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11 Answers

Prove that you must hold appropriate category/class/type cert. to act as required pilot crewmember?

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FAA Regulations

i can't find any regulation in the FARs that CLEARLY states you must hold an appropriate category/class/type certification in order to act as pilot in command or required crew member.

what i have is:

61.3(a)(1) - Pilot flight crewmember must have a pilot certificate in possession onboard (ANY pilot certificate? how about appropriate category/class/type?)

61.31(d) Pilot must hold appropriate cat/class/type to act as PIC (how about not PIC but required crewmember?)

anybody can help me please?


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11 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Bob Watson on Jan 06, 2013

    I think you need to look for this information in the other direction: find the operation and situation that you’re interested in and see what the requirement is. For example 91.109 describes the requirements of a safety pilot (FAR 91.109 (c) (1). FAR part 135 describes the requirements to fly under those regulations, etc. Who must be seated in the right and left seat of the cockpit and what certificates and experience they have depends on the nature of the flight (regulations, aircraft type, etc.)

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  2. Jim F. on Jan 06, 2013

    Yeah, pretty much what Bob said. And we’re dealing with the FARs here… NOTHING is stated clearly, and they’re pretty much all open to interpretation to an extent.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 06, 2013

    You have already identified the requirement for PICs.

    61.55 (a) contains the requirement for category/class ratings to act as SIC. The type rating is only required for SIC if one is operating outside the U.S.

    The requirements are stated clearly. While the regulations may be open to interpretation, the ability/responsibility to interpret resides solely with the Office of Legal Counsel. Individual pilots may not formulate their own interpretations.

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  4. lo_fly on Jan 06, 2013

    thank you guys!

    – blue skies –

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  5. John D. Collins on Jan 07, 2013

    You didn’t fully quote 61.3 (a)(1) which reads:

    “Sec. 61.3

    Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations.

    (a) Pilot certificate. No person may serve as a required pilot flight crewmember of a civil aircraft of the United States, unless that person–
    (1) Has a pilot certificate or special purpose pilot authorization issued under this part in that person’s physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization. However, when the aircraft is operated within a foreign country, a pilot license issued by that country may be used; and”

    The phrase “when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization” ties the ratings, category, class, and type to the requirement for the pilot to have the appropriate certificate to act as PIC or as a required crew member.

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  6. Peter Lake on Jan 07, 2013

    Bob, I’ve never read anything that said which pilot had to be in the left seat and which in the right.

    Seated, yes; with dual controls or throwover yoke, yes; but not as you said “Who must be seated in the right and left seat of the cockpit.”


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  7. Mark Kolber on Jan 08, 2013

    Peter, you never read anything like that since there is no such FAR requirement.

    However, there are a number of individual aircraft that have seat position as one of the limitations, such as being placarded, “Solo from left seat only.”

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  8. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 08, 2013


    You have limited your thinking to Part 91 operations. Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 9, Paragraph 3-1318 describes Seat Dependent training for Air Carrier training programs. If you have not been trained and checked in the left seat, you may not fly from the left seat. Same thing for the right seat.

    Obviously, we are talking about more complex aircraft. Think about putting a new FO in the left seat of a G-IV and expecting him to be able to maneuver the airplane on the ground with the tiller (having never done it before).

    As far as the FAR requirement, it would come from the regs requiring 135 & 121 operators to have a training program (which is approved by the FAA) and to adhere to the training program.

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  9. lo_fly on Jan 08, 2013

    thanks all of you… my question was related to 91 ops.
    “when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization”
    i always thought the term “privileges” was related to the type of certificate (private, commercial), so the consequently privileges and limitations that come with it.

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  10. John D. Collins on Jan 09, 2013

    On the front of my pilot licence, it states:

    Has been found to be properly qualified to exercise the privileges of Commercial Pilot

    On the back of the license it lists my ratings:

    Commercial Pilot
    Airplane single engine and multiengine land; instrument airplane

    Airplane is the Class, single engine land and multi engine land are the categories, instrument airplane is a rating for the airplane class. I have no type ratings, so none are listed.

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  11. lo_fly on Jan 09, 2013

    “Has been found to be properly qualified to exercise the privileges of Commercial Pilot”
    exactly! excercise the privileges of a Commercial Pilot (fly for hire for example)…
    so if you are a required pilot crewmember on a commercial flight 61.3 states that you must be a commercial pilot, and you are a commercial pilot on the category and class written on the back of your license… got it!

    sorry i’m foreign and in a week i have my CFI checkride, sometimes i’m having problems interpreting/translating the FAR, they can be really confusing…

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