Adding a category to a rating
I have the following certificates/ratings: ATP MEL, commercial helicopter, instrument helicopter, private SEL, and CFI helicopter. I am wanting to add a commercial or ATP to my SEL certificate, followed by my airplane CFI and MEI. 1st question: When I take my commercial checkride, does it have to be in a complex aircraft? 2nd question: I understand getting my ASEL CFI would be considered an add on. It is not clear to me what the requirements are for an add on. Any insight? Thanks.
Scott, the first place to look is the current ATP Practical Test Standards, FAA-S-8081-5F (pdf). There is no aircraft type requirement listed, and one of the CFIs I work with did her initial ATP checkride in a Skyhawk with fixed prop and gear. If you take a Commercial checkride, it must be done in a complex aircraft. The Commercial PTS, FAA-S-8081-12B (pdf) requires that if you add an ASEL rating to your Rotorcraft – Helicopter, you must do almost the entire checkride.
As far as the Instructor, Airplane addition goes, again we have to go to the CFI PTS, FAA-S-8081-6C (pdf) on page 36 of the pdf:
Adding an ASEL instructor rating to a RH instructor certificate.
For the addon checkride, most of the tasks have you refer to the notes under each area of operation. I won’t break it down task by task, but hopefully this will help you get started on the right path towards your new ratings.