ‘earn’ the commercial license. Remember your commercial certificate is not an add-on. It’s a whole new license! Let’s take a quote straight out of Spiderman and adapt it to the commercial license now. “With great power comes great responsibility”. For us commercial pilots it’s the same; “With earning your commercial pilot’s license comes great responsibility”.
Why? Well, you are officially allowed to get paid for your services as a pilot. And maybe most importantly of all; you are allowed to get paid for taking passengers with you, whether it’s with a discovery flight flying over the Grand Canyon, or being hired to fly for a friend or family member.
What i’m trying to say is don’t underestimate earning this license. As soon as you get it you’ll be part of a elite group of pilots in the world. So, just remember this when you are working towards your commercial license; It’ is a great responsibility. Know your stuff, inside and out.