Part 141 vs. Part 61 Flight Schools What is the Difference

Part 141 vs. Part 61 Flight Schools: What is the Difference?

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Part 141 and Part 61 are different sets of regulations under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States that govern flight training. The main difference between Part 141 and Part 61 flight schools is the regulatory requirements and standards they must adhere to. Both Part 141 and Part 61 flight schools are authorized to provide flight training and can help students achieve their pilot certificates and ratings. 

The choice between Part 141 and Part 61 flight schools depends on factors such as the individual’s learning style, training goals, and preferences, as well as the specific requirements and resources of the flight school. When choosing a flight school, aviation students must consider the differences between pilot training methods to determine which suits them the best.

Regulatory Authority

Part 141 flight schools are regulated under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 141, which sets forth specific requirements for flight training organizations seeking to obtain and maintain FAA certification. This leads to a more structured flight training environment which helps students progress quickly. 

Part 61 flight schools, on the other hand, are regulated under Title 14 CFR Part 61, which outlines the general requirements for obtaining pilot certificates and ratings. While less strict, Part 61 of the FARs leaves instructors with more flexibility to manipulate the training material as they see fit. 

Curriculum and Syllabus

Part 141 flight schools are required to have an FAA-approved training curriculum and syllabus which includes detailed lesson plans, training materials, and specific training standards. Part 61 flight schools, however, have more flexibility in designing their training programs, and their training curriculum does not require FAA approval.

Training Hours

Part 141 flight schools typically have minimum training hour requirements that students must meet to be eligible for a pilot certificate or rating. These minimums are generally lower than those for Part 61 flight schools, as Part 141 schools follow a more structured and standardized training program. Part 61 flight schools do not have specific minimum training hour requirements, and the training duration can vary depending on the student’s progress.

Instructor Qualifications

Part 141 flight schools require their instructors to meet specific qualifications and experience requirements as set forth by the FAA. Instructors at Part 61 flight schools are also required to meet certain qualifications, but they generally have more flexibility in terms of their experience and training.


Part 141 flight schools are required to maintain detailed records of student progress, training hours, and training materials, which are subject to review by the FAA. Part 61 flight schools are also required to maintain records, but the requirements are generally less stringent compared to Part 141 schools.

Eligibility for Restricted ATP

Part 141 flight schools can provide training that qualifies students for a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with reduced flight experience requirements, which allows them to serve as co-pilots at certain airlines. Part 61 flight schools do not offer this specific pathway to a Restricted ATP.

Eligibility for VA Benefits

Part 141 flight schools are eligible to receive Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits for eligible veterans who want to use their GI Bill benefits for flight training. Part 61 flight schools are not eligible for VA benefits for flight training.

Train With The Best Instructors

If you are seeking a nurturing training environment with experienced instructors to help you on your aviation journey, Airlink Flight School can help. We are an FAA Part 141 certified flight school committed to providing the highest quality training – whether you want to fly for business or for the excitement of soaring high above the ground. If you want to learn more about our programs or enroll at our school, contact us today!