8900.1 CHG 316



Section 10  Safety Assurance System: Flightcrew Recurrent Training Curriculums

3-1336    GENERAL. This section contains information, direction, and guidance to be used by principal operations inspectors (POI) in the evaluation of an operator’s flightcrew member recurrent training curriculums. The information covered includes the objectives and content of these recurrent training curriculums. The recurrent category of training is conducted for flightcrew members who have been previously trained and qualified by the operator, who are continuing to serve in the same duty position and aircraft type, and who must receive recurring training and/or checking within a specific eligibility period to maintain qualification. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121 and 135 flightcrew recurrent curriculums contain the following curriculum segments: aircraft ground training, general emergency training, flight training, and qualification. Special operations, differences, and related aircraft differences training curriculum segments must also be included when applicable. This section is related to Safety Assurance System (SAS) Subsystems 2.1, Training & Qualification, and 3.1, Training & Qualification.

3-1337    OBJECTIVE OF RECURRENT TRAINING. The objective of recurrent training is to ensure that flightcrew members continue to be knowledgeable of, and proficient in, their specific aircraft type and duty assignment. Periodic recurrent training also provides operators with an opportunity to introduce flightcrew members to changes in company operating procedures, in crewmember duties and responsibilities, and in developments within the operating environment and aviation industry.

A.    Required Training Hours. POIs must ensure that the operator conducts the required number of hours of training for each cycle of recurrent training and within the time period specified by 14 CFR. Furthermore, POIs must take into account that although an operator may have satisfied 14 CFR, the operator may not have satisfied the objective. The POI can consider the objective to have been met when the flightcrew member is able to perform at the required standard of proficiency immediately before entering the next cycle of required training.

B.    Curriculum Segments. POIs shall review recurrent training curriculum segments to ensure that the subject matter is appropriate, and of the proper scope and depth. The training given by the operator in each segment must meet the objective of that segment. Since there are limits as to the amount of recurrent training operators can reasonably conduct, POIs must ensure that operators use the time allocated for recurrent training efficiently and effectively. POIs and operators should carefully consider the following:

1)    Title 14 CFR requires that all required subjects and topics in initial training be covered in recurrent training. Flightcrew members must remain proficient in these subjects as long as they continue to serve in the aircraft and flightcrew member duty position. Operators must give sufficient training to ensure that flightcrew members continually remain proficient. The training required to meet this objective must be given even if it is in excess of the scheduled hours or listed topics.
2)    Title 14 CFR does not require that every subject and topic of training be reviewed during each cycle of training. POIs should encourage operators to construct recurrent training outlines with different topics and elements emphasized in each cycle of training, so that when an element is addressed, it may be addressed in adequate depth.
3)    Recurrent training curriculum segments may not contain material that is not pertinent to flightcrew member ground training, flight training, and general emergency training requirements (such as security training, a separate training requirement and curriculum segment).
4)    Recurrent training syllabuses (not necessarily curriculum outlines) should be revised frequently (preferably annually). Operators must remove any unnecessary, outdated, superfluous, or inappropriate material and replace it with current and timely material. POIs should encourage operators to construct recurrent training curriculum segment outlines in a manner that allows for training syllabus variation in subsequent cycles of training, while not necessitating a new program approval (see paragraph 3-1339, Recurrent Aircraft Ground Training Curriculum Segments).
5)    POIs shall encourage operators to use pretesting to identify areas in which flightcrew members are deficient. While operators do not have to train in areas in which flightcrew members demonstrate competence, they must, however, be able to identify areas with deficiencies and conduct training to proficiency in those areas.

3-1338    TRAINING/CHECKING MONTH AND ELIGIBILITY PERIODS. Both parts 121 and 135 require that for flightcrew members to be scheduled or serve in revenue service, they must have completed various recurrent training and checking events within 12 calendar-months. When an operator adopts a modular approach for recurrent training, all such training elements and events must be grouped into specified modules to be administered and recorded as a recurrent training curriculum segment. When an operator does not adopt a modular training approach, records must be kept of each flightcrew member’s accomplishment for each element of required training and each element or event must be scheduled separately. POIs should use the following direction and guidance when reviewing an operator’s recurrent training and checking events.

A.    Designating the Training/Checking Month. When a flightcrew member completes an initial, transition, upgrade, or requalification training program within a 3 calendar-month period, the month in which the qualification curriculum segment is completed is then considered to be that flightcrew member’s training/checking month. If the training has been completed within the 3-month period, the operator may make a single record of the entire curriculum without noting when individual events occurred. Subsequent scheduling of recurrent training may then be based on the training/checking month. If the time taken to complete initial, upgrade, transition, or requalification training has exceeded 3 calendar-months, however, the operator must record and schedule the accomplishment of recurring events separately.

