We offer pilot career training for: airlines, charter, corporate,
freight, agriculture, law enforcement & more.



Start your flying career today


Our Professional Pilot Career Training Program includes three overlapping phases that will help you successfully prepare for and secure the right pilot career opportunity.

Phase One

Flight Training: Earning Your Ratings & Certificates

Set yourself up for success by training for your pilot career at Performance Aircraft. As we help you navigate each step of your professional flight training, we will also be developing your confidence as a pilot and leader so that you can stand out as a high character and high capacity individual throughout your career.

Phase Two

Begin Your Professional Pilot Career & Gain Experience 

Working as a Certified Flight Instructor allows you to get paid for your time while you gain experience and log the 1,500 flight hours you need to be employed by commercial airlines. At Performance Aircraft, CFIs enjoy excellent compensation and benefits while gaining the experience they need for their professional pilot career.  

Phase Three

Career Progression & Placement

In addition to career progression opportunities with us, Performance Aircraft has regional airlines partnerships offering excellent cultural values, pay packages, and flow through to Delta, United, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. We also have relationships with recruiters in other pilot career fields. Our goal is to help you identify the pilot job that is best suited for you. 

Because we are located in Lincoln, Nebraska (the center of the U.S.), you’ll gain valuable experience training in varying weather patterns, and we know you’ll love our friendly Midwestern values. Click here to learn more.

Learn About

Phase One:
Start Your Flight Training

Training for your pilot career will require you to earn a series of certificates and ratings that build on each other to increase your skills and abilities as a pilot. Below is a list of the standard ratings and certificates that a flight training student working toward a career in charter, airlines, or another similar pilot job would need to earn.

Estimated months to complete flight training

Private Pilot Certificate

About the Private Pilot Certificate:
The first step in becoming a career pilot is to earn your Private Pilot Certificate. Starting in a single-engine airplane, this stage of training focuses on the fundamentals and sets the foundation for more advanced certificates and ratings. 

How long does it take to complete your Private Pilot Certificate Training?
Estimated Time:  12-14 weeks
Flight Hours: 40-55 hours 


Instrument Rating

About the Instrument Rating:
After becoming a private pilot, the next step is to earn your instrument rating. An instrument rating allows a pilot to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in most kinds of weather.

How long does it take to complete your Instrument Rating?
Estimated Time:  6-8 weeks
Flight Hours: 40-50 hours 


Commercial Pilot Certificate

About the Commercial Pilot Certificate:
Pilots must meet specific experience requirements and fly to a higher standard in order to become commercial pilots, which ultimately allows them to be paid to fly.

How long does it take to complete your Commercial Pilot Certificate Training?
Estimated Time:  8-12 weeks
Flight Hours: 120 hours 


Certified Flight Instructor Certificate

About the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate:
Becoming a CFI allows pilots to earn a living flying, while they obtain the flight experience required by airlines. Becoming a CFI and a CFII is not required by all airlines, but the certificate and experience is highly valued by airlines and commercial aviation employers.

How long does it take to complete your Certified Flight Instructor Training?
Estimated Time: 5-7 weeks
Flight Hours: 25 hours 

Where can you find employment as a Certified Flight Instructor?
See the section below about working as a Flight Instructor at Performance Aircraft.


Commercial Multi-Engine Rating

About the Multi Engine Rating:
Multi engine allows the privilege to operate larger and faster aircraft. Completing the commercial multi-engine add on gives pilots the required certification needed to transition into airline or charter operations.

How long does it take to complete your Commercial Multi Engine Training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 15 hours 


CFII and MEI Ratings

About the CFII and MEI Ratings:
Most pilots work as flight instructors, and many also get their Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument Add-on and Multi-Engine Instructor Add-On ratings to help them gain the relevant flight experience necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which airline and charter pilots are required to hold (1,500 hours total flight time). However, flight time can also be built through other avenues such as aerial surveying, banner towing, sight-seeing, etc.

How long does it take to complete your CFII training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 10 hours 

How long does it take to complete your MEI training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 10 hours 

Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

About the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate:
Upon meeting the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, you are eligible to fly for an airline and will meet the hiring minimums of most regional airline pilot jobs. Many regional airlines cover the expenses to obtain this certificate as a part of their on-boarding process. 


Learn about

Phase Two:

Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) are consistently in high demand, and working as a CFI allows you to get paid while you invest in flight training students and log the 1,500 hours you need to be employed by commercial airlines.  At this point in your own flight training, you should have about 250 to 275 hours of flight time. 

Estimated months to gain experience required for airline job

Approximate Flight Hours at the beginning of Phase Two

Flight Hours Needed to Work at Commercial Airlines

Teaching as a CFI Performance Aircraft

You can get to 1,500 hours in as little as 12-15 months after starting to work as a CFI at Performance Aircraft.

That means you can have all of the certificates, ratings, and experience you need to become employed as an airline pilot within two years after starting our Professional Pilot Career Training Academy.

At Performance Aircraft, Flight Instructors enjoy excellent pay and benefits with predictable pay increases, paid time off, and opportunities for career advancement. They are an integral part of our Flight Training Team, providing instruction in our technologically-advanced fleet and tracking each customer’s progress with our user-friendly course tracker. 


