Hardest Pilot Rating/Easiest

So, to all pilots out there, as I’m going through flight training (already have a PPL) I’m wondering what’s the hardest and easiest rating to get that you had to work for the most in your opinion.


It’s a very personal thing to be honest.

I have known students struggle with the IMC rating as there is a lot to take in both in the air and on the ground. Conversely I have seen students struggle with the multi engine rating, especially single engine work and single engine go-arounds, which, in my experience, is a lot easier!! As I say, a very personal thing!

I have had students in the Sim for their JOC who ‘aced’ their flying courses but struggled immensely with the manual flying aspects of a big jet and students who struggled with a couple of tries at the various stage tests who were excellent in the big jet sim’s.

Some people like to fly the aircraft, others don’t. Some enjoy the ground studies, others don’t. In my personal experience I’ve often found those who have had to work a bit to get through integrated courses and many of those who paid their own way through modular courses have ‘maybe’ had a better attitude toward learning and have been better in the later, more advanced training than those who’ve ‘aced’ it and have never learn’t ‘failure/humility’ so to speak.

So, it’s an individual affair!!!

All IMHO of course. ;)


Depends to be honest the EASA ATPL Theory is some of the toughest out there, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to even get the 75% pass mark. The flying I found easy, but that was because I was well trained and put forward for check rides when I was 100% ready and confident. If you have the right support system around you and a good instructor, it makes the journey that little bit easier.


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This question will vary depending on how well each pilot handles the aircraft as well as how well they pick up the new information. For me, the hardest was the Instrument Rating. Going through the private pilot training, everything was new; communications with ATC, learning the aerodynamics, etc. With the instrument rating, the phraseology with ATC is completely different. There is a lot more activity occuring in the cockpit. Reading new charts, new symbols, new phraseology, new flying techniques just to name a few. You have to brief the approach plates covering evertthing on the chart. All of this is to be done while still trying to maintain control of the aircraft. This was challenging for the first few flights but after my 4th or 5th flight, it was second nature.

As for the easiest, it would be a combination of the Commercial Single Engine Add-on or the Commercial Multi-Engine. Commercial Single Engine Add-on is essentially the Private check ride, but the maneuvers are held to a tighter standard. The manueuvers are much more complex than practicing stalls, slow flight, and turns. The landings have to be pin point accurate, and touched down within a few hundred feet of the intended target or you get a failure on your record. I really enjoyed the multi-engine training because there was another engine now on the aircraft. Shutting an engine down mid flight, and feathering it has got to be the oddest feeling.

I know this post was long, but I wanted to give you some more information as something to look forward if/when you decide to pursue these certificates.

This was training all done in the United States and through the FAA regulations. This may differ in the country that you reside in.

Here was the primary multi-twin that is used by a few of the large university in the states. I flew many hours in this Twinstar. Great aircraft, but performance is quite lacking.


Thanks For the post the commercial single engine is what I’m working on right now. The maneuvers took a bit getting used too but don’t think there anything too hard just held to a higher standard

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