NOTE:  The requirement that pilots in command (PIC) of turbojet aircraft must accumulate 100 hours in command is not considered for the purpose of establishing the 3-month period.

B.    Adjusting the Training/Checking Month. Operators may adjust a flightcrew member’s training/checking month by administering a period of recurrent training and qualification. When training is accomplished before it is due, operators must ensure that all requirements are accomplished within the 12 calendar-months allowed by the regulations. Requirements are sometimes omitted when a flightcrew member completes an initial-equipment, transition, or upgrade training curriculum at some time other than the previous eligibility period. When a training/checking month is adjusted, the reason for the adjustment must be noted in the flightcrew member’s record. A coding system for this adjustment may be used for computerized recordkeeping systems.

C.    Eligibility Period. A flightcrew member who has not completed all recurrent training or checking requirements in the month due may be scheduled and may serve in revenue service during the remainder of the eligibility period, but not thereafter. A flightcrew member who fails to complete all required training and qualification modules within the eligibility period must complete requalification training before serving in revenue operations.

3-1339    RECURRENT AIRCRAFT GROUND TRAINING CURRICULUM SEGMENTS. POIs must ensure that an operator’s recurrent aircraft ground training consists of instruction in three subject areas: general operational subjects (including airport ground operational safety per the current editions of Advisory Circular (AC) 120-74, Parts 91, 121, 125, and 135 Flightcrew Procedures During Taxi Operations, and AC 91-73, Parts 91 and 135 Single Pilot, Flight School Procedures During Taxi Operations), aircraft systems, and systems integration training. Differences, related aircraft differences, and special operations training (such as wind shear) may also be required. Part 121, 121.427 and part 135, 135.351 both require that recurrent aircraft ground training must contain instruction in the same subjects required for initial training. This requirement does not mean that each element of initial training must be reaccomplished during each period of recurrent training. It means that pertinent subject areas must be reaccomplished often enough to ensure that flightcrew members remain competent in the performance of their assigned duties. The regulations also require that certain subjects, such as emergency training be covered each year.

A.    Training Hours. Ground training hours must be specified in the recurrent training curriculum segment. The number of training hours required for various aircraft and the approval of training hours are discussed in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 5, paragraph 3-1200, Training Hours. Operators may be required, however, to conduct more than the minimum number of hours specified by the regulations to achieve the training objective. Sections 121.427(b)(2) and 135.351(b)(2) require that training in all subject elements which are required in initial aircraft ground training must be given “as necessary” in recurrent training. A recommended means of constructing recurrent training segments is to focus on one or two training modules within each subject area. During recurrent training, additional training modules may be accomplished at subsequent cycles of training until all of the areas of initial training have been completely reviewed. A complete cycle should not exceed 3 years.

B.    Differences, Related Aircraft Differences, and Special Operations Training. When differences, related aircraft differences, or special operations training is applicable, it must be included in recurrent training curriculums. This training may either be presented as a separate and distinct curriculum segment or the training may be integrated into other modules. An effective way for an operator to conduct differences training is to discuss the differences in individual systems and procedures as an integral part of the training. The training methods and level of differences specified in the Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report will determine whether related aircraft differences can be effectively integrated or whether a separate curriculum segment is necessary. (See Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 12, for additional information regarding related aircraft designation and related aircraft differences training.) When special operations are conducted, special curriculum modules are normally required as opposed to integrating the training into other segments. Recurrent training should also include updated information on equipment, operational practices and procedures, information from accidents and incidents, and areas which require emphasis as a result of line and proficiency check evaluations.

3-1340    WRITTEN OR ORAL TESTING. POIs must ensure that the following written or oral testing requirements are in the operator’s recurrent training curriculum.

A.    General. Written or oral testing is a required module of the recurrent flight checks for both parts 121 and 135 curriculums. This testing may either be conducted in conjunction with the flight check module or separately. The testing must be accomplished within the flightcrew member’s eligibility period (see paragraph 3-1338, Training/Checking Month and Eligibility Periods).

NOTE:  Although operators may use computer-based instruction (CBI), programmed instruction, or “open book” instruction and testing to obtain a reduction in ground training hours, this training/checking is not intended to be a substitute for the testing required in the qualification segment.

B.    Composition of Written and Oral Test Modules. The oral or written test module must contain three distinct sets of test elements.

