Pilot training programs and courses

Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

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

Become a pilot with our airline pilot training program

As a cadet of our airline pilot program - PPP - you will learn to fly at state-of-the-art facilities with approximately 60 single-and-multi engine aircraft, including the Piper Archer PA28, Cirrus SR20 and Cessna 172P, as well as impressive Flight Training Devices (FTDS) which emulate real-life flying experiences.

Graduating from our airline pilot program and flight instructor course - PPP - will equip you with the foundations to complete your Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP) enabling you to obtain your Airline Transport License and apply for roles with airliners in the USA.

Additionally, you’ll graduate with a CFI 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.

Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Professional Pilot Program (PPP) admission requirements

Minimum admission requirements to enroll on our airline pilot training program - Professional Pilot Program - 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.

Future career prospects

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

What can I do after completing my airline pilot training?

By graduating from our Professional Pilot Program (PPP) you will have earned your Flight Instructor Certificate, which guarantees you an interview to become a CFI at L3Harris Flight Academy. As a CFI you’ll earn money while passing on your passion and knowledge to other cadets and building up your required 1,500 FAA flying hours.

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.

Or, you might decide to put the flight hours and pilot ratings/certificates earned during your PPP training towards a college degree. The hours and certificates from your pilot training will be accepted by most four-year degree programs, including Seminole State College (SSC).

Alternatively, 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.

Pilot career pathways

  • academy-usa-sanford-piper-seminole-flying-sunset
  • academy-usa-sanford-front-entrance
  • academy-usa-sanford-instructors-fun

How much does pilot training cost?

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Cost of this airline pilot training program - PPP

We recognize that commercial pilot training can present a large financial investment for many students, which is why we are dedicated to offering the best professional airline pilot training and most accessible routes into aviation careers.

Professional Pilot Program cost:

  • Tuition (estimated): $83,995

Estimated additional costs

  • Books, supplies and mandatory electronic training materials: $5,000
  • Transportation, room and board: $22,350
  • TSA AFSP application (for non-United States citizens): $390 ($130 each for three courses)
  • TSA fingerprinting (non-United States citizens): $99 (one time)
  • ID badge (mandatory): $50 annual

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, with flexible repayment options, are available to those that qualify.

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.

Fund your training

Take a trial flight first

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Professional Pilot Program (PPP)

Take a trial flight

Undertaking any form of airline pilot training is a large personal and financial investment. If you have never had the chance to fly a plane before starting your airline pilot training program then booking a trial flight is a great way to see if it is the right choice for you.

During a trial flight, a Certified Flight Instructor can explain what is involved in becoming a pilot and give you a flavor of life in the air.

Book a Discovery Flight

  • 100% funding available to 
    those who qualify
  • 10 airline 
    partners
  • 96% graduates who stay as CFI
    placed with airlines
  • 60+ single and multi-engine 
    aircraft

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

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.

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.

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.

Do I need a degree to become a commercial pilot?

No, you do not need a degree to become a commercial airline pilot. However, it can give you an advantage when securing a job with a regional or major airline.

Regional airlines typically prefer an associate’s degree, whilst major airlines typically prefer a bachelor’s degree (in any field, not just aviation).

So whilst it is not compulsory to have a university degree before training to become a pilot it will 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.

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.

For more information about how to become a professional pilot, call 1-800-U-CAN-FLY or contact our admissions department online.

How long does it take to get a commercial pilot license?

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 to apply to become a fully-fledged commercial airline pilot.

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.

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

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.

Have L3Harris Flight Academy secured any employment opportunities for graduates in 2021?

Yes. In fact, our Placement teams found 40 graduates in the USA employment opportunities in 2021, joining a selection of our 10 regional airline pilot pathways.

These employment opportunities, alongside increasing demand for international travel, are both really strong signs that the aviation industry is recovering and also allow us to look to the future with renewed energy.

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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