In this article I’m going to walk you through the differences between part 61 vs 141.
But before we dive in, let’s take a look at what part 141 and part 61 even are.
FARs govern everything in the world of aviation, from the type of training you receive to when maintenance is required on airplanes.
As you pursue various licenses and ratings you’ll come to know the FARs quite well.
An easy way to look at it is a solo certified flight instructor could train you under part 61 but if they are not part of an approved part 141 flight school, they could not train you under those regulations.
Only FAA-approved flight schools that have met all requirements are able to train under Part 141.
To figure out which is best for you watch the video below or continue reading.
What is the Difference Between Part 141 and Part 61 Flight Training?
There are specific 141 requirements each student must complete as opposed to general part 61 requirements.
You’ll learn the same material as you go through both training methods but at a Part 141 school, you’ll typically move more quickly.
Both methods require you to meet the same standard of performance to obtain a pilot certificate, and you earn the same exact pilot certificate regardless of which regulations you train under.
Neither system is better than the other; there are pros and cons of both, but ultimately it’s a matter of personal choice. It all depends on your specific needs and goals.
Flight Hours for Part 141 vs. Part 61
Under Part 61 someone pursuing their private pilot needs to fly a minimum of 40 hours. Under Part 141 you only need to fly a minimum of 35.
While this may sound like a huge perk it’s important to note that the national average for obtaining a private pilot’s license is between 65-70 hours regardless of the type of training.
Where the FAA minimum requirements really matter is if you are going for your commercial certificate.
Under Part 61, you’ll need to log 250 total flight hours. But you can do so in any way you want. Go visit family, take friends flying, go to a fly-in, and have fun with it!
Under Part 141, you’ll only need to log 190 flight hours, but only if all the hours are flown in the schools approved aircraft, all ratings are attained in the minimum hours, and every flight follows a pre-approved syllabus.
Curriculum for Part 141 vs. Part 61
Part 141 schools offer a very structured training environment.
This can be great for those of you who thrive in more strictly organized settings, but for others – especially those not interested in pursuing a career in aviation – it may be too rigid.
Many Part 141 schools may not allow you to choose your instructor, however, most good ones will allow you to be reassigned to another instructor in cases of incompatibility.
In order to train students under Part 141 regulations, a flight school must go through a strict FAA approval process, meet certain FAA requirements, and have each curriculum reviewed and approved by the FAA.
So for each certificate and rating there are specific requirements such as instrument rating requirements part 141 vs 61.
Part 61 instruction on the other hand isn’t generally as strict in the organization of the material.
While you’ll learn the same material as part 141, your instructor doesn’t need to follow a specific order and can teach in whatever order they choose.
In general, Part 61 instruction moves at a slower pace.
The main advantage of Part 61 flight training is the added flexibility. Since you aren’t following a strict training plan you can bounce around a bit more in your training.
Part 61 training is particularly well suited for pilots who aren’t planning on working professionally.
So if you’re planning on learning on a part-time basis, Part 61 is probably for you.
Part 61 & Part 141 Ground School
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the difference between part 141 vs 61 flight school.
Still not sure which one is right for you? Reach out to a member of our admissions team to help you determine which is right for you, part 61 vs part 141.
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Liz Brassaw is a first officer for a regional airline and the former Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Operations Officer for Thrust Flight. She holds an ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AMEL, ASES with over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. She’s passionate about flying and enjoys instilling that love in the instructors on her team and the new students she trains.