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Certified Flight Instructor Flight Reviews; Recent Pilot in Command Experience; Airmen Online Services; Confirmation of Effective Date

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.

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SUMMARY:

This action confirms the effective date of the direct final rule published on September 16, 2013, and responds to the comments received on that direct final rule. The rule permits an airman who passes a practical test for issuance of a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for the addition of a rating to a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for renewal of a flight instructor certificate, or a practical test for the reinstatement of a flight instructor certificate to meet the 24-calendar month flight review requirements. This rule also clarifies that the generally applicable recent flight experience requirements do not apply to a pilot in command who is employed by a commuter or on-demand operator if the pilot in command is in compliance with the specific pilot in command qualifications and recent experience requirements for that commuter or on-demand operator. Finally, this rule permits replacement airman and medical certificates to be requested online, or by any other method acceptable to the Administrator. These changes relieve regulatory burdens and clarify existing regulations.

DATES:

The direct final rule published September 16, 2013, at 78 FR 56822, becomes effective on November 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this action, see “How To Obtain Additional Information” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions concerning this action, contact Allan G. Kash, Airmen Certification and Training Branch, Flight Standards Service, AFS-810, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 385-9621; email allan.g.kash@faa.gov.

For legal questions concerning this action, contact Anne Moore, Office of the Chief Counsel—International Law, Legislation, and Regulations Division, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3123; email anne.moore@faa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Discussion of the Direct Final Rule

Flight Review

The purpose of the flight review is to provide for a regular assessment of pilot skills and aeronautical knowledge. When the requirement was first introduced, the FAA stated that the flight review would assure that every pilot would have a qualified individual comment on his or her competency at least once every two years, as discussed in 38 FR 3156 (February 1, 1973).

Section 61.56 sets forth certain exceptions to the requirement for a pilot to accomplish a flight review. Among these exceptions, a person who has, within the prescribed 24-month period, “passed a pilot proficiency check conducted by an FAA examiner, an approved pilot check airman, or a U.S. Armed Force, for a pilot certificate, rating, or operating privilege,” need not accomplish the required flight review required by § 61.56(d). In addition, pilots employed by a part 119 certificate holder conducting operations under part 121 and part 135 receive recurring training and proficiency checks, conducted by an FAA examiner or approved pilot check airman provided by their employer, which exceed the requirements of a flight review.

Industry advocacy groups indicated they believed that the flight instructor certification covers much more than the regulatory requirements of a flight review. These groups indicated support for amendment of the regulations to allow for a flight instructor practical test to be included as an exception to completing a flight review. As discussed further in the direct final rule, the FAA agreed with this view. The direct final rule published September 16, 2013, modified § 61.56(d) to allow an airman who passes a practical test for issuance of a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for the addition of a rating to a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for renewal of a flight instructor certificate, or a practical test for the reinstatement of a flight instructor certificate to meet the flight review requirements of 14 CFR part 61.

Recent Flight Experience

Section 61.57 sets forth the recent flight experience requirements to act as pilot in command of an aircraft. Section 61.57(e)(2) states that this section does not apply “to a pilot in command who is employed by an air carrier certificated under part 121 or 135 and is engaged in a flight operation under part 91, 121, or 135 for that air carrier if the pilot is in compliance with” the pilot-in-command requirements in § 121.435 or § 121.436, as applicable, and § 121.439 or §§ 135.243 and 135.247, as appropriate. The FAA received several requests for clarification of whether, under the specific language of § 61.57(e)(2), the exception applies only to a pilot in command employed by the holder of a part 119 air carrier certificate or whether it also extends to a pilot in command employed by the holder of a part 119 operating certificate.

When the FAA first proposed this exception to the recent flight experience requirements in § 61.57, it stated that the intention was to provide relief from “essentially redundant recency requirements” for part 121 and part 135 operators and their pilots in command (59 FR 56385, November 14, 1994). In that final rule, then-§ 61.57(f) stated that the recent flight experience requirements in part 61 did not apply “to a pilot in command, employed by a 14 CFR part 121 or part 135 operator, engaged in flight operations under 14 CFR part 91, 121, or 135 for that operator.” The FAA refined the language in a 1997 final rule and, in doing so, introduced the term “air carrier” in place of the term “operator” (62 FR 16220, April 7, 1997).

The FAA did not intend to limit the exception to pilots employed by air carriers operating in parts 121 and 135. The FAA intended to include any pilot in command who is employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct operations under part 121 or part 135 when the pilot is engaged in operations under parts 91, 121, or 135 for that certificate holder if the pilot in command is in compliance with §§ 121.435 or 121.436, as applicable, and § 121.439 or §§ 135.243 and 135.247, as appropriate.

Consequently, in the direct final rule published September 16, 2013, the FAA amended the language in § 61.57(e) to make clear that the recent flight experience requirements of that section do not apply to a pilot in command who is employed by the holder of an operating certificate that is conducting operations under part 121 or part 135 if the pilot in command is also in compliance with § 121.435 or § 121.436, as applicable, and § 121.439, or §§ 135.243 and 135.247, as appropriate.

Airmen Online Services

In the case of a lost or destroyed airman or medical certificate, § 61.29(a) and (b) permit a pilot to request the replacement of a lost or destroyed airman certificate issued under part 61. Replacement airman certificates may be requested by letter to the Department of Transportation, FAA, Airmen Certification Branch, and replacement medical certificates may be requested by letter to the Department of Transportation, FAA, Aerospace Medical Certification Division.

Although current regulations recognize requests for replacement certificates only by letter, the FAA has established Airmen Online Services Start Printed Page 66263through which a pilot can request a replacement airman certificate or obtain a document that provides temporary authority to exercise the privileges of an airman certificate by facsimile or through internet download at the FAA Web site: http://www.faa.gov/​licenses_​certificates/​airmen_​certification/​certificate_​replacement/​. The use of Airmen Online Services is not addressed or recognized in § 61.29. Therefore, in the direct final rule published September 16, 2013, the FAA amended the language in § 61.29 to reflect the use of Airmen Online Services or any method acceptable to the FAA for the purpose of obtaining a replacement certificate or 60-day authority to exercise the privileges of a lost or stolen certificate.

The FAA also revised § 61.3 to clarify that temporary documents issued under § 61.29(e) are acceptable for meeting the § 61.3 requirement that a pilot have his or her pilot certificate and medical certificate in the person's physical possession when serving as a required flightcrew member.

Discussion of Comments

The FAA received 7 comments to the direct final rule. All commenters supported the rule as published. Commenters supported the regulatory changes, noting that they would relieve burdens for the regulated community, and would potentially reduce costs for certified flight instructors.

Conclusion

After consideration of the comments submitted in response to the direct final rule, the FAA has determined that no further rulemaking action is necessary. Therefore, the direct final rule published September 16, 2013 at 78 FR 56822, Amendment No. 61-131, will become effective November 15, 2013.

How To Obtain Additional Information

A. Rulemaking Documents

An electronic copy of a rulemaking document my be obtained by using the Internet—

1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov;

2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/​regulations_​policies/​ or

3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpo.gov/​fdsys/​.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket

Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit http://www.faa.gov/​regulations_​policies/​rulemaking/​sbre_​act/​.

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Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 44703 in Washington, DC, on December 31, 2013.

Lirio Liu,

Director, Office of Rulemaking.

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[FR Doc. 2013-26472 Filed 11-4-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P