Pelican's Perch #29:
They're Messing with Part 61 — Again!

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Not quite three years ago, the FAA implemented a massive rewrite of the FARs that govern certification of pilots and instructors. The result was a great deal of confusion, a bunch of band-aid fixes, and issuance of an interpretive FAQ that has now grown to three times the size of Part 61 itself! Well, at least the dust is now settling, right?

Pelican's PerchFrankly, I hated the massive rewrite of Part 61 that went into effect on August 4, 1997. No one asked me, but I didn't think it needed an overhaul. A few minor tweaks to clear up a few poor areas would have done very nicely. It changed rules and requirements that had been in effect for decades, from before the FAA even existed.

The new Part 61 was half-again as large, didn't correct most of the problems, and added a whole slew of new ones. I don't think it did a thing for flight safety, nor did it improve the aviation world. It not only required corrections contained in half a dozen amendments since then, but also required a FAQ file that is now three times the size of Part 61 itself! It has also thrown everything badly out of whack with the various Practical Test Standards (PTS) books and various FAA publications, many of which will not "catch up" for years, if ever.

A word of caution, here. BE VERY CAREFUL reading that FAQ file. While it may state the thinking of John Lynch and his crew more clearly than the regs themselves, it has NO legal standing whatsoever. The absolute language of the FAR itself is ALL that matters when the crunch comes and the judge is looking down your throat. It really bugs me to see a huge file that says, in effect, "Here's what we really meant." English is a wonderful language, capable of great clarity, and Part 61 should have been written that way in the first place, then left alone.

It was quite amusing to watch the FAA's own best people try and puzzle out and adjust to the new rules in September of that year, while they tried to teach them to a group of would-be examiners. For a few short weeks, perhaps they felt like most of us do all the time!

Who is John Lynch? He is an FAA Inspector in Washington, D.C., whose name is widely mentioned when the subject of the Part 61 rewrite comes up. While he may not have done it all by himself, he probably had more to do with it than any other person. In fairness, his work was probably not improved by having to pass through the hands of many people on the way to approval, but his name is the only one I've got, so he takes the heat.

And yes, like most of you, I was remiss in not commenting on the rewrite of Part 61 much earlier. Most of us do have lives, and things to do other than read the Federal Register and comment on things that should never have been done in the first place. But on this one, I blush to admit that I knew it was coming, I was somewhat familiar with the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), and I left it to others to comment. I have since learned that these proposals actually draw far less comment from the users than I thought, and that only a few letters CAN make a big difference.

You've heard the expression, "Cheer up, things could be worse," right? With its corollary, "So I cheered up, and sure enough, they got worse"? Well folks, don't cheer up yet, because they're about to get worse. I have recently come into possession of material that gives some insight into what these people are thinking of doing to us soon, probably by the end of the year. Every day, the FAA becomes more like the IRS. The rules become more complicated, and it is now impossible for anyone, even with the very best of intentions, to fly without being in violation of some rule, somewhere.

FAR Part 61 … Oops, see there, I'm in deep trouble already. Some people in the FAA insist that "FAR" is not appropriate in this case, and that the only correct expression is "14 CFR 61." "FAR" apparently stands for "Federal Acquisition Regulations." Run that by the pilots at the local FBO, and see what reaction you get.

I shall save my editor the necessity of deleting my expletives, but I'm going to stick with "FAR" and "FARs," thanks very much, and you'll notice that the material that follows does, too.

Please bear in mind that what follows is not even to the stage of an NPRM yet. The language may change a lot between now and then, and some of these may never see the light of day. These are in draft form only, and sometimes the language is very poor. I debated trying to clean up the grammar and punctuation a bit, but I wanted to present it to you just as it was presented to me in a class to renew my examiner's privileges. I hope the very pleasant and helpful instructors in that class do not take a lot of heat for letting this material loose. While there was no restriction, no confidentiality placed on the material, they had no idea I might "go public" with it in quite this fashion. On the other hand, one of the slides seemed to encourage sharing it with the world, so I've done so.

I have done my best to faithfully duplicate what I saw. The slides are simulated by enclosure in text boxes, and I have identified the material that accompanied it. The instructors did an excellent job of explaining the material, often going well beyond what you see here, but without taping them, I can't duplicate that.

