CRAFT Flight Training & Simulation Is A FAA Part 141 School

CRAFT Flight & Simulation is now a FAA Part 141 School! This expands the training courses that we can offer furthering our mission of providing the best experience possible for our students. Currently we are approved to offer Private Pilot, and Instrument courses under Part 141. Soon we will add Commercial, CFI, and Multi-engine courses.

With this milestone, we wanted to provide some clarity around the two types of flight training programs – Part 61 and Part 141.  While going through the process of becoming a Part 141 School, our team knew that we couldn’t start our students’ aviation journey with any confusion about the differences between Part 61 and Part 141. The purpose of this article is to demystify the differences between the two. 

No Better, No Worse

Neither type of school is “better” or “worse” than the other. Part 61 and Part 141 training schools are two sides of the same coin. A student completing their courses in either Part 61 or Part 141 will graduate with the same certificate and skill set—but the path to that certificate can be very different

Part 61 and Part 141 refer to sections of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that control pilot training. Part 61, is the more common form of training offered at most airports. It is the default type of flight training. This type of training could come from an independent instructor or from a flight school. It can be, but isn’t always, less structured with the curriculum and pacing left up to the individual instructor.  Part 61 training is available at more locations and can be tailored more to the student, making it great for part-time students that aren’t flying as often. The Part 61 training path is also beneficial for someone that already meets some of the training requirements when going for a new pilot certificate or rating. The downside to training under Part 61 is that it can be more expensive and the FAA minimum hours required are higher.

How Part 61 & Part 141 Are Different

  1. Cost and Time – if you train consistently you can save money doing Part 141 courses, and get done faster.
  2. Part 141 is more structured, Part 61 is more flexible
  3. FAA minimum hours required are lower under 141
  4. If you attend a 4-year degree program  under 141, you can be eligible for Restricted ATP
  5. Some approved flight schools can accept Veteran’s Benefits for approved Part 141 courses (but not for Private Pilot)
  6. Fewer flight schools offer 141 vs 61


How Part 61 & Part 141 Are The Same

  1. At CRAFT, we use the same syllabus for both training paths, some schools don’t use a syllabus at all
  2. Same FAA proficiency standards and knowledge standards
  3. Whether you are training under 61 or 141, if you don’t train consistently and show up prepared, you won’t be ready for your checkride at the FAA minimum number of hours, which means your training will ultimately cost more and take longer.


Part 61 and Part 141 By the Numbers

To get your commercial pilot certificate, you are normally required to have 250 flight hours. When going through a Part 141 program, the student only needs to complete 190 hours, potentially saving thousands of dollars.   Here’s an example for those interested in flying for the airlines. Normally, you earn your Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate once you reach 1,500 hours of flying  But, if you train through a University 141 program (such as the one we’re offering in collaboration with Charleston Southern University (CSU) in the Fall of 2021) you could reduce that requirement down to 1,250 or even 1,000 hours with a Restricted ATP certificate. Another great benefit of Part 141 training courses is that you can use your G.I. Bill (if the flight school is partnered with the Veterans Administration, like we will be by the end of this year) to help pay for your flight training. 

Part 61 vs. Part 141 Video Series

When it comes to choosing between a Part 61 or Part 141 style of training, there are many factors to take into account and each student is different. Before you start your training, think about what your end goal is and how you want to get there. At CRAFT we know that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” way to learn how to fly and that’s why we’re offering both Part 61 and Part 141 training at each of our locations.  

If you have any questions about Part 61 or Part 141 or pilot training in general, please give us a call, send us an email, or come visit us at our office at the Charleston International Airport or Summerville Airport. We’d be delighted to answer any questions you may have.



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