Pilot training programs and courses

Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Our Professional Pilot Program (PPP) is our airline pilot program for cadets looking to pursue a career as a Flight Instructor or as an airline pilot. 

Federal Financial Aid with our airline pilot training program

As a cadet of this airline pilot program you will learn to fly at state-of-the-art facilities in Orlando, Florida, with approximately 60 single-and-multi engine aircraft as well as Flight Training Devices (FTDS).

We are approved to provide Federal Financial Aid to cadets enrolled on our Professional Pilot Program and who are eligible. In fact, one of the most popular PPP funding sources for students is the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents.

You’ll graduate with a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate which guarantees you an interview with us to become a Flight Instructor. So, you can start to earn money while working towards the 1,500 flight hours needed to join a regional airline as a First Officer.

Timeline of the course

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Professional Pilot Program course footprint

The PPP is designed for those who aim to work for an airline. This program includes training in a multi-engine aircraft. Our PPP can be completed in as little as 15 months and takes cadets through the following certificates and ratings:

Step 1 - Book a Discovery Flight

Want to experience the L3Harris Flight Academy aircraft before you apply? Book a Discovery Flight with one of our experienced Instructors.

Discovery Flight

Step 2 - Apply and enroll

Complete the online enrollment application form or speak with a member of our Admissions team who will be happy to answer any questions: click here.

Step 3 - Training

Each course and its key features are as follows:

1. Private Pilot Certificate – Once you have obtained your Private Pilot Certificate, you are successfully rated to act as pilot-in-command of a single-engine airplane.

2. Instrument Rating – An Instrument Rating (IR) is designed to train pilots to maneuver aircraft based purely on reference to the instruments, without need to look out of the cockpit, except for take-off and landing.

3. Commercial Pilot Certificate – A Commercial Single-Engine Certificate is a qualification that allows someone to be paid to fly as a pilot-in-command of a single-engine aircraft for compensation.

4. Multi-Engine Add-On - In this phase of training, you'll fly in multi-engine aircraft like our Piper PA44 Seminole, learning takeoff and landing performance & thresholds, emergency procedures for VFR & IFR flight and more complex aircraft system operations.

5. Flight Instructor Certificate – Learning the fundamentals of instruction including: Regulations, aeromedical, systems, aerodynamics, pre-flight requirements, airspace, night/high altitude operations, meteorology,  navigation, flight planning and safe operations.

6. Instructor - Start as an L3Harris Flight Instructor and earn money while you build your FAA mandated 1500 flight hours.

7. Career! - Upon 1500 hours of flight time students will join a regional airline as First Officer.

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Future career prospects

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

What are my career prospects?

By graduating from our Professional Pilot Program you will have earned your Flight Instructor Certificate, which guarantees you an interview to become a CFI at L3Harris. We also have relationships with 10 regional airlines in the USA.

Following on from your airline pilot training program, you will be eligible to commence your Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP) to obtain your Airline Transport License enabling you to apply for a career with regional and major airlines.

Our connections with 10 regional airlines from around the US provides cadets with a seamless pathway to becoming airline pilot. Representatives from these airlines are frequently invited to campus to interview and speak with cadets about class dates, salary, bonuses, and cadet programs.

Regional airline partners

Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Cost and funding for Professional Pilot Program

Professional Pilot Program cost:

  • Tuition (estimated): $83,995

Federal Financial Aid:

Unlike many other flight schools, we are approved to provide Federal Financial Aid to cadets enrolled on our Professional Pilot Program; this can cover up to 100% of the cost of flight training, for those who qualify. The most popular source of funding for our students enrolled on the Professional Pilot Program is the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents.

Federal Financial Aid

Other financing options:

L3Harris Flight Academy offers a number of options to finance pilot training including Sallie Mae and Meritize; loans up to 100% of the cost of training.

Apply for a Meritize loan    |    Apply for a Sallie Mae loan

Please note:

Pricing is current. All prices are estimated and based on the Training Course Outline (TCO) hours it takes a cadet to go through the various programs. All prices are subject to change. Each cadet's experience may vary, and hours or costs may be different than what is quoted here. Prices include fuel and flight tests (unless a student pilot fails the exam, then additional flight test charges will apply). Prices do not include fuel surcharge, over-flight charges from TCO, admission fees, books, supplies, TSA processing, visa application fees, and extensions.