Throughout what follows, I have converted all the FAA-written text to italics. Where I have been unable to restrain myself from comment, my own comments will be clearly labeled as [Author's note: Whatever...], in blue and not in italics. The boldface, underline, all caps, grammar, punctuation and spelling is as faithfully reproduced as I can do it while hand-typing it all.


[Instructor's Notes]

A NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING FOR CORRECTIONS TO PARTS 1, 61, AND 141 IS STILL IN DRAFT FORM AS OF 12/1/99.

PUBLICATION PRIORITY AND DATE HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED, BUT PUBLICATION IS EXPECTED IN THE SECOND OR THIRD QUARTER OF 2000.

[Instructor's Notes]

YOU ARE ALL FAMILIAR WITH PART 61 AS A RESULT OF YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A PILOT EXAMINER.

THIS IS INTENDED AS A "HEADS-UP" PRIVIEW OF THE ANTICIPATED CHANGES. DESIGNATED EXAMINERS SHOULD BE AMONG THE FIRST TO MAKE APPROPRIATE COMMENTS WHEN THE NPRM IS PUBLISHED. WE EXPECT YOU TO ENCOURAGE THE AVIATION COMMUNITY TO DO LIKEWISE.

Definition Changes, FAR Part 1

[Instructor's Notes]

This change will further refine the legal definition of "pilot in command" (PIC) under §1.1 by taking into consideration the additional training and endorsement requirement for serving as a PIC.

The Provision: "Is endorsed to serve as plot in command in that aircraft, if an endorsement is required" will be added to the §1.1. "pilot in command" definition.

This language will prohibit a pilot from acting as a PIC unless the pilot holds the appropriate airplane category and class rating and has received the appropriate additional training and endorsement as required by §61.31 for complex airplane, high-performance airplane, tail-wheel airplane, pressurized aircraft, additional type-specific training, and/or glider launch training.

EXCEPTIONS: Pilot endorsed to solo an aircraft per §61.31(d)(3) [Author's Note: Solo Flight] - {will be (d)(2) - and exceptions per §61.31(k)- includes students and pilots taking practical tests.

[Author's Note: I have no objection to the principle here, but the FARs already address this point, albeit in a somewhat incoherent fashion. If this change will clean up all that dreadful language and simplify the subject, fine. Otherwise, let's not add yet another layer of dung on top of dung.]

[Instructor's Notes]

"This change will further refine the legal definition of "pilot in command" (PIC) under §1.1 by requiring an instrument rating or privilege to agree wit the §61.3(e) instrument rating requirement.

Instrument privileges may be conferred by authorization in accordance with §61.13. Examples of such authorization may be the "authorization in lieu of a type rating" per §61.31(b) or the "special purpose authorization for operation of US registered aircraft leased by a non-citizen".

[Author's note: Again, why are we adding verbiage, here? Will it simplify, or clear up something that does need addressing?]

[Instructor's Notes]

The definition of "authorized instructor" in §61.1(b)(2) as being a person authorized by the Administrator to provide ground training and flight training under a letter of operational authority (LOOA) for that specific make and model of aircraft, and that LOOA will be issued by the Administrator in accordance with §61.31(k) of this part.

This proposal will permit a regulatory means through proposed §61.31(k) for providing pilot training, certification, and operating privileges for aircraft such as the Air Tractor AT-802 or the North American F-86 Saber Jet and all the other kinds of aircraft that hold special airworthiness certificates but do not hold civilian type designations.

This will provide for the FAA to issue LOOAs to LOA holders so that they can provide ground and flight training to those persons seeking LOAs to operate surplus military aircraft (the ones that hold special airworthiness certificates and for which no civilian type designations exist.)

[Author's Note: I'm really critical of the FAA's handling of the whole LOA/LOOA business. While it affects only a small segment of the aviation world, it takes enormous FAA time and resources, and it's a constant battle to get the required paperwork on time. Most pilots have never even heard of the two acronyms.

Essentially, if an aircraft has never gone through any kind of CAA/FAA certification, then there is no type certificate listed for it, and it's "Experimental." In typical bureaucratic complexification, the FAA decided that if there's no type certificate, there cannot be a type rating. Why the two are "connected" at all is beyond me. For example, the Boeing B-29 has never had a civilian type certificate, and accordingly, there is no B-29 type rating. To cover this situation, the FAA came up with "LOA" (Letter of Authorization). The procedures and steps to acquire this document are identical to those for a type rating; just the paperwork at the end is different.

