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Military Pilot: Do I need a single-engine commercial?

Posted by on July 17, 2008 2 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags : ,

Received a question this morning from Kelly:

Hi. I am a multi-commercial, instrument rated pilot who received my training through the Air Force. I also have a single engine airplane private license which I got before I went into the military. Here’s my question? Do I have to take a checkride with an examiner to get a SINGLE ENGINE COMMERCIAL, or is my commercial rating good just like my INSTRUMENT rating?

Hi Kelly. Thanks for your question.

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yes, you will need to take another checkride in order to exercise commercial priviledges in a single-engine airplane (such as flight instruction). Currently with your certificate, you can only exercise commercial privileges in a airplane multi-engine land (AMEL). My certificate has a similar limitation. I have an ATP for AMEL but only commercial priviledges for ASEL. That means, I cannot act as a pilot in command in a single engine land airplane that required the operating privileges of a airline transport pilot certificate (such as an air carrier).

So of course the next question is, “What will you need to demonstrate to the examiner on the practical test?”

The official reference to this question is the FAA Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards. If you open this document you will notice on page 1-v the “Additional Rating Task Table”, a copy of which I have included below. You can reference this table to see which areas of operations and tasks will be required to be completed on your checkride:

Areas of Operation

This table describes exactly what maneuvers have to be covered on your practical test by giving you roman numerals and letters that correspond to Areas of Operations and Tasks in the PTS. Here are the areas to be covered:

  1. Performance and Limitations
  2. Operations of Systems
  3. Normal, Crosswind, Short and Soft Field Takeoff, Landings, Go-arounds
  4. Steep Spirals, Chandelles and Lazy Eights
  5. Eights on Pylons
  6. Emergency Approach and Landings, System Malfunctions
  7. After Landing, Securing and Parking

You’ll notice there are few thing you don’t have to, such as the stall series and steep turns but you still have to do the commercial maneuvers in a single engine airplane.

Let me know if you have any questions and as always…

Fly Safe!


  1. Patrick on Oct 24, 2009

    I am ATP rated, I was never single engine commercial rated, only multi. Now that I have an ATP do I need to get my single engine commercial?

  2. Dan on Nov 11, 2009

    My question is similar to Patrick’s. I have an ATP in ME aircraft, but no SE endorsement at all. I want to get a SE endorsement, what is the fasted way and most cost effective? Should I just try do a SE ATP? I assume that would be the fastest way.

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