Learn about

Phase Three:
Career PROGRESSION & Placement

A final phase in our Professional Pilot Career Training Academy is career placement assistance. In addition to career progression opportunities at Performance Aircraft and the relationships we have with our partner airlines, we also have a network of contacts within charter, law enforcement, freight, and other institutions who can help provide excellent career opportunities. It is our goal to help you achieve your pilot career goals and make informed decisions as you complete our program.


Program Completion

You can start enjoying benefits from our partner airlines
while you work as a CFI.

Benefits include airline/travel benefits, mentorship programs, advanced seniority accrual, expedited hiring processes, and more.

Starting Salary and Benefits

As a First Officer for regional airlines, you can make up to $50,000 in your first year salary and enjoy additional bonuses and benefits. You will probably also provide services for major airlines. For example, as a First Officer for SkyWest, you may be servicing a Delta flight. 


$50,000 to $60,000 annual starting salary at regional airlines



Signing bonuses up to $22,000, retention bonuses, performance bonuses, and more.


Full health, dental, 401K, travel benefits, and more


Career Outlook

The demand for pilots is expected to increase as global travel demand expands and current pilots retire.

What are you waiting for?

Create a personalized plan for your pilot career. 

MY PERSONAL FLIGHT PLAN™ can help set you up for success as you train for your pilot career. Our Pilot Academy in Lincoln, NE provides a superior learning environment that will help you achieve your goals. Learn more about the different pilot career opportunities and receive guidance to help you set goals and navigate each step of your professional flight training. 

Complete the form below to get started!

Pilot Career Next Steps

Explore More Information

As a Performance Aircraft student, you will join a great culture, gain access to quality instruction, modern aircraft, and job placement assistance.

We have the experience and airline relationships to take you from zero to flying for regional airlines in about two years, and from there on to the major airlines.

If you are interested in other pilot career tracks, such as charter, corporate, law enforcement, or agriculture, we can connect you with people in those fields.

When you choose Performance Aircraft, you can rest assured our focus will be to develop your character and skill capacity for success in your flying career.

Contact Us Today

  • We want to hear from you! Complete the form below, and we'll follow up with more information.

What satisfied customers are saying...

  • I did not expect that the sale would go quickly, in fact, I anticipated that I would have a couple of extra months to fly the plane as we waited for a purchaser to come along. The marketing that was done on my behalf created an immediate interest in the plane. This transaction was easy on me, as the Performance team produced amazing results in record time with very little input on my part. In my opinion, there is no better team to represent you when you buy or sell an aircraft.
    – Thomas M. Belford, Nebraska
  • My first sale with Performance Aircraft was inked in four business days, for more than the listing price! The second, a Beechcraft King Air 300LW, was an impossible task—after five brokerage firms unsuccessfully tried, Performance Aircraft delivered! They understand the market, the people involved, and have so much integrity with both sides of the transaction. Theirs is a world wide reach, with an unbelievable staff. 
    – Tony Spears, Texas
  • I trusted the team at Performance Aircraft to help me identify an airplane that fit my mission, budget, and goals.  I'm happy to say that they exceeded all my expectations by keeping me informed throughout every step of the process.  You can trust that this team is not out to sell you an airplane but to be a lifelong aviation partner.  I would definitely use them again for selling or buying an aircraft.  Thank you!
    – Eric Leatherman, Nebraska
  • As a first time buyer, I was nervous about the entire process–plane selection, negotiations, paperwork, and closing. After my first contact with Stacey at Performance Aircraft, I knew they were the right fit to help me. She quickly made me feel at ease with everything. Their website is positively the best and most comprehensive in its class.  The process was smooth and the plane was exactly as it was represented. I couldn't be happier!
    – Dennis Cooley, Florida
  • Your team did exactly what you said you would do, which is a very rare trait in today's business world. I would recommend you guys highly...you have integrity.
    – Tony Wagner, Florida
  • I purchased an airplane from Performance Aircraft a few years ago and have also utilized some of their Flight Training Services since that time. I have developed a respect for their professional expertise in both their Training and Sales side of their business.
    – Mike Kelly, Nebraska
  • Because of your professional team and alliances with other top companies, you will be my first call when looking to purchase another airplane. Thank you again.
    – Tom Saxon, Florida
  • I would tell my friends they can trust Performance Aircraft to provide honest, ethical, and enthusiastic service. Bill found an aircraft that best suits our needs while staying well within our budget. The whole process was practically stress-free. And, the post-purchase training and follow-ups have been phenomenal.
    – Matt Young, Wyoming
  • Your communication here is very good and I really appreciated your honesty. Your follow up is awesome. Bill knew the value of airplanes as well as anyone I have met in the industry and I have been flying for over 30 years. You guys did a great job communicating with me throughout the process and kept the plane moving to closing. I was very pleased with everything.
    – Randy Christo, Nebraska
  • Their knowledge of the market allowed us to feel confident that they understood aircraft values. Additionally, the personality of the marketing team made this an easy decision that we would be treated well and communicated with frequently on their progress.
    – Skyhawk Flying Club, Nebraska
View All Testimonials

Your flight. REALIZED.

© 2019 Performance Aircraft. All rights reserved. Site by Artillery Media

Interested in Flight Training?

Let us know! We'd love to connect with more information.

Thank you! We will connect with you shortly!