How to Become a Learjet Pilot


Learjets are a type of high-performance corporate jet aircraft manufactured by either Gates Aircraft or Bombardier Aerospace. The aircraft, which began production in the 1960s, comes in several models, from the small 1960s-vintage Learjet 23 to the large, composite-surface Learjet 85. Many corporations hire pilots to fly these multi-engine aircraft, ferrying executives and clients around the planet. Learjet pilots are highly trained, experienced aviation professionals with thousands of hours of flying time. In order to become a Learjet pilot, an individual must demonstrate a high degree of aeronautical skill and competency.

  • Get your flight ratings. You will need to obtain your private pilot certificate, instrument rating and multi-engine commercial certificate. You must accrue a minimum of 250 flight hours to earn these ratings; however, many pilots take more time to obtain these certificates.

  • Build 1,500 hours of flight time, which is the minimum required to earn an airline transport pilot certificate. You can do this by working an entry-level pilot position such as banner towing, night freight flying or air-taxi operations.

  • Pass the airline transport pilot examination. In order to earn your airline transport pilot certificate, you must pass (with a minimum score of 70 percent) a written exam. You must also pass a flight test with a check airman.

  • Obtain a type rating in one of the many Learjet models. A type rating is a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing a pilot to operate a specific model of jet aircraft. Like other flight ratings, you must pass a written examination (with a minimum score of 70 percent) and a flight test.

  • Find a job as a first officer, or co-pilot, in the type of Learjet in which you are type rated. After gaining sufficient experience in the co-pilot's seat, apply for jobs as a captain.


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