But there are more bizarre results. I fly two Curtiss-Wright C-46 "Commando" aircraft. One is "Experimental" (China Doll), the other is "Standard" (Tinker Belle). My C-46 type rating covers them both, because there is an official FAA Type Certificate for the C-46. As a CFI (II, ME) there is no further qualification or requirement for me to instruct in both, and to sign people off for rating rides.

On the other hand, there are two C-121 aircraft parked at Camarillo, Calif. One is the EC-121 variant with various radars and electronics on board, one is the "slick" C-121, once used for military transport. Both have cockpits and systems that are identical to each other (except for the usual differences in radios), and both are identical to the Lockheed 1049G "Constellation." The EC-121 is about 20,000 pounds heavier due to all the electronics and the huge "tumor" of a radome on the belly, but at equal weights, the speeds and other performance numbers are remarkably close. The L-1049 type rating covers ALL the Connie variants, and there are major differences between those.

I hold an LOA for the EC-121, but I cannot fly the C-121 with it. I'd have to go take a separate check ride for the type rating. The pilot on "The Camarillo Connie" cannot fly the EC-121, because he has no LOA.

I can instruct in the EC-121, but cannot sign off my trainees, because an LOAA is required to do that. If I held the L-1049 type rating I could instruct in the the C-121 with no further showing of competence. In other words, my CFI is "good enough."

So the above change is a puzzle to me, I see no need for it, it's must more of that "stuff on stuff."

What the FAA should do, in my opinion, is simply make a type rating designation for those aircraft that don't have them, and thereafter treat them as any other large aircraft.]

MEDICAL CERTIFICATES

[Instructor's Notes]

1st Class medical certificates will only be valid for 30 days.

[Author's Note: Just checking to be sure you're awake.]

The FAA is proposing to extend the duration period for the 1st class medical certificates to 12 months for operations requiring an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, if the person has not reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the date of examination.

"For the years 1990 through 1997, the FAA';s pilot incapacitation data on those pilots under the age of 40 years who hold 1st or 2nd class medical certificates only amounted to 5 incapacitations during those 7 years. So, the risk for extending the 1st and 2nd class medical certificates for thos pilots who have not reached their 40th birthday is insignificant and basically non-existent."

[Instructor's Notes]

The FAA is also proposing to extend the duration period for the 2nd class medical certificates to 24 months for operation requiring a Commercial Pilot Certificate, if the person has not reached his or her 40th birthday on or before the examination.

The purpose of these proposals are to harmonize U.S. medical certification requirements with the medical certification requirements that are under consideration for being proposed in the Joint Aviation Regulations by the European aviation authorities.

[Author's Note: I remain unconvinced that medical certificates accomplish any useful purpose whatsoever. I think they should be done away with, and that those pilots serving in the public sector should have to meet company-established requirements. Most airlines do have their own medical departments, and with many, the requirements are far higher than the FAA's. Anyone not involved in public transport should be able to self-certify. That said, I certainly approve of extending the duration of such paperwork, it's a good step in the right direction.]

[Instructor's Notes]

The FAA is proposing to revise §61.23(a)(3)(v) to permit DPEs to only be required to hold a 3rd class medical certificate. The purpose of this proposal is to make examiners medical certificate requirements conform to the requirements contained in FAA Order 8700.1.

[Author's note: Gee whiz, if the rules for examiners are in the 8700.1, then why do we need to publish them in the FARs for the general pilot population? What am I missing here?]

[Instructor's Notes]

The FAA proposes to revise §61.19(b), so that the duration period for the student pilot certificate coincides with the duration period of the medical portion of the student pilot certificate duration provisions of §61.23(c)(3).

The FAA discovered that those person under the age of 40 years were having the student pilot portion of their certificate expire, but the medical portion of that certificate was still current. Occasionally, flights were conducted without a valid student pilot certificate.

[Author's note: With reference to my comments above about medical certificates in general, this seems to be an excellent cleanup.]

[Instructor's Notes]

The FAA is proposing to clarify throughout the rule in Part 61 when a person must hold a "valid" airman certificate, rating and authorization and/or when a person must hold a "current" airman certificate, rating, and authorization.

A "valid" airman certificate, rating, and authorization would mean it has not been surrendered, suspended, revoked, or expired.

