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FAA Releases Final Rule on PIC Proficiency Checks

September 17, 2012

Currently, Part 61.58 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) only requires recurrent proficiency checks for individuals serving as PIC of aircraft requiring more than one pilot. In August 2009, the FAA proposed a number of changes to existing pilot, flight instructor and pilot school certification regulations.

Of most interest to NBAA Members, FAA proposed to require recurrent proficiency checks for pilots in command (PIC) of single piloted turbojet aircraft. In August 2011, the FAA issued a final rule implementing many of the proposed changes.

At the request of NBAA and other stakeholders, the FAA published a technical correction on October 12, that extends the compliance date for the PIC proficiency check portion of the rule to October 31, 2012. This extension is designed to allow pilots of single piloted turbojet aircraft additional time to complete the proficiency checks as required by the rule.

Based on feedback from Members, NBAA also posed a number of questions to FAA regarding the practical application of the new rule. For example, pilots often receive a distinct type rating to operate a turbojet aircraft single pilot, this type rating differs from what would be required to operate the same aircraft with two pilots. Under the revised rule, do pilots wishing to operate a turbojet powered aircraft single pilot need to successfully complete a 61.58 check every 24 months that utilizes the standards applicable to the single pilot type rating?

If NBAA is able to obtain clarification from FAA on these questions, information will be posted to this web page.

Changes to Recurrent Proficiency Checks

Effective October 31, 2012, the final rule will modify FAR 61.58 to require recurrent PIC proficiency checks for PICs of single piloted turbojet-powered aircraft. The specific requirements of how the checks should be performed and how often they are required have not been changed. This change means that individuals serving as PIC of aircraft such as the Cessna Citation Mustang of Eclipse EA 500 will be required to undergo recurrent proficiency checks as required by FAR 61.58.

As a result of comments to the proposed rule, pilots of experimental turbojet-powered aircraft that have a single seat or do not carry passengers are not required to undergo the checks required by the rule change.

Other Changes to Pilot and Pilot School Certification Rules

The final rule makes a number of other changes that may be of interest to NBAA Members:

  • Modifies FAR 61.65(a) to permit the application for an instrument rating concurrently with a private pilot certificate.
  • Allows the conversion of a foreign pilot license to a U.S. certificate under provisions of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement and other specific implementing procedures. Currently, this change will allow certain pilots from the U.S. and Canada to obtain licenses from either country if appropriate requirements are met. This change also provides FAA the legal basis for entering into similar agreements with other ICAO contracting states.
  • Revises the definition of a "Complex Airplane" to include airplanes equipped with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).
  • Permits the use of a throwover control wheel for certain flight training including flight reviews and recent experience and instrument proficiency checks.
  • Allows pilot schools to use internet-based training programs without requiring that schools have a physical ground training facility.

For additional information contact the NBAA Operations Service Group at (202) 783-9250 or info@nbaa.org .