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add on catagory rating/ground school

Asked by: 1487 views FAA Regulations

I have a commercial rotorcraft helicopter with instrument rating and want to add on a commercial airplane catagory.  I see that 61.61 b4 says I dont' need to take a knowledge test since I hold a rotorcraft certificate at the commercial level.   But 61.123 c and d talk about the requirement for ground school training and the subsequent required knowlege test on said ground school topics. my question is: Do I need to do ground school? (Part 141 school) while it says it's required it also says the knowlege test is required but I know that isn't true based on 61.61b4. so if the knowlege test isn't required why would the ground school.   thanks! mike

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2 Answers



  1. Russ Roslewski on May 13, 2015

    I think you’re confusing two regulations here, as it seems you’re asking about both part 61 and part 141.

    Part 61 states that you do not need to pass a knowledge test. I went the opposite way from you, Commercial airplane to add on Commercial-RH, and did not have have to take a knowledge test. Under Part 61 there is no requirement for any “formal” ground school at all. Home study and such are fine.

    Part 141, however, regulates the school’s course content. They can not deviate from what the FAA has approved them to do – in other words, since Part 141 requires a certain amount of ground school as part of their program, then you’re required to complete it – whether or not you have to pass a knowledge test.

    I assume you are talking about a 141 course that operates under Part 141 Appendix I for additional category training – 55 hours of flight training, 20 hours of ground training.

    If you want to go Part 141, you’re just going to have to do the ground school, test or no test. The school can’t “graduate” you until you meet all the requirements.

    Or, you could go Part 61. Which is more effective for you depends obviously on your personal situation – Part 61 still requires 50 hours airplane PIC.

    At a Part 141 school I used to teach at, we would take Part 61 students as well – run them through basically the same course, but without the additional 141 requirements.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on May 13, 2015

    141 is 141.

    As far as Part 61 goes, you don’t need to log ground school for the subjects outlined in 61.125.

    But, look at the wording in 61.127(a).

    “A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.”

    While there is no requirement to log ground training on the subject areas for the knowledge test, there is a stated requirement to log ground training on all the maneuvers. So, you do need ground school, just not for what you thought.

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