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12 Answers

Commercial check ride

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Commercial Pilot

I am working on my commercial endorsement. I am a little confused about some of the requirements however. One in particular is the type of aircraft I need to do my time in. I was told by a CFI that most of my time building must be in a high performance and that I have to do my check ride in a high performance. I can’t find any documentation to back this up. I know I need 10 hours of high performance. Can anyone help with this and if you have any personal advise at the same time I covet that as well. Thank you, Tommy Eldridge www.PriavtePilotInsider.com

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12 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Sep 16, 2011

    From the Commercial Pilot PTS:
    Aircraft and Equipment Required for the Practical Test

    The commercial pilot—airplane applicant is required by 14 CFR section 61.45, to provide an airworthy, certificated airplane for use during the practical test. This section further requires that the aircraft must:
    1. be of U.S., foreign or military registry of the same category, class, and type, if applicable, for the certificate and/or rating for which the applicant is applying;
    2. have fully functioning dual controls, except as provided for in 14 CFR section 61.45(c) and (e);
    3. be capable of performing all AREAS OF OPERATION appropriate to the rating sought and have no operating limitations which prohibit its use in any of the AREAS OF OPERATION required for the practical test; and
    4. be a complex airplane furnished by the applicant, unless the applicant currently holds a commercial pilot certificate with a single-engine or multiengine class rating as appropriate, for the performance of takeoffs, landings, and appropriate emergency procedures. A complex landplane is one having a retractable landing gear, flaps, and controllable propeller. A complex seaplane is one having flaps, floats, and controllable propeller. Airplanes equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system are considered to have a controllable propeller.

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  2. pilotsteve on Sep 16, 2011

    Neither logging time in a high performance nor having a high performance endorsement is required for a commercial license.  As Mr. Collins posted, your friend is likely confusing the high performance time with complex time.
    14 CFR 61.149 (a) (3)
    (ii) 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, or is turbine-powered, or for an applicant seeking a single-engine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller; 
    The wording of the regulation requirements for the practical test is also a bit confusing.  Although many commercial applicants do their entire checkride in a complex aircraft, the only requirements are takeoffs, landings and emergency procedures.  In other words, you can do all your maneuvers in a fixed gear (172, cherokee etc), land the plane, then get in a complex aircraft to do takeoffs landings and emergency procedures.  It’s a bit more complicated that way but can also help keep the cost down.
    In short, there is no requirement for a high performance aircraft during commercial training.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Sep 16, 2011

    I smell a CFI with access to a high performance aircraft and a need to put food on the table πŸ™‚

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  4. Private Pilot Insider on Sep 16, 2011

    Sorry everyone I just noticed I did say “High performance” and I meant to say “Complex”. 
    As far as preparing for the check ride (i.e. building my time) all I need is 10 hours of complex? Correct? Everything else can be done in a CE172?
    On my check ride I perform my landings, take off and emergency procedures in a complex. Everything else can be done in the 172?
    (Sorry, didn’t mean to repeat you guys just wanted to simplify it.)  
    It would be much cheaper on me to do my training in a 172 due to the fact that the company I work for owns one and I get it for cost of fuel only. Very nice WELL EQUIPT may I add.
    Is there any advice you guys can give me for my commercial training?
    Thank you,
    Tommy Eldridge
    BTW: Matthew, that’s some funny stuff right there. True but funny. 

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  5. JamesCFI on Sep 16, 2011

    Not needed,
    you can build up your hours in almost ANYTHING, you can use anything from a complex 500hp Nemesis NXT to a little 65hp Champ with no electrical system at all. 
     You only need 10hrs in a complex aircraft.  by the time you take your commercial check ride
    And to be complex all the airplane needs to have is retractable gear, constant speed prop (where you have a separate control for power AND RPM) and flaps,
    OR if you want to do it in a float plane just a constant speed prop and flaps.
    AND You dont need ANY high performance time

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  6. Private Pilot Insider on Sep 16, 2011

    Thats a lot of help guys, thank you. I understand they are even talking about removing the retractable gear part as well. Any one heard this? 

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  7. Brian on Sep 17, 2011

    I understand they are even talking about removing the retractable gear part as well. Any one heard this? 
    Yes, it was under proposal for a few years. Anyhow, it got turned down; see below:
    Finally, the NPRM proposed to replace the 10 hours of training in a complex airplane required for pilots applying for a commercial pilot certificate with 10 hours of advanced instrument training. These proposals would have resulted in changes to both Part 61 and Part 141. However, in response to the public comments received and in light of the recently passed Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-2163) that addresses flight crewmember training, the FAA has elected not to adopt these proposals.

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  8. Christopher Ryan on Sep 17, 2011

    You only need to log the 10 hours in the airplane and everything else can be done in a c-172.
    The check ride can be done in either 1 or 2 aircraft. i did the first half in the c-172 and then jumped in the complex at my airport for like 0.5 basically all i had to do on the checkride was take off show him i could move the gear up and put it down and land.

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  9. JamesCFI on Sep 17, 2011

    Dont know if I would use two airplanes, sounds like a great way to complicate things. Just get dialed in on the complex and do the whole checkride in that, heck you need to burn 10hrs in it anyway!!

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  10. Christopher Ryan on Sep 17, 2011

    I miss read the question, for whatever reason i was thinking of what i did for my CFI checkride…. i did my first CPL in a complex twin lol and then later the single add on in just a plan old c-172 πŸ˜€

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  11. Micah on Sep 19, 2011

    Tommy, what’s implicit in the PTS is that you need to show proficiency. If you take the track you’ve suggested, and unless you plan to fly 2 airplanes for the practical test, you’ll have to show proficiency in manuevers in an airplane that you’ve only flown for 10 hours (and much of that practicing landing/gear operation and not practicing the manuevers you just learned). If you spend your time learning maneuvers in airplane A then transition to complex airplane B, you may find that transitioning to the complex airplane will take longer than 10 hours to demonstrate proficiency.
    I would generally agree with your CFI; not that you can’t train in the familiar airplane, but realize that not all of your time on those manuevers in that airplane will translate in a way that saves hours.

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  12. Private Pilot Insider on Sep 19, 2011

    Micah that does make a lot os sense. I believe I would be better off doing my complete check ride in the complex. I am feeling I should just spend the last 10 hours in the complex. If it takes a few hours more the I guess thats the gamble.

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