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How to get 1,500 flight hours

Fifteen hundred – it’s the magic number for commercial pilots. Since 2013, pilots have been looking for ways to hit the 1,500-flight-hour mark to begin flying for an airline. That’s when a federal law increased the minimum number of hours to possess an Airline Transport Pilot certificate from 250 to 1,500.

Pilots can reach that milestone in many ways. What they might not realize, however, is that Piedmont Airlines can help them achieve it.

After learning to fly and getting their initial licenses, ratings and certificates, many professional pilots continue to earn hours working as a certified flight instructor. From there they may also augment hours by flying cargo, charter and private operations or ferrying aircraft. Some will tow gliders or banners or fly as a crop-dusting or skydiving pilot. Whatever it takes to get to 1,500.

With as few as 500 flight hours, Piedmont starts helping pilots make up the gap. We interview and accept pilots for our Cadet Program with just 400 flight hours.

With our $7,500 signing bonus, you build time however and wherever you want. We don’t require you to enroll in a specific school. And unlike other programs, you don’t have to work as an instructor if you don’t want to. We’ll pay you every time you add 100 hours of flight time up to $5,000. Since you’re already associated with Piedmont, you have access to mentors, networking opportunities and events – giving you more chances to build hours and grow as a pilot.

Other opportunities exist, as well. Former military helicopter pilots can boost their fixed-wing experience through our assistance. We’ll help you get the licenses, ratings and hours to get where you need to be, even if you’re starting as low as 750 hours.

How about flying charter? We’ll supplement your income to fly for a Part 135 carrier while building up your hours. We’ll have a right seat available for you on an Embraer jet once you get to 1,500.

Getting to 1,500 flight hours might seem like a daunting task right now. But we have the resources to help you get there. So, are you ready to get paid to fly?

Learn more about our opportunities for pilots by visiting our Career Guide for Pilots.

Photo: Gabe, one of Piedmont’s first cadets, is now a captain anticipating flow to American Airlines.