In the September 4, 2008, EAA e-Hotline, the Q & A section addressed exchanging or converting your pilot certificate for a new one that contains a statement that says you are "English Proficient." While the answer did address the specific question, it did not, as Paul Harvey would say tell "The Rest of the Story," as there are other pilot, mechanic, repairman related deadlines that members should be aware of.
English Proficiency statement - If you plan on operating internationally and hold a pilot certificate, or have either a control tower operator certificate or a flight engineer/flight navigator certificate, you have until March 5, 2009 to convert your certificate to one that contains the required English proficiency endorsement. There is a $2.00 fee for this certificate replacement process.
- The FAA Web site specifically mentions this is a mandatory requirement for private, commercial, or ATP pilot certificate holders. However, if you hold a sport pilot or a recreational pilot certificate and plan on flying internationally (to the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, etc.) then you must also exchange your pilot certificate for one containing the English proficiency endorsement.
- If between now and March 5, 2009 you are planning to upgrade your pilot skills by obtaining an instrument rating, a multi-engine rating, a seaplane rating, going from a sport pilot certificate to a recreational/private pilot certificate, etc., then that action will result in the FAA issuing you a new pilot certificate (at no cost) that will come with the new English proficiency endorsement on it. If you are obtaining a new sport pilot or recreational pilot certificate be sure to ask your examiner to request that the English proficiency statement be included on your new pilot certificate.
- If you hold a mechanic or repairman certificate there is no requirement to convert your certificate to one containing the English proficiency statement.
"Paper" Pilot certificates - if the pilot certificate you are using is made of paper, then you have until March 31, 2010, to convert it to the new upgraded, counterfeit-resistant plastic pilot certificate. Converting your paper pilot certificate to the new plastic certificate will also meet the English proficiency requirement, since the new plastic certificate will contain the English endorsement. Reference FAR 61.19(h). There is a $2.00 fee for this certificate replacement process.
Other "Paper" certificates - if you hold a paper certificate authorizing you to perform mechanic, repairman, control tower operator, or flight engineer/flight navigator duty functions, then you have until March 31, 2013, to convert it to the new upgraded, counterfeit-resistant plastic certificate. Converting your paper certificate to the new plastic certificate will also meet the English proficiency requirement, since the new plastic certificate will contain the English endorsement, if appropriate. Reference: FAR 63.15(d) and 65.15(d). There is a $2.00 fee for this certificate replacement process.
To order a replacement certificate to meet the above requirements, follow the steps outlined on the FAA Airmen Registry web site.
Please direct any questions concerning these regulator changes to the FAA Airmen Registry Branch at 405-954-3205 or EAA Technical Services at 800-564-6322. Reference: http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/english_proficiency/