Part 61

Flight Training under Part 61 versus Part 141


Third Coast Aviation (‘TCA‘) is an Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (‘CFR‘, also known as the Federal Aviation Regulations or FAR) Part 61 flight school.  Choosing a flight school is a very personal decision with location and CFI availability of the utmost importance since you invest a great deal of time and money throughout your flight training.

The first criteria to understand is that there are two types of flight training available – the Federal Aviation Administration (‘FAA‘) specifies that flight schools operate under Title 14 CFR Part 61 or Title 14 CFR Part 141 (there is also a Title 14 CFR Part 142, also known as training academies but for our purposes those are the same as Title 14 Part 141 schools).

Part 61

Flight schools operating under rules governed by Part 61 are granted more flexibility than Part 141 schools. Under Part 61, the FAA does not require the CFI’s curriculum to follow a syllabus but they must adhere to the FAA’s educational requirements; CFI’s can choose when and where to cover required materials based on student progress.

Part 61 flight school students are not required to complete a formal ground school program.  Because Part 61 students still must pass the FAA practical exam for the license they are training for, it is highly recommended that they complete one of the self study ground schools available or attend a group ground school (TCA provides group ground school classes schedules throughout the year – please see our TCA schedule).

Part 141

Flight schools operating under Part 141 train within a more structured environment and  must operate with an FAA approved syllabus. Instructors and students must adhere to the approved syllabus throughout the entire training. Periodically, a student will take stage checks administered by either the chief flight instructor or his/her designees. Students are also required to complete a certain number of hours of classroom instruction or one-on-one ground instruction with a CFI or Certified Ground School Instructor.

Because Part 141 schools operate under a more structured environment than Part 61 schools, the FAA requires fewer flight training hours.  For example, the FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours to obtain a PPL through a Part 61 school vs. the 35 minimum flight hours for Part 141 schools. The hour difference may be insignificant in some cases. The national average indicates that most students require 65 to 70 hours of flight training before the CFI and student feel ready for the private pilot flight exam. Another example of the hour difference is in the commercial pilot license requirement. Part 61 requires 150 hours of flight time while Part 141 has a minimum of 115 flight hours.

When it comes to the FAA check ride, which is the same for all, it doesn’t matter where you learned to fly, only how well.

You and Third Coast Aviation…

These are the basic differences between Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools. The beauty here is that you have a choice regarding the structure of your flight training, both school types have their benefits.  TCA believes that providing our student pilots flexibility is the best way to ensure successful completion of your training.

About Third Coast Aviation

Founded in January 2017, Third Coast Aviation (‘TCA‘) is a Texas Gulf Coast aviation company providing Part 61 flight trainingaircraft acquisition, sales, and management services.  Our seasoned Certified Flight Instructors (CFI, CFII, and MEI) deliver flight training from Discovery Flights to Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilots License (CPL), CFI and beyond. Our admissions professionals help individuals transition into professional careers through our partnerships with regional air carriers such as GoJet Airlines Inc.; our business-to-business (‘B2B’) clientele provide explosive growth opportunity and longevity for our staff of Certified Flight Instructors (‘CFI’), maintenance professionals, and an exhilarating place for our students to learn!

© 2017 – 2019 by Third Coast Aviation LLC, all rights reserved.


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