I´m planning to be a pilot, i just want to know if you can work only with the private licence and where.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ As a private license doesn't allow for commercial activities in many countries, maybe you need to rephrase the question into "Are there countries where a commercial activity can be conducted with a private license?" $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Nov 11, 2017 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


You cannot do so. A private pilot’s license - at least in the US - prohibits you from offering airman services for compensation or hire.

If you intend to fly professionally, you will need at least a commercial pilot’s certificate. An instrument rating is also highly recommended as is multi engine class ratings for the greatest chances of employment. Air carrier operation will require you to hold an airline transport pilot’s license for part 121 operations.

  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, would a PPL prevent someone from getting a job even in commercial aviation? I could imagine that having a PPL could be a small advantage, all other things equal, for example to become a cabin attendant, since some (all?) medical requirements would already be taken care of. Of course, all other things are never equal. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Nov 11, 2017 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ Note that the last part about air carrier operations only apply to USA. In most other places, only the captain needs ATPL and one can be F/O with just CPL (and instrument rating and appropriate type rating). $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Nov 11, 2017 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not an aviation lawyer, or that familiar with current regulations, but I think you can fly if it's only incidental to the work. For instance, I used to do work at sites hundreds of miles distant from the business location, and often would fly myself there, rather than driving or taking commercial transport. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Nov 11, 2017 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ You can fly ‘in furtherance of a business’ ie if you fly an airplane for business travel or to aid a business. But you cannot be paid for the flying ie for compensation or hire. $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2017 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ This is defined under §61.113 PPL Privelages and Limitations. $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2017 at 5:58

The opportunities are limited, as the FAA pretty loosely construes compensation. For example, you cannot fly to take photographs, which you sell.

You can conduct operations which are incidental to your work. For example, if your business required you to be in different locations, you may be able to fly to those locations, similarly to driving there. I do not believe that you could haul product or customers. If you are considering this type of work you should consult an aviation attorney. I would search the FAA Letters of Interpretation (LOI) first before spending money on an attorney.

There are some other things you can do, as a private pilot. For example, I have an uncle who is a farmer, and conducts Part 137 ag operations on his farm. Sometimes he hires other pilots, and they need commercial licenses. However, he can apply chemicals to HIS farm land without a commercial.

In general, having a private pilot license may help show a level of experience which may help you acquire non-flying jobs, but I suspect you are not interested in that.

The entry point for most pilots is commercial/instrument/cfi, however I have known a few pilots who had just commercial/instrument, who built hours towing banners, towing gliders, flying jumpers and as SIC for 135 operations. Some, who are good at networking, may get jobs flying for Part 91 corporate ops, but with low hours, the insurance requirements are steep. Building hours is the primary reason why many pilots get an instructor rating. That motivation may not assure the best instructors, but that is how the industry is currently structured.


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