[Author's note: While this does add verbiage to an already overweight chapter, I think it's a good move, and a needed common-sense clarification.]

[Instructor's Notes]

A "current" airman certificate, rating and authorization would mean the pilot has met the appropriate recency of experience requirements of Part 61 for the flight being conducted and the pilot's medical certificate has not expired, if a medical certificate is required.

The requirement to be current and valid applies to all pilot certificates, flight and ground instructor certificates, instrument rating and the foreign pilot licenses upon which a restricted certificate is based.

[Author's note: Same comment.]

[Instructor's Notes]

This proposal will provide the authorization to operate surplus military aircraft (the ones that hold special airworthiness certificates and for which no civilian type designations exist).

Besides former military jet airplanes, there are even some civilian aircraft that also do not have civilian type designations. In the past, the FAA permitted pilots to operate these kinds by policy (as per FAA Order 8700.1, Volume 2, Chapter 32).

This proposal will also permit a regulatory means through proposed §61.31(k) for providing pilot training, certification, and operating privileges for aircraft such as the Air Tractor AT-802 or the North American F-86 Saber Jet (sic) and all the other kinds of aircraft that hold special airworthiness certificates but do not hold civilian type designations. This will require pilots to hold an LOA to operate these kinds of of aircraft and an LOOA to instruct is such aircraft.

[Author's Note: This is asinine. Simply establish type ratings as needed, add them to the list, and no further regulatory action is needed. The excuses for not doing this are bureaucratic bovine waste.]

Logging Pilot Experience

[Instructor's Notes]

The purpose for this proposal is to correct some mistakes and to also clarify the logging of pilot in command time in accordance with §61.51(e). one, at first glance it would appear that by not including the words "airline transport pilot" in §61.51(e)(1) prohibits airline transport pilots from having the same PIC logging privileges that afforded to the Recreational Pilots, Private Pilots, and Commercial Pilots under §61.51(e)(1). This is not the case, and so the wods "airline transport pilot" have been included in proposed §61.51(e)(1).

[Author's Note: EXCELLENT change, long overdue. This regulation has been unclear on this point for as long as I can remember.]

[Instructor's Notes]

The purpose for this proposal is to clarify who may log pilot in command time under §61.61(e) in an aircraft that requires additional training and an endorsement.

The will prohibit the logging of PIC time unless the pilot or instructor is qualified in complex airplanes [61.31(e)], high performance airplanes [§61.31(f)], pressurized aircraft [§61.31(g)], with additional aircraft type specific training [61.31(h)], or tailwheel airplanes [§61.31(i)], as appropriate.

[Author's Note: This has long been a silly loophole. It seems silly to me to draw a line between "rated" and "endorsed."

However, this, and other changes like it, raises some very serious issues that are likely to make this change far more complicated than it appears here. What of people who have been building time, and now have significant time in airplanes for which they are not "rated?" Does this change retroactively render all that time invalid? This sort of thing makes it a nightmare for examiners when reviewing logbooks that require certain types of logged time.]

[Instructor's Notes]

This proposal states that to log PIC time when the flight is being conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR) or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for flights under visual flight rules (VFR) the person must hold an instrument rating or instrument privileges appropriate to the category, class, and type of aircraft, if a class rating or type rating is required.

[Author's note: Same comment as above. I guess I really don't see the real need for rule changes like this. Yes, they may clean up some loopholes, but is overall flight safety REALLY helped? I think not.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Time performed in a flight simulator or flight training device may be logged as "training received" and "instrument time," but only if an authorized instructor is present to observe the time and that instructor must sign the person's logbook to verify the time and the content of the session.

[Author's note: I have no beef with this change.]

Time in a flight simulator or flight training device may be substituted for "instrument flight time" aeronautical experience, as in the case of §61.159(a)(3)(i), (ii), or (iii), but it is not "instrument flight time" and may not be logged as "instrument flight time."

[Author's note: I am sorry, I cannot even begin to comment on that one, I don't see what the meaning or purpose is. I have proofed it carefully, and that's what the original FAA document says. I can only assume there is a typo, or perhaps a few words where left out.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Logging Time. Time logged to meet requirements of FAR Part 61 for a certificate or rating or to meet the recency of experience requirements can only be acquired in a vehicle that is type certificated as an aircraft in a category listed in FAR §61.5(b)(1) or as an experimental aircraft, or otherwise holds an airworthiness certificate.

