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FAA Edits Second in Command Requirements for Some Warbirds

Rule change ends need for EAA Warbirds of America Exemption 10588

August 30, 2018 - In 2012, EAA Warbirds of America petitioned for, and received, an exemption from 14 CFR, Part 91.531, permitting the operation of large airplanes that possess experimental (and later limited category) airworthiness certificates for the purpose of exhibition, and which have been designed with only one pilot station, to be operated without a pilot who is designated as second in command (SIC) of that airplane.    

Large turbine and piston-powered warbirds were affected by the old rule.

Through the advocacy efforts of EAA and the Warbirds of America Government Affairs Committee, the FAA has edited FAR 91.531 with language that permanently provides the appropriate relief. See paragraph (b) in the rule below.

§91.531   Second in command requirements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate the following airplanes without a pilot designated as second in command:

(1) Any airplane that is type certificated for more than one required pilot.

(2) Any large airplane.

(3) Any commuter category airplane.

     (b) A person may operate the following airplanes without a pilot designated as second in command:

                     (1) Any airplane certificated for operation with one pilot.

                     (2) A large airplane or turbojet-powered multiengine airplane that holds a special airworthiness certificate, if:

                                     (i) The airplane was originally designed with only one pilot station; or

                                     (ii) The airplane was originally designed with more than one pilot station, but single pilot operations were permitted by the airplane flight manual or were otherwise permitted by a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the armed forces of a foreign contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

(c) No person may designate a pilot to serve as second in command, nor may any pilot serve as second in command, of an airplane required under this section to have two pilots unless that pilot meets the qualifications for second in command prescribed in §61.55 of this chapter.

[Docket FAA-2016-6142, Amdt. 91-351, 83 FR 30282, June 27, 2018]

Pilots who currently hold the EAA Warbirds of America Exemption (No. 10588) are advised the exemption is now obsolete and will not be renewed. No further action is required of the exemption 10588 holders.

This is a good example of EAA and Warbirds of America working collaboratively with FAA officials to resolve issues on behalf of our membership.

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