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.

Front view Lear jet on tarmac
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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.