[Author's note: This FAR refers to the "Category" ratings, such as Airplane, Rotorcraft, glider, Lighter-than-air, and Powered-lift. What am I missing here? What other types of "vehicles" are out there, in which folks are feloniously logging precious flight time? Only thing I can think of is the Space Shuttle, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who flies that sucker ought to get to log it!]

The prohibits logging flight time in former military aircraft that do not hold a civilian aircraft type designation as an aircraft and are not identified as an aircraft category under §61.5(b)(1) and do not hold any kind of airworthiness certificate. Legally there is no category and class of aircraft for the flight time to be logged under.

[Author's note: What the heck are they talking about, here? There must be something (or some potential something), but is it worth having an FAR for it? Is there one pilot somewhere who is logging thousands of hours of PIC time in some sort of machine, and the FAA is worried he'll claim that time for a rating of some sort? Wait, I've got it! This covers the alien spacecraft that has been hidden in "Area 51" for 50 years! Remember, you heard it here first!]

Furthermore, Public Law 103-411 states, in essence, that flight training or currency training flights are NOT considered to be "public aircraft operations." "Public aircraft operations" are those involved in the following 4 kinds of operations:

  1. Flights in response to fire fighting;
  2. Flights in response to search and rescue;
  3. Flights in response to law enforcement activities; or
  4. Flight in support of aeronautical research or biological or geological resource management.

Flights that are not those identified as "public aircraft operations" would then be considered as "civil aircraft operations." The FAA has determined this is a safety critical problem to allow the operation of former military aircraft outside those missions specifically identified and authorized as "public aircraft operations" because these former military aircraft do not adhere to any kind of civilian airworthiness standards and they are on longer under the operational and maintenance control of the U.S. military (or National Guard). Surplus military aircraft are not military aircraft and are not considered under the direct operational control of the military. Surplus military aircraft are not considered military aircraft.

[Author's note: More gobbledegook. Mercifully, it's not likely to hurt most of us, but what do you want to bet that questions on this really obscure subject will show up on the FAA knowledge tests?]

CHANGES IN CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

[Instructor's Notes]

The regulation requires that of the 50 hours cross-country only that 10 hours must be in airplanes for an instrument rating-airplane.

The FAA is proposing to revise §61.65(d)(1) to require that at least 10 hours of the cross country time to be in the category and class of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, so that it conforms to ICAO requirements for the instrument rating.

[Author's note: On the face of it, this doesn't seem so onerous, and is just another minor loophole closed. But I've gotta tell ya, I am getting thoroughly sick and tired of hearing this crap about bringing U. S. aviation into "conformity" with the ICAO (or European) standards. They don't HAVE any aviation to speak of, they've always done everything possible to kill off anything to do with airplanes, except they do seem to realize that airline operations may be necessary. If it were up to ICAO and Europe, we'd still be crossing the USA in Conestoga Wagons. For the all the potshots I take at the FAA, they are SO VERY MUCH better than anyone else.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Revision of the solo cross-country mileage requirements of §61.109 is proposed for consistency with the mileage requirements contained in the definition of the term "cross country" in §61.1. The FAA defines the distance of a cross country, in pertinent part, as "… more than 50 nautical miles…" In §61.109(a)(5)(ii), (b)(5)(ii), and (e)(5)(ii), it erroneously states, in pertinent part, "… of at least 50 nautical miles…" The minor editorial change would make the rules read "… more than 50 nautical miles…"

[Author's note: I am unsure how the very minor change mentioned is going to stop the perceived "abuse" of the distance requirements, and there is nothing to show the proposed changes that will accomplish that purpose. All this could be done so simply with something like "The cross-country flight to satisfy this requirement must have at least one leg of more than 50 nautical miles." I'm not too worried about trainees "cheating," because usually, a return flight is just as mysterious as the outbound was. Thinks look different, the lighting has changed, and the experience is valid.]

(COMMENT: This will put an end to the excuse for requesting approval of flights to an airport 40 miles north, then to an airport 40 miles south and then finally back to original point of departure to meet the private pilot long cross-country requirement.)

[Author's note: I don't seen what this means, perhaps someone can explain it?]

