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5 Answers

135 Currency Question

Asked by: 7168 views
FAA Regulations

This may be a little bit above and beyond this websites intent but I am hoping to gain some insight here.  I've been flying 135 for a few years now but never had to worry about the currency vs. grace month late deal.  Without telling a history story, I am due for a 135.293 etc. for PIC this month, Dec 2010.  I am leaving my current company in January for another job and I am not taking another checkride at the current job; Am I able to fly legal 135 flights in January?  My only references so far are 135.293(a) and 135.301.  I have heard different people say yes or no but nobody has an explanation for the saying yes i can fly.  Thanks for any help.

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5 Answers

  1. Matthew Waugh on Dec 19, 2010

    That’s an interesting question. What 301 does is make you retroactively legal for flights conducted in the grace month because it makes the effect of the checkride in the base month and so you can retroactively meet the lookback provision in 293. Although nobody ever thinks of it that way, that’s essentially what the regulation says.
    So if you don’t take a checkride in your grace month are the flights in January legal? I’d have to say that my reading says they would be illegal, because you cannot meet the lookback provisions on 293. You’d have the same problem though if you intended to take the checkride January 25th, got sick, and then the end of the month passed. Technically any flights you’d have operated in January would have been illegal. In fact however you just take the checkride when you can and reset your base month. In that case “intent” might be a defense, you intended to take the checkride but could not. In your case that’s not a defense available to you.
    Practically – what are the chances of getting caught? If the FAA started digging into the records the answer is “we fully intended to have him take a checkride in January, but then the ungrateful employee up and quit on us – what could we do?” I suspect if anybody had ever been “caught” like this we’d know about it. Either FAA inspectors aren’t reading the regulation that way or they’ve peeked inside the can of worms that line of inquiry opens and they want nothing to do with it.

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  2. Curtis Ide on Dec 19, 2010

    Thanks for the input.  I am definately not into the “taking chances of getting caught” and certainly not trying to do anything that is questionable on the illegal side.  I am still leaning to the fact that if I took a flight on Jan.1 that on that date I would not meet the stated requirement of 135.293 at that time.  I’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing about intent of flying a checkride based on .301 and I think that’s how some people get by.  I am thinking this one will just end up being a call into the local FSDO to see what they think.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Dec 23, 2010

    I agree, on Jan 1 you would not meet the lookback. However, after you take the checkride, because of the wording, the Jan 1 flight would become legal (because the checkride would be considered as effective in December).
    So the situation is you would be “illegal” for a while, and the checkride would make you legal again. Gawd knows how the FAA legal department justifies this internally, but there you go.
    My guess is the FSDOs head will explode – but please let us know how it goes 🙂

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  4. Curtis Ide on Jan 01, 2011

    I ended up speaking with the Front Line Manager as they are called now at the Richmond FSDO.  I laughed when his first question to me was “What do you want the answer to be”  almost as though he had the flexibility to shape the answer.  In a brief summary of our conversation “Intent” has a lot to do with it all.  His example was that if I flew charters in January with the intent of taking a checkride on the last day of the month and it got cancelled because the aircraft broke, bad weather, etc. then I would still be legal for those flights made in January.  As I continued to ask questions he sort of backed off a little and wasn’t a very strong supporter of his own answer.  In any case, I think if I were to fly the charters this month and anything happened they could easily find a way to say it was illegal and if nothing happens they would look the other way even if I never took a checkride.  In the end, I am not flying the charters.

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  5. Buster on Aug 16, 2012

    Having held the chief pilot and director of ops position for a couple of 135 companies it has always been the case in both the companies and FSDOs eyes that the grace month is available regardless of Intent to take a checkride. If you took the 293 in Dec. (1-31) then you have until Jan. 31 to complete another 293 or you are a pumpkin.

    Where people get into trouble is with IFR currency where you may use the grace month however you may not be current if you have not done your six approaches, erc… Night landing/takeoff currency can get certain operators as well. 293, 297, 299 checks do not override Part 61 currency requirements.


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