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FAA Eliminates Complex Airplane Requirement For Commercial And CFI Checkrides

The FAA has eliminated the use of complex airplanes for commercial pilot and flight instructor practical tests, effective immediately.

Armchair Aviator

The notice, which was issued earlier today, outlines the changes to testing requirements for Part 61 and Part 141 training programs.

According to the FAA's notice, "Specifically, it outlines the policy which no longer requires applicants for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine rating to provide a complex or turbine-powered airplane for the associated practical test and no longer requires applicants for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane single-engine rating to provide a complex airplane for the practical test."

Older, Expensive To Maintain Aircraft

The FAA's notice goes on to say that "Training providers have noted that there are far fewer single-engine complex airplanes available to meet the airplane requirements outlined in the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) or Practical Test Standards (PTS), as applicable, and the single-engine complex airplanes that are available are older airplanes that are expensive to maintain. The FAA recognizes that accomplishing the required testing in either a single-engine complex airplane or turbine-powered airplane has become cost-prohibitive for flight schools."

Changes Now Available In The ACS and PTS

The FAA has already updated the online Commercial ACS and Flight Instructor PTS.

Download the Commercial ACS here.

Download the Flight Instructor PTS here.

What do you think about the update to checkride requirements? Tell us in the comments below.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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