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Pilot licensing

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FAA Regulations

I was wondering that if you upgrade a pilot's license, eg. single piston to mult, multi to turbine, commercial to ATP, if those upgraded licenses include the lower licenses, as in if i were to be licensed for an A330, and i wanted to rent a bonanza, if my ATP would cover it.

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3 Answers

  1. Micah on Oct 16, 2011

    Yes, that’s generally true. When you “upgrade” your FAA certificate, you retain any privileges of your “lower” certificate that aren’t redundant; your ATP-Multi would retain single-engine privileges from the highest level you’ve earned. 

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  2. Matthew Waugh on Oct 17, 2011

    You’re a little confused about pilot certification. For example you can’t “upgrade” your certificate from multi to turbine. If you had A330 type rating, and you were previously licensed to fly single engine aircraft, then you can still rent and fly a bonanza. But an A330 type rating does not, in itself, allow you to fly a Bonanza.
    In general you don’t lose a privilege when you add a privilege to a certificate. Even if you have an ATP certificate, you can still operate with commercial privileges if that’s appropriate.

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  3. John D. Collins on Oct 17, 2011

    You have to take a separate flight test for each category, class and type if required. In order for your ATP certificate to permit you to act as PIC in a single engine aircraft, it must indicate it. So ATP – Multiengine Land will not permit you to fly a single engine land aircraft with ATP privileges, whereas ATP – Single and Multiengine Land will.  To obtain both category and class ratings, some pilots will provide both types of aircraft for the practical test and will meet the requirements for each.
    Since you indicate you had a single engine pilot certificate, assuming it was as a private pilot or commercial pilot, that certificate would be used to allow you to exercise the privileges with the appropriate privileges and limitations.  It is possible to have a mixture of these on your pilot certificate.  Some ex military pilots have only obtained a commercial multi engine aircraft or ATP multi engine ATP and are not authorized to fly a single engine aircraft with passengers or for hire.  Some will go ahead and get a private single engine land added or more likely a commercial single engine land so they can fly single engine aircraft.
    So, if you don’t see “Single Engine Land” anywhere on your pilot certificate, you are not authorized to act as PIC in a single engine aircraft with passengers or for hire. See 61.31, 61.45, 61.63, 61.153, and 61.165 for details
    In addition to answering the question, does my pilot certificate permit me to legally act as PIC of a Bonanza, there are policy issues from the rental company such as check outs and minimum required times in make and model and insurance issues that dictate what the minimum times required in make and model.

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