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Thread: Part 61 or 141 for instrument rating?

  1. #1

    Default Part 61 or 141 for instrument rating?

    After doing some research, talking to folks and weighing out the pros and cons, I've decided to pursue an instrument rating under part 61 for the following reasons:

    I am only going to be in the lower 48 for a few more weeks before returning indefinitely to Alaska. I don't have the time to start a 141 syllabus, and I have been told that a new flight school will only accept maybe %50 of the hours accrued at a previous flight school.

    When we talk about a rating under 141 taking less time it seems like a mute point since the extra time needed under 61 to get the same rating is time needed anyway to get a job in most places. Can you realistically get a job flying in Alaska with 190 hours, the minimum for a commercial license under part 141?

    The advantage I see to 141 is the financial aid piece, and so maybe I will pursue a commercial rating under that part. For now though, having to split up the instrument training between two locations, I see part 61 as the way to go.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    You're right, there is no real advantage in getting the instrument rating in fewer hours. The minimum time to fly pt. 135 is 500 hours, and you're likely to need more to get hired air taxi. Many pilots start as flight instructors, which can be done with less than 500 hours. The important thing is to get enough proficiency to pass a company 135 checkride...actually, I take that back the important thing is to get enough proficiency to stay alive once you do get the job. Instrument flying is precision flying, so practice keeping dead on with altitudes and headings during all of your flying and you'll save a lot of time and money on Instrument instruction.

    I got my training through a 141 school so I could use the Alaska state student loan, but I was quite a bit over the minimum time required before I got my ticket. I was glad I got my ratings (instrument and commercial) and used up the money in my account at the school when I did. The owner of the school ended up splitting with an alleged quarter million of student loan money. Good luck!.....Louis
    Louis Knapp


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