1)    The first set of test elements is general in nature and covers the applicable provisions of: 14 CFR parts 61, 63, 91, 121, and 135; the operator’s operations specifications (OpSpecs); and the operations manual. This segment only has to be completed once during each qualification cycle and does not need to be repeated if the flightcrew member is qualifying on more than one aircraft.
2)    The second set of test elements includes aircraft systems, operating procedures, Weight and Balance (W&B), airport ground operational safety, and performance data relative to each specific make and model of aircraft. This segment of the test module must be completed on each make and model aircraft on which the flightcrew member is to serve. When the flightcrew member is qualifying to serve on more than one variation of an aircraft, a written or oral differences test segment is also required.
3)    The third set of test elements consists of special or unique operations. Special operations testing may be included in the general or aircraft specific segments, as appropriate.
Indicates new/changed information.

3-1341    RECURRENT GENERAL EMERGENCY TRAINING CURRICULUM SEGMENTS. Both parts 121 and 135 operators are required to conduct recurrent general emergency training. This curriculum segment is separate from the aircraft ground recurrent training curriculum segment. Recurrent general emergency training consists of emergency situation and emergency drill training modules. Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 4, contains additional direction and guidance on the scope and content of general emergency training modules.

3-1342    RECURRENT FLIGHT TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION CURRICULUM SEGMENTS—PART 121. POIs must refer to 121.433 and 121.441 when determining the various acceptable means that an operator may use to construct recurrent flight training and qualification curriculum segments. POIs should use the direction and guidance that follows when making these determinations.

A.    Section 121.433(c)(1)(i). Section 121.433(c)(1)(i) requires that all flightcrew members satisfactorily complete a recurrent flight training curriculum segment and proficiency check or flight check, as applicable, within the preceding 12 calendar-months in each airplane type in which the flightcrew member is to serve.

B.    Section 121.433(c)(1)(iii). Section 121.433(c)(1)(iii) requires PICs to also complete a recurrent flight training curriculum segment within the preceding 6 calendar-months in an airplane in which the pilot serves as PIC in part 121 operations.

C.    Substitute Simulator Training. Section 121.433(c)(2) allows an approved course of simulator training described under 121.409(b) to be substituted for alternate periods of recurrent flight training for pilots. In accordance with 121.409(b)(1), this course of training must provide at least 4 hours at the pilot controls as well as a proper briefing before and after the training. Section 121.409(b)(2) requires the course of training to include at least the procedures and maneuvers in part 121 appendix F or Line-Oriented Flight Training (LOFT). If LOFT is conducted, 121.409(b)(2)(ii)(A) requires the LOFT to:

1)    Utilize a complete flightcrew.
2)    Include at least the maneuvers and procedures (abnormal and emergency) that may be expected in line operations.
3)    Be representative of a flight segment appropriate to the operations being conducted by the certificate holder.

D.    Substitute Proficiency Check. Section 121.433(c)(2) permits an operator to conduct a proficiency check instead of recurrent flight training for pilots but does not authorize training instead of a required proficiency check. This provision is not intended to allow perpetual substitution of checking for training. POIs must emphasize that training is of primary importance, and checking is the means of verifying that training has been adequate. POIs shall ensure that operators conduct adequate refresher and remedial flight training in addition to conducting the required checks. The provision allowing for the substitution of checks for training is intended to allow the following:

    Realignment of a pilot’s training/checking month;

    Relief for pilots requalifying after losing qualification; and

    Necessary flexibility for operators when realigning and revising training programs.

E.    PIC Proficiency Checks. Section 121.441 requires that a PIC must have completed a proficiency check within the last 12 calendar-months and either a proficiency check or one of the simulator courses of training described under 121.409(b) within the last 6 calendar-months. If a PIC serves on two airplane types,  121.433 requires the PIC to complete recurrent flight training or checking on each airplane type within the preceding 12 calendar-months. Therefore, to meet the requirements of 121.433 and 121.441, the PIC should complete a proficiency check on alternating airplane types every 6 months.

F.    Second-in-Command (SIC) Proficiency Check. Section 121.441 requires an SIC to have completed a proficiency check or a course of simulator training described under 121.409(b) every 12 calendar-months. An SIC must also have completed a proficiency check or LOFT within 24 calendar-months. If an SIC serves on two airplane types, 121.433 requires the SIC to complete recurrent flight training or checking on each airplane type within the preceding 12 calendar-months.

