What License Do you Need to Fly a Twin Blade Propeller Plane?

There are many questions to be answered when a pilot first begins to look at the training and certification process. Among those are the questions like where to take classes, what sort of license is needed for the pilot’s goals, and what sort of equipment they want to fly. For example, what kind of license would you need to fly a twin-blade propeller plane?

It may seem overwhelming to try to wade through all of the information available and all of the different options to pursue to become a certified pilot. Aspiring pilots need to learn the variety of available licenses and make the best judgment of what will best suit them while considering factors such as:

  • Investment of time
  • Cost of training
  • Availability of training in their area
  • Personal goals they wish to accomplish
  • Type of plane they would use or purchase

Aside from the initial cost of purchasing a plane, pilots should also bear in mind the relative costs of maintaining that airplane. Stockton Propeller, a full-service propeller overhaul and maintenance facility serving Northern California, can help you with your propeller repair, no matter what kind of plane you end up flying.

Types of Certifications

One of the first questions a trainee pilot must answer is what type of certifications are available for them to pursue? All beginning pilots begin their path to licensure as “Student Pilots.”After achieving this status and meeting other requirements, it is up to them to decide what they would like to pursue after this step. They may choose:

  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • Sport Pilot Certificate

The distinction between these certifications may seem confusing at first, but pilots need to consider a few fundamental differences. Pilots should also bear in mind that if they achieve one level of certification, they can always continue on and gain additional certification if they want additional flexibility of the type of craft they want to fly, how high they would like to fly, or if they would like payment for their flying.

Pilot entering the cabin of a private plane with another pilot and the cockpit in the background


This certification is the most popular of the three options. While it does involve additional hours of training as it takes 40 hours to achieve, it offers the greatest level of flexibility in what a pilot can do after gaining their license. This license may give students the greatest return on the investment of their time and money into training. The Private Pilot License will allow pilots to pursue further training that can lead to becoming a commercial pilot or even a flight instructor.

After finishing training, this license will allow pilots to pursue additional training to receive their Instrument and Commercial Pilot certifications. A multi-engine certification will let pilots fly twin-propeller planes that require special training in what to do if one of the engines breaks down.  The Commercial accreditation will also allow pilots to be paid for their flying, giving compensation for their time and expense of training.

Father and son in the cockpit of a small plane flying


The Recreational Pilot License is considered a step down from the Private Pilot License. There are more restrictions placed on the pilot, in particular, no flying professionally.

A Recreational License prohibits pilots from flying aircraft with more than 180 horsepower.

This certification may appeal to some due to the lower level of required time in flight training at 30 hours. Less time required also requires a lower monetary investment.

One restriction placed on this license is that the pilot may only fly lower than 2000 feet AGL (above ground level) and that the aircraft flown by the pilot is not certified for more than four occupants.

The restrictions placed on this license may not be an issue for many pilots that choose this option. However, a pilot may later decide to continue their training and earn greater freedoms given by a Private Pilot certification.

Pilot with headphones sitting in an open air cockpit of small plane


What if you only want to fly smaller lighter craft? In 2004 the Sport License was created by the FAA in response to the growing trend of flying these innovative crafts. Pilots with this certification have greater restrictions on what sort of aircraft they can fly.

Pilots who want to fly planes with only themselves and perhaps one passenger on board should look into this license.

These planes are considered easier to fly, and the certification takes less training and less expenditure to achieve. Only 20 hours of flight training are required. This may appeal to pilots whose only goal is flying this sort of craft, as some of the additional training requirements do not apply.

Additionally, pilots who work toward this certification do not need to have a medical certificate as they would with other licenses. These lesser requirements may make this appealing to some flyers.

If pilots pursue this certification but then decide they would like to fly a greater variety of aircraft, they may continue their studies to earn one of the other certifications.

When To Seek Qualified Help and Repairs For Your Twin Blade Propeller Plane

As they continue the process of deciding which license to pursue, pilots need to consider many factors. One of those is what expenses they will incur when it comes to purchasing or renting a plane, as well as what associated costs are likely to be met with when repairs are needed.

It is important for pilots to thoughtfully consider where to have each aspect of their planes maintained and repaired. Because their very lives depend on the results of this maintenance, the choice of maintenance facility is a vital one.

Stockton Propeller is a full-service propeller overhaul and maintenance facility providing service to individuals, FBOs, and air carriers. So, no matter what type of pilot certification you have, we can assist with your governor and propeller repair and maintenance needs.