Pilot Certifications

  • Command Aviation’s Flight Training School offers personalized study designed to prepare you for the certifications you seek.


  • Flight training school pilot certification

You can earn your Pilot Certifications at Command Aviation easily and at your own pace. Certifications available at our Flight Training School include: Private Pilot, Instrument, CFI & CFII, Commercial and Helicopter.

Pilot Certification

The basic document that the FAA issues to a pilot is a certificate. The different levels of certification depend upon the extent of training and testing required.

Student Pilot Certificate:  The first level, which is usually issued in connection with the individual’s first aviation medical certificate.

Private Pilot Certification: For basic pilot privileges that meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO standards), the FAA issues a private pilot certificate, which has historically been the most common pilot certificate.

Commercial Pilot Certification: For those who wish to fly for compensation a higher level of certificate is required. Commercial pilot certificates and the airline transport pilot (ATP) certificates certify that the holder has successfully completed those requirements, and is qualified to exercise the more extensive privileges associated with that certificate level.

Instructor Certification

The certificate issued to a flight instructor is considered to be an instructor certificate, and not a pilot certificate. Possession of a commercial or ATP-level pilot certificate is generally required for issuance of a flight instructor certificate and the holder of a flight instructor certificate may exercise its privileges only when the instructor certificate is used in combination with the appropriate pilot certificate. In contrast, the holder of a ground instructor certificate is not required to hold a pilot certificate.


All pilot and instructor certifications (except for student and sport pilot certificates) have associated ratings. Ratings specify what, and/or how, the pilot is qualified to fly. The most common form is the aircraft category and class rating. A typical rating on a private pilot certificate is “airplane single-engine land.” If you subsequently decide that you want to fly twin-engine airplanes, you need to complete the training and testing requirements for a multi-engine rating. Your private pilot certificate will then have ratings for “airplane single and multiengine land.”

There are many possible combinations of certificates and ratings for aircraft category and class. Ratings are added to a certificate when the pilot qualifies for a certain operating privilege, such as an instrument rating, in a specific aircraft category and class.


An endorsement signifies the completion of ground and/or flight training required for specific operating privileges or for airman certification testing. Except for certain endorsements made in pen and ink on a student pilot certificate, endorsements are generally made in the pilot’s logbook. The endorsements required by Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61 fall into several broad categories:

  • Student Pilots
  • Testing for Certificate or Rating
  • Recurrent Training
  • Aircraft Characteristics

Read full article, License to Learn by Susan Parson in the May/June 2008 issue of FAA Aviation News.

Medical Certification

All pilots are required to be medically certified.  There are four doctors in the Bellingham area from whom you can obtain a medical certificate.Adam Kartman,Eric Smith,John Tisdall and Terry Woods. Information about how to reach them, maps to their locations, etc can be found at:  http://faa-medical.findthedata.org/d/a/Washington/Bellingham

If you do not live in the Bellingham area, you can find information for doctors in your area by going to: www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator.

MedXpress Program

The FAA offers a medical express program that is a web application pilots should use to submit their certification applicant information (Items 1 through 20) of the FAA Form 8500-8. Pilots need only a valid email address to create a MedXPress account to use FAA MedXPress. MedXPress is designed to expedite the processing of a pilot’s request for certification and shorten the pilot’s office visit with the AME.

Pilot participation in MedXPress is currently voluntary; however, as was recently announced the use of MedXPress is mandatory beginning October 1, 2012.

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