The FAA is also proposing to make a minor revision in the Private Pilot-Helicopter rating so that it conforms to ICAO requirements. The helicopter cross-country total distance will be changed to "at least 100 NM" rather than 75 NM.

[Instructor's Notes]

The FAA proposes to revise §61.129 to be less specific on whether the required cross country flight at the Commercial Pilot Certificate level may be performed under VFR or IFR. Currently, §61.129 reads as "…day VFR conditions …" and "… night VFR conditions…" This will revise the cross country training requirements of §61.129 for the daytime and nighttime cross country training flight to merely read "…in day conditions…" and "in night conditions…" respectively.

[Author's note: Sounds like a decent change.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Proposal to revise the solo aeronautical experience requirements of §61.129(a)(4), (c)(4), (d)(4), and (e)(4) for standardization purposes, so these rules read identical to §61.129(b)(4).

The Commercial Pilot applicant's aeronautical experience requirements for a multiengine airplane rating [e.g., per §61.129(b)(4)] are permitted to be performed solo or with an authorized instructor on board. The verbiage was written differently for the multiengine airplanes than the other aircraft because comments received indicated that the insurance companies prohibit persons from operating multiengine airplanes who do not already hold a multiengine airplanes who do not already hold a multiengine airplane category and class rating on their pilot certificate. Some of the other categories and classes of aircraft also have the same insurance company restrictions.

[Author's note: This seems to solve a problem, so I'm for it.]

[Instructor's Notes]

The Regulation requires all the helicopter and gyroplane instrument training be accomplished in aircraft thus eliminating use of sim/FTD/PCATD.

The FAA is proposing to revise §61.129(c)(3)(i) and (d)(3)(i) to permit some of the instrument training that is required at the Commercial Pilot Certificate level for the helicopter rating [i.e., §61.129(c)(3)(i)] and gyroplane rating [i.e., §61.129(d)(3)(i)] to be performed in an aircraft, flight simulator, flight training device, or in a PCATD, as is the case for the single engine airplane, multiengine airplane, and powered-lift ratings.

[Author's note: Man alive, I'll bet there are just bazillions of pilots out there getting away with something on this one! Do we REALLY need a regulation, one that may appear on the knowledge tests?]

[Instructor's Notes]

An instructor recommendation will be required if a class rating is being added.

Proposal is to delete the phrase "… or a class rating with an associated type rating …" from §61.39(c)(2). In effect, the reference to "class rating" in paragraph (C)(2) excuses the applicant from needing an instructor recommendation to take a practical test that adds a class rating while acquiring a type rating. This was a mistake that was not corrected in the rewrite of Part 61 that occurred on August 4, 1997 (62FR 16220: April 4, 1997).

The present §61.39(c)(2) conflicts with §61.39(a)(6) and §61.63(c) and the directives contained in FAA Order 8700.1.

[Instructor's Notes]

The phrase "If Required, an endorsement to serve as pilot in command in that aircraft" is being proposed to be incorporated into a new subparagraph (b)(3) of §61.195. The purpose for this proposal is to require a person who performs flight instructor duties to also be qualified in aircraft that they provide flight training. The training and endorsements of §61.31 apply.

[Author's note: Probably a loophole that should have been closed.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Instrument training, by definition in §61.1(b)(10), must be received from an authorized instructor. However, §61.195(c) referred to training for the instrument rating a type rating not limited to VFR and inadvertently omitted the training required in §61.129 for the commercial rating and any instrument training used to meet ATP experience.

The FAA is proposing to revise §61.195(c) by establishing that a flight instructor who provides instrument training required at the Commercial Pilot and Airline Transport Pilot certification levels must hold an instrument rating on that flight instructor's pilot and flight instructor's certificate that is appropriate to the category and class of aircraft in which instrument training is being provided.

Training for private pilot certificates does not require instrument training, but instead, "training in control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments."

[Author's note: Forty miles of verbiage to solve a very simple problem. This area could be simplified.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Proposal to revise §61.19(d), 61.197(a), and 61.199 to issue flight instructor certificate without an expiration date.

The FAA would still require that flight instructors renew their flight instructor "privileges" every 24 calendar months in order to exercise the "privileges" of their flight instructor certificate, but it would be done without requiring the re-issuance of the flight instructor certificate. However, the FAA still wants to maintain the procedure for flight instructor renewal applicants to be required to submit a completed FAA Form 8710-1, "Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application" to the FAA's Airman Certification Branch, AFS-760 in Oklahoma City, OK, because the FAA believes this procedure is important for maintaining order on flight instructor renewals and also for being able to retain statistical data on flight instructors.

