Technically, no, but know this, If you are not going to go the military route....
In the US, you are not eligible for a commercial until you log 250 hours.Might as well go for the Private @ 40+ then get your instrument rating, (you will need this to exercise the privileges of a commercial pilot) per 61.133, which says in part,
A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category or powered-lift category rating and does not hold an instrument rating in the same category and class will be issued a commercial pilot certificate that contains the limitation, âœThe carriage of passengers for hire in (airplanes) (powered-lifts) on cross-country flights in excess of 50 nautical miles or at night is prohibited.â The limitation may be removed when the person satisfactorily accomplishes the requirements listed in Â§61.65 of this part for an instrument rating in the same category and class of aircraft listed on the person's commercial pilot certificate.
With this you can get a entry level job flying for pay, build hours needed for the ATP, or you could also get your Flight Instructor Certificate, Instruct, and build the hours that way.
The when you get ready for the ATP (Airline Transport Pilolt) You must have a commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating)Â§ 61.153) plus,The applicant must meet the aeronautical experience requirements of Â§61.159 of this part and at least one of the followingâ"
(A) Hold a type rating for a turbojet airplane of the same class of airplane for which the type rating is sought, or have been designated by a military service as a pilot in command of an airplane of the same class of airplane for which the type rating is sought, if a turbojet type rating is sought;
(B) Hold a type rating for a turbopropeller airplane of the same class as the airplane for which the type rating is sought, or have been appointed by a military service as a pilot in command of an airplane of the same class of airplane for which the type rating is sought, if a turbopropeller airplane type rating is sought;
(C) Have at least 2,000 hours of flight time, of which 500 hours must be in turbine-powered airplanes of the same class as the airplane for which the type rating is sought;
(D) Have at least 500 hours of flight time in the same type of airplane as the airplane for which the type rating is sought; or
(E) Have at least 1,000 hours of flight time in at least two different airplanes requiring a type rating.
To be an airline pilot you'll have to start out at a regional airline. They're going to be primarily interested in how much total flight time you have and how much multi-engine time you have. Right now some airlines are hiring with as little as 400 hours total time and 100 hours of multi time. Your first goal should be to build this flight time. Of course, you'll need your instrument and multi-engine ratings as well as a commercial license. The method I would suggest would be to get your private license first and then work on building time to get your commercial license by getting your instrument and multi-engine ratings.
I'd hold off on the degree for now. Most regionals don't care anyway and the last thing you want to do is put things on hold for 4 years. Get hired by a regional and THEN work on the degree.
For now I'd HIGHLY recommend getting Sporty's training videos. They're the best I've seen and will make the process much easier. Trust me, they will pay for themselves many times over.
Heres the deal...forget the BS that the others are saying
First you solo, the youngest is 16
Then Private and Instrument in Single and Multi Engine at 17
Then commercial at 18
Then whatever type rating for what airplane you want to fly
At 23 you can get your ATP, Airline Transport Pilot. That means you can be a captian. Untill then you are a First Officer
If youo really want to enter the world of flying, go to a local airport and find a mom and pop flying school that can teach you everything. They will do the best job at flying skills.
Then build hours. Fly as much as you can. In as many airplanes as you can. If you like it, work hard and get good at flying.
Then go to college. Airlines want to see if you can finish something. Get a degree in buisness, something usefull
Working for a corperate airline during college earing money and building time, big airlines should be hiring again. With lots of Twin engine time and all your ratings, airlines would be glad to give you a type rating and have you flying in the right seat.
Do your research, go to the local airport and enjoy yourself. Thats what im doing
Well Im a Airline Pilot For Delta Airlines, And had My Private License Way Before I got my Commercial License. I highly reccomend Getting the Private First. And Getting A college Education because it really helps on your Resume. Hope to see you in the Skies!
No, but to be an airline pilot for a regional or major airline, you must hold an Airline Transport Pilot's (ATP) certificate (the next step above a Commercial Pilot's certificate). Additional training and ratings likely include, high performance complex airplane, multi-engine, instrument, and turbine engine qualifications. Along the way, you'll also acquire type ratings in the aircraft you will fly for the company.
Interestingly, I know a Delta captain who flies international routes in 767's who got all of his basic flight training in the Air Force where he flew C-141's. When he got out he converted his USAF experience directly to a civilian ATP ticket. He never spent a minute of time flying a single engine piston aircraft in his life until his son got his Private Pilot's certificate. He had to get qualified in single engine pistons before he could go up with his son and act as pilot in command, otherwise he was just a passenger legally.
No. I'm an airline transport pilot with seven type ratings in large aircraft. I've never had a private pilot's license of any kind.
No, you can work directly toward a commercial license. But because earning a private license is easier and most pilots love to fly, many earn their private license along the way.