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Professional Pilot Program admission requirements

Minimum admission requirements to enroll on our airline pilot training program - PPP - are as follows, for additional requirements please contact Admissions.

  • Age - Applicants must be at least 17 years and 6 months old at the start of the program
  • Medical - All applicants must provide a photocopy of an FAA Medical Certificate
  • Selection - Cadets must complete a Wonderlic assessment and meet or exceed the minimum score requirement of 17

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Professional Pilot Program FAQs

What types of aircraft will I train on during Professional Pilot Program training?

As a cadet on our airline pilot training - PPP - you will have the opportunity to train on single and multi-engine aircraft, as well as train on our five FTDs. Our fleet of aircraft is approximately 60 planes strong, and you could fly on any number of our aircraft including:

Single-engine aircraft

  • Cessna 172 Skyhawks
  • Cirrus SR20s
  • Piper Archer PA28

Multi-engine aircraft

  • Piper Seminole PA44

Fleet

Where will I complete my Professional Pilot Program training?

PPP training takes place at our Orlando Flight School in Sanford, Florida where cadets will be trained to meet the high aviation industry standards, benefiting from year-round flying weather for more hands-on experience than anywhere else. With access to over 100 Flight Instructors, 5 FTDs, and one of the largest flight school fleets in the state.

Cadets will get hands-on experience of working in a busy environment, but enough space to train and build confidence in the air and on the ground. We share our airspace, runways, and air traffic control tower with international commercial jets, giving a real flavor of life in aviation.

Cadets will also have access to train on our 5 Flight Training Devices (FTDs) in our Simulation and Aircraft Maintenance Building.

Ground school training at our Orlando Academy takes place in our dedicated academic buildings, comprising eight multi-media equipped classrooms, study rooms, and briefing rooms for 1-to-1 training.

Our testing center consists of 10 computerized testing stations and a proctor station, used to complete examinations to pass commercial pilot training.

Orlando Flight School

What are the age requirements to become an airline pilot?

Applicants must be at least 17 years and 6 months old to start their training to become an airline pilot.

To be eligible for a pilot role with airliners in the US, you must be at least 18 years old, have logged the required flight hours, and hold all of the relevant qualifications.

Entry criteria

Can I earn a degree after graduating from your airline pilot training - PPP?

As a benefit of being one of our Flight Instructors, L3Harris Flight Academy may reimburse up to 50% of the tuition of an A.A. degree from Seminole State College (SSC) of Florida.

Seminole State College of Florida

A degree partnership is available to our full-time Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) who are graduates of the Professional Pilot Program (PPP). Qualified CFIs are now eligible to apply to our Tuition Reimbursement Program and earn a two-year Associate in Arts Degree from Seminole State College (SSC) of Florida.

How it works

L3Harris will reimburse Professional Pilot Program graduates up to 50% of in-state tuition expenses incurred through Seminole State College A.A. degree program, for those who qualify for full PPP credit transfer. Up to 25.5 credit hours earned through L3Harris Flight Academy’s PPP may be eligible for transfer directly to an SSC’s Associates Degree program.

Go State. Go Far

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965 is part of the public Florida College System. It serves more than 32,000 students across size sites in Central Florida with campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow, Oviedo and Sanford/Lake Mary.

More about the College

Seminole State College of Florida offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs, including five bachelor's degrees. It is the 15th largest granter of Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees in the nation. SSC's A.A. degrees are transferable to most state universities in the United States.

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Do I need a degree to become a commercial pilot?

No, you do not need a degree to become a commercial airline pilot. 

Whilst it is not compulsory to have a university degree before training to become a pilot it could open up more opportunities to work in the aviation industry.

At L3Harris Florida Flight School, we have partnered with Seminole State College of Florida (SSC) and Jacksonville University (JU) to provide airline pilot degrees which enable you to graduate with a degree and a pilot license.

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Can I transfer credit if I have previous flying experience?

