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I'm a new flight instructor. I have a helicopter ppl training with me for his commercial fixed-wing. I've read all the regulations in the FAR/AIM. Is there a simple step-by-step instruction guide on taking him from a Helicopter Private Pilot to a Commercial Fixed-Wing Pilot? I want to ensure I don't miss a step, or double step. Thank You, Jessi

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1 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Nov 12, 2015

    When you say that you have read all the regulations, that is a daunting task. Reading them is not the same thing as understanding them.

    Since he is going directly to a Commercial Airplane from a Private Helicopter, 61.63 does not apply.

    He needs to meet the requirements of 61.123, 61.125, 61.127 and 61.129(a).

    The big hurdle will be 61.129(a)(2)(i), which requires him to have 50 hours of PIC in airplanes. Since he is not rated in airplanes, the only way he can log PIC time is to be solo. 61.129(a)(4) does allow you to babysit him for 10 hours while he performs the duties of a PIC and these 10 hours can be applied to the requirement in 61.129(a)(2)(i), but the other 40 hours of PIC will need to be done solo. Also, he cannot log the time spent with you in the airplane as PIC time, even though it can be used to satisfy the PIC requirement. You, as well, cannot log those 10 hours as “dual given”, because you cannot provide instruction during those 10 hours. You are on board ostensibly for insurance reasons.

    61.129(a)(2)(ii) requires him to have 10 hours of cross country PIC time in an airplane. Some of that can be satisfied by flights made under 61.129(4).

    The big thing to remember is, he is NOT a student pilot. When you endorse him for solo, it is under 61.31(d)(2), not 61.87 and 61.89. You do not need to check his cross country planning and endorse that. You may want to, and certainly can, but there is no requirement to do so.

    Same thing with the pre-solo test. He is not a student and it is not a requirement. I would, however, still administer a test over the airplane and differences in the regulations between helicopters and airplanes.

    When doing cross category training, I usually suggest that the client first get the Private add-on. Then, any time they spend manipulating the controls during training for the Commercial can be logged as PIC.

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