G.    Deviation Authorization. In accordance with 121.441(f), the Air Transportation Division (AFS‑200) may authorize a deviation from the proficiency check requirements of 121.441(a) and (b)(1) for a designated related aircraft. (See Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 12, for additional information regarding deviations based on designation of related aircraft.)

H.    Methods of Compliance. Table 3-74, Methods for Combining Recurrent Training, Part 121, which follows, contains a summary of the methods that a part 121 operator may use to comply with the combined recurrent training and qualification requirements of the cited regulations.

Table 3-74.  Methods For Combining Recurrent Training, Part 121














T or L


T or L




L or T


L or T






P, L, T





P, L, T





P or L

P = Proficiency check in an airplane or full flight simulator (FFS)


T = Simulator training

I.    Flight Engineers (FE). For recurrent training, FEs must have completed a flight check within 12 calendar-months.

J.    Multiple Aircraft Types. When a flightcrew member flies more than one aircraft type, the training/checking month for each subsequent airplane is the same calendar-month that is 1 year after the original check on that type of airplane. Operators normally find it advantageous to align the training/checking month on the second airplane 6 calendar-months after the training/checking month on the first airplane.

3-1343    RECURRENT FLIGHT TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION CURRICULUM SEGMENTS—PART 135. The recurrent qualification check requirements for pilots in part 135 operations are as follows:

A.    Transport or Commuter Category, Turbojet Airplane, or Helicopter. Each pilot serving in a transport or commuter category airplane, turbojet airplane, or helicopter must have completed a competency check in each make and model of aircraft in which the pilot serves within 12 calendar-months. Part 135 operators who operate these families of aircraft may comply with part 121 subparts N and O instead of part 135 subparts G and H. A part 135 operator who does comply with part 121 subparts N and O is considered to be in full compliance with part 135 subparts G and H. POIs should encourage operators of transport category, turbojet, and commuter airplanes to adopt this option to take full advantage of advanced simulation and LOFT.

B.    Multiengine General Purpose Airplane. Each pilot serving in airplanes of the multiengine, general purpose aircraft family must have completed a competency check in one model of airplane of the equivalent aircraft family within 12 calendar-months. A competency check in one airplane of an equivalent aircraft family qualifies the pilot in all airplanes of that family.

C.    Single-Engine Airplanes. Each pilot serving in single-engine airplanes other than turboprop or turbojets must have completed a competency check in any make and model of the aircraft family within 12 calendar-months. Only one competency check is required to qualify the candidate in all single-engine airplanes of this family.

NOTE:  The provisions of subparagraphs B and C do not relieve a pilot from having to complete recurrent differences training and that portion of the oral or written competency test applicable to each make, model, and variation of the airplane that the pilot will operate as required by  135.293(a)(2).

Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). Section 135.297 requires a PIC conducting instrument flight rules (IFR) operations to have completed an IPC in one aircraft in which the pilot serves within the preceding 6 calendar-months. The IPC may be substituted for the competency check required by 135.293(b) for the aircraft type used. A PIC is due an IPC in the calendar-month 6 calendar-months after the training/checking month.

1)    Section 135.297 specifies that the IPC consists of those maneuvers and events required for original issuance of the certificate required for the operation being conducted (either airline transport pilot (ATP) or commercial/instrument). The events required on an IPC are discussed in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7.
2)    Section 135.297 allows a pilot operating both single-engine and multiengine aircraft to alternate the IPCs in the two classes of aircraft and be considered qualified in both classes. The pilot must, however, have completed an IFR check in a multiengine aircraft before beginning the alternating sequence. This provision does not, however, relieve the pilot from having to accomplish a competency check (as discussed in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7) in each family of aircraft or, when required in each individual aircraft, once every 12 calendar-months (see Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7, paragraph 3-1283).

NOTE:  Section 135.297 was written before competency checks for IFR operations were required for operators to satisfy the requirements of 135.297 as well as 135.293. The provision for alternating checks has little practical application under the current requirements.

E.    Autopilot Instead of SIC. Before a PIC may be authorized to conduct IFR operations with an autopilot instead of an SIC, the PIC must satisfactorily demonstrate this ability once every 12 calendar-months. This demonstration should be conducted in conjunction with an IFR competency check.

F.    Multiple Qualification. When a pilot flies two or more aircraft of different families or aircraft requiring individual qualification, the pilot’s training/checking month for each airplane or family of airplanes is the same calendar-month 1 year after the original qualification on that aircraft or aircraft family. Operators will usually find it advantageous to align the training/checking month for the second aircraft 6 calendar-months after the training/checking month for the first aircraft. This arrangement eliminates the need for separate IPCs.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-1344 through 3-1360.