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6 Answers

A student pilot soloed in a tail wheel aircraft, but the instructor did not provide a tail wheel endorsement. Is one necessary?

Asked by: 4033 views Flight Instructor, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

My student has soloed in a tail wheel aircraft, but the previous instructor did not provide a tail wheel endorsement. Is one required or are student pilots different category?

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6 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Aug 20, 2012


    The requirements for training and endorsement for tailwheel are in 61.31(i). It states no person may act as PIC wihtout it. If you are a solo student, you are PIC.

    61.31(l) deals with exceptions. It exempts student pilots from the rating limitations found in 61.31, however an endorsement is not a rating.

    Prior to endorsing a student for solo flight, an instructor must log instruction in the maneuvers listed in 61.87(d). Included are normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings and go-arounds. Wheel landings are not specifically mentioned, but should also be taught prior to solo. How much effort and ink does it take to write the endorsement in the student’s logbook?

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  2. CFI Academy on Aug 21, 2012

    Agree with Kris here. Similarly, complex and high performance. High altitude as well, but I haven’t seen one of those yet…..initial solo ….. :-), or even a student pilot operation in one, but I sure have heard of a few….

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  3. n on Aug 24, 2012

    YES he does need (or rather needed) the endorsement if he soloed after April 15, 1991.

    As someone who did my first solo in a taildragger and as someone who teaches primarily abintro students in tailwheel, this should be obvious to any tailwheel CFI.

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  4. Alex Clark on Aug 26, 2012

    I primarily teach floats, skis and tailwheel. Many students up here in Alaska get their private rating in a tail-wheel (I did many moons ago) and I make sure they have a tail-wheel endorsement.

    I was part of a discussion with the FAA guys once (and a buch of CFIs) when the subject came up regarding a gal who had earned her solo and finally her private rating in her own Super Cub without anyone noticing she did not have a Tail-Wheel endorsement in her log book.
    One opinion from upon high was that since she had been soloed specifically in writing for that Super Cub,…. And since her log-book was full of endorsements for that plane, to include her check-ride,…. that in fact she had been endorsed for tail-wheel, just not in the traditional spot in her log book.

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  5. bc on Sep 23, 2014

    FAR 61.31 is an endorsement stating “is competent to act as PIC of tail wheel airplanes”, when in fact as per FAR 61.87 a student is competent to act as PIC of a specific airplane, as are their nose wheel brethern

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  6. Mark Kolber on Sep 24, 2014

    While I personally like Alex’s answer a lot and it makes solid practical sense, I have to go along with those who said the separate 61.31 endorsement is required, if for no reason other than the FAA’s history of rejecting the concept of implied regulatory compliance whether it be student endorsements or ATC instructions.

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