The proposal will contain the language "… or on another suitable document that is acceptable to the Administrator…" in proposed §61.197(a)(2) because the FAA wants the rule to provide flight instructor renewal applicants significant leeway to show compliance with §61.197.

Additionally, this same language "…or on another suitable document that is acceptable to the Administrator …" is contained in proposed §61.199(a)(2) for flight instructor reinstatement applicants for the same reasons.

Those instructors who hold flight instructor certificates with expiration dates on their certificate will be permitted to continue to hold those certificate (sic) indefinitely and will just have to comply with the renewal procedures of §61.197 or reinstatement procedures of §61.199, as appropriate, in order to retain or reinstate their flight instructor "privileges."

Regardless of what method is used to show compliance with §61.197 (i.e., logbook entry, completion certification, or a stamp inserted in the applicant's logbook, etc.), the FAA expects the flight instructor renewal/reinstatement applicant's record to show the completion date and expiration date of the renewal/reinstatement.

[Author's note: VERY good change, I think. It has always been silly to do all the paperwork for CFI renewal. This will kill fewer trees, and reduce the paperwork burden on everyone. Of course, it leaves the people in the FAA more time to create mischief.]

[Instructor's Notes]

Proposal to revise §61.215(b) to provide that only a ground instructor with an instrument rating may give ground training for the issuance of an instrument rating and instrument proficiency check and a recommendation for the knowledge test required for an instrument rating.

The purpose of this proposal is to correct a mistake in §61.215(b) that permits persons who only hold an Advanced Ground Instructor Certificate to provide instrument training. Advanced Ground Instructors are not tested on instrument subjects and should never have been allowed this privilege. The mistake occurred due to a misunderstanding of the FAA's policy on this issue during the drafting of this rule.

[Instructor's Notes]

§61.217 Recent experience requirements

The holder of a ground instructor certificate may not perform the duties of a ground instructor unless with the preceding 12 months the person can show:

  1. Employment or activity as a ground instructor for giving ground training in a course of training for an airman certificate or rating of this part;
  2. Employment or activity as a flight instructor for giving ground or flight training in a course of training for an airman certificate or rating of this part;
  3. Satisfactory completion of an approved flight instructor refresher course and has received a graduation certificate for attending that course; or
  4. An endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the person has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge in the subject areas prescribed in §61.213(a)(3) and (a)(4), as applicable.

Miscellaneous

[Instructor's notes]

[Author's Note: All upper case in the original FAA document. I think they must think this important!]

CURRENTLY, OFFENSES INVOLVING ALCOHOL ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY RESOLVED THROUGH THE MEDICAL SECURITY SYSTEMS.

AS DESIGNATED EXAMINERS YOU ARE NOT INVOLVED. YOU ARE NOT ASKED TO "POLICE" THIS FOR COMPLIANCE. IF YOU BECOME SUSPICIOUS REFER THE MATTER TO THE FSDO.

EACH INDIVIDUAL PILOT IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING A WRITTEN REPORT TO THE FAA, CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY DIVISION NOT LATER THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE MOTOR VEHICLE ACTION.

FAILURE TO DO SO IS GROUNDS FOR DENIAL OF AIRMAN APPLICATIONS FOR UP TO ONE YEAR OR SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF ANY CERTIFICATE, RATING OR AUTHORIZATION.

[Instructor's Notes]

Please check the Frequently Asked Questions first, if you can. Your question may have already been asked and answered. If not; —

Then ask your POI at your FSDO. Even if a clear answer is still not available the FSDO is "in the loop".

An e-mail message to Pinkston &/or Lynch is preferable unless your need it time critical. The e-mail process often results in a beneficial addition to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Please include a phone number at which you can be reached. Sometimes the answer can be conveyed most easily by phone and occasionally a clarification of the question is needed.


Hi, it's me again!

In conclusion, I think we ought to roll the FARs back to what they were in 1968 (or earlier). I see no evidence that flight is any safer, or the world is any better with the massive changes in the last 40 years. Do away entirely with Part 121, 135, 125.

Be careful up there!