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Important Sport Pilot Examiner Clarification Published

EAA leads efforts for rule correction

Dual instruction

December 15, 2011 – EAA’s push for a rule correction for sport pilot Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs) has brought a successful outcome, as the FAA this week is publishing updated rules that will allow more DPEs to be available for sport pilot certification.

In a 2009 revision to Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) part 61 rules, the FAA declared that pilot examiners administering practical tests must hold “at least a third-class medical certificate.” Although the intent of the change was to relax the regulatory burden for examiners, it unfortunately overlooked the fact that sport pilot examiners may hold either a medical certificate or a U.S. driver’s license when exercising their privileges. EAA continuously pushed for a technical correction to the rule in order to keep the few sport pilot examiners out there flying. Without it, examiners were left with the decision to either obtain a medical certificate at significant time and expense or choose not to renew their examiner designation.  

 “We are extremely pleased that the FAA recognized the oversight and worked to correct it,” said David Oord, government and advocacy specialist. “While this correction is important to all SP examiners, it was critical to the few examiners conducting practical examinations in weight shift control, powered parachutes, and gyroplanes.”

 Effective December 16, 2011, FAR 61.23(c) is changed to read:

 “(c) Operations requiring either a medical certificate or a U.S. driver’s license.

(1)  A person must hold and possess either a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter or a U.S. driver’s license when-
             (i) Exercising the privileges of a student pilot certificate while seeking sport pilot privileges in a light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon;
            (ii) Exercising the privileges of a sport pilot certificate in a light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon;
            (iii) Exercising the privileges of a flight instructor certificate with a sport pilot rating while acting as pilot in command or serving as a required flight crewmember of a light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon; or
            (iv) Serving as an Examiner and administering a practical test for the issuance of a sport pilot certificate in a light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon.

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