Students with prior flying experience may be eligible for credit for their commercial pilot training. Credit that may be assigned is governed by Federal Aviation Regulations 141.77(b).

L3Harris Flight Academy will accept transfer credit to commercial airline training programs on a case-by-case basis. Students requesting review of any flight time, ground school, or exams for the possibility of transfer must notify their admissions representative. All requests for transfer credit must be submitted for review no later than two weeks before the program start date; no exceptions made.

The Professional Pilot Program curriculum is approved by our accrediting body. Please note the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is only applicable to the Sanford, Florida location.

Professional Pilot Program students must complete a minimum of 25% of the program at L3Harris Flight Academy.

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How long does it take to become a pilot?

If you are thinking about pursuing a career as a pilot, an important factor in this decision is how long it will take you to become a fully fledged pilot and start flying. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "how long does it take to become a pilot?". The duration of your pilot training will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether you decide to combine your pilot training with a degree in aviation, which typically takes 3-4 years. Or if it is important to you to get your flying qualifications straight away and start flying, in which case you can become a pilot even quicker.

To qualify as a pilot, you might start with a Private Pilot License. This can be obtained in about 4-6 months, depending on how intensively you study the course material and complete the required hours of flight time.

How many hours of training to become a pilot?

For the Private Pilot License you are required to complete 40 hours of flight training. As no previous experience is necessary, you can fully engage in the adventure and your experienced Flight Instructor will guide you through the ins and outs of flying.

Once you have completed this first step and are holding your Private Pilot License, you can start thinking about your future as a pilot, you take the steps to become a commercial pilot, for example.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

Qualifying for a commercial pilot license can take around 2 years. You will need 250 hours of flight time to receive your Commercial Pilot Certificate, and 1,500 hours among other requirements to apply to become a fully-fledged commercial airline pilot.

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How can I fund my Professional Pilot Program training?

At L3Harris we recognize that commercial pilot training can be a large investment. As our Orlando Flight School is accredited in the same way as a USA university, our PPP cadets who qualify can apply for Federal Financial Aid to support them through their training. Meritize or Sallie Mae flight school student loans, flight school loans and grants, aviation scholarships, and other forms of financial aid are also available to cadets. Contact our Financial Aid Team for advice on the best funding route for your commercial pilot training.

Pilot training cost and funding

Am I eligible for Federal Financial Aid?

Federal Financial Aid is available to USA citizens who have a financial need for support during the duration of the commercial pilot training. While there is no income cut-off for Federal Financial Aid, you will need to prove that you have a financial need and complete a FAFSA document. The amount of financial aid you will be eligible to receive will consider the duration of your course, and other socio-economic factors.

Whilst you might not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid, there are alternative funding options such as:

1. Aviation Scholarships

2. Flight school loans

3. Meritize flight school student loans

4. Sallie Mae flight school student loans

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What’s the difference between PPP, CPT & AAPT?

Both the PPP and AAPT programs offer cadets clear pilot pathways. Cadets on one of these programs will qualify with Private Pilot Certificate, Commercial Pilot Certificate and Instrument Rating. They also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from our 10 regional airline partners to discuss career opportunities and have access to finance options to help fund training – such as Meritize and Sallie Mae.

The main differences are:

  • AAPT is our quickest route to a pilot career and the program can be completed in as little as 12 months compared to 15 months for the PPP
  • On successful completion of AAPT cadets qualify with CFI and CFI-I certificates meaning they can interview and start as Flight Instructors as soon as they graduate. On successful completion of PPP cadets qualify with CFI certificate and will need to obtain their CFI-I before starting out as a Flight Instructor – this can be done with L3Harris
  • On successful completion of PPP, cadets qualify with Multi-Engine Add-On, whereas AAPT training is completed in single-engine aircraft

With our CPT you will graduate with the same qualifications as a PPP, except that you will not receive a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. CPT cadets are also not eligible for Federal Financial Aid. However, you may be eligible for a Smart Option Student Loan from Sallie Mae. CPT courses are ideal for cadets looking to become commercial pilots but are not interested in working as a Flight Instructor.

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Ready to start your application?

Take your first step towards becoming an airline pilot and apply today. Good luck and we look forward to welcoming you to our Flight Academy!

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