Volume 3 General technical administration
CHAPTER 53 PART
141 PILOT SCHOOLS
Section 1 Introduction to Part
141 Related Tasks
A. Authority. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
141 prescribes rules governing the operation of pilot schools.
In the related chapters, “pilot school” means either a provisional pilot school
or a pilot school. Where a requirement applies only to a provisional pilot school,
the term, “provisional pilot school” is used. The differences between provisional
pilot schools and pilot schools are discussed briefly in the following paragraphs.
1) Certification Course. A certification course in a part
141 school is a training course for a certificate or rating normally accomplished
by a student from “zero time” to completion.
2) Certificated Pilot School. A certificated pilot school is
a school that meets the pertinent requirements of part
141 subparts A through C.
3) Curriculum. A curriculum is a set of courses in an area of
specialization offered by an educational institution. A curriculum for a pilot
school might include courses for private pilot airplane and instrument ratings.
4) Examining Authority. The authority granted a holder of a pilot
school certificate to conduct knowledge and/or practical tests of their own
graduates for the issuance of pilot certificates and ratings without further
testing by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
5) Institution of Higher Education. As defined in Title 34 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (34 CFR) part 600, § 600.4. An institution of higher education
must be listed in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and
Programs. The list is administered by the U.S. Department of Education Office
of Postsecondary Education and can be found at
6) Institution of Higher Education’s Authority to Certify Graduates.
An institution of higher education that obtains a letter of authorization from
the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800) that recognizes the aviation
coursework that is part of a bachelor or associate degree program with an aviation
major. The institution of higher education must review a graduate’s transcript
and determine if the graduate meets the requirements defined in 14 CFR part
§ 61.160(b), (c) or (d).
7) Provisional Pilot School. A school that does not meet the
requirements of part
141.5, but does meet the requirements of §
8) Satellite Base. A location other than the main operations
base where approved ground or flight training courses are conducted.
9) Special Curriculum. A special curriculum course is a course
of pilot training not listed in the appendices of part
141. Under §
141.57, a pilot school and provisional pilot school may apply for a special
course of airman training provided the course contains features that can be
expected to achieve a level of pilot competency equivalent to the level achieved
by the curriculum prescribed in the appendices of part
141 or the requirements of
part 61. Under §
141.57, a special course of airman training that provides an innovative
approach for use of advanced training equipment technology (e.g., flight simulators,
flight training devices (FTD), Aviation Training Devices (ATD), computer-based
instruction (CBI), Web-based instruction) may be approved. If a pilot school
(not a provisional pilot school) applies for a special course of airman
training with reduced training times, then that pilot school must comply with
the provisions set forth in §
141.55(d) and (e). A provisional pilot school may not apply for a special
course of airman training with reduced training times under §
141.55(d) and (e). In accordance with §
141.55(d)(3) and (e)(4), a pilot school may not be approved for examining
authority for a special course of airman training that has been approved for
reduced training times.
10) Syllabus (Training). A systematic building block progression
of learning with provisions for regular review and evaluations at prescribed
stages of learning. The syllabus defines the unit of training, states by objective
what the student is expected to accomplish during the unit of training, shows
an organized plan for instruction, and dictates the evaluation process for either
the unit or stages of learning.
11) Training Course Outline (TCO). Within a curriculum, a TCO
describes the content of a particular course by statement of objectives, descriptions
of teaching aids, definition of evaluating criteria, and indication of desired
3-4287 PILOT SCHOOL CONCEPT. On August 4, 1997, a complete rewrite
141 became effective. This new part
141 expanded the ability of certificated schools to design and administer
their own course. The privileges of schools to recommend graduates of their
own courses of training for appropriate airman certificates, without being tested
by FAA inspectors or Designated Pilot Examiners (DPE) (examining authority),
was also broadened. This concept was implemented by making prescribed curricula
for training more flexible and by adopting procedures to assure that a training
course used by a school is adequate, appropriate, and administered by qualified
3-4288 REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS. Part
141 permits trainees to meet the flight experience requirements of part
61 with less flight time. However, the students must meet all other certification
part 61, including
obtaining an instructor’s recommendation and successfully
completing knowledge and flight tests. The reduced flight time is allowed under
141 because the training is more controlled through supervision and periodic
evaluations, and is conducted by experienced instructors. This includes specific
FAA oversight and approval of the training course curricula.
3-4289 PROVISIONAL PILOT SCHOOLS. Initially, pilot schools are certificated
141 as provisional pilot schools for a period of 24 months. They may be
certificated as pilot schools when they meet the requirements of
3-4290 QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION.
A. Without Examining Authority. Under the provisions of §
141.83, a pilot school must maintain a standard of training of at least
10 students, 80 percent of whom must have passed the required test on the first
attempt, in accordance with §§
B. With Examining Authority. A pilot school with examining authority
must meet and comply with the requirements of part
141 subpart D, specifically §
C. Content of Tests to Meet Quality of Training Requirements.
The tests may consist of any test for a pilot certificate or rating, or for
an operating privilege appropriate to the course from which the student graduates,
or a test to determine competence and knowledge of a completed stage of training.
D. Failure to Meet Quality of Training Requirements.
1) When a school fails to maintain quality of instruction as
required by the regulations, it is considered the basis for suspension or revocation
of the certificate held by that school.
2) If a school fails to maintain quality of training, an inspector
should conduct an investigation of the school’s training activities in question
to determine the probable cause of the deficiency and take corrective action,
including enforcement action.
3) Only the end-of-course tests count when determining the 80
percent quality of instruction pass rate for renewal of a school certificate.
a) The intent of §
141.5(d) is to count all first attempts of FAA knowledge tests leading to
a certificate or rating, practical tests leading to a certificate or rating,
end of course tests for approved courses with examining authority, and end of
course tests approved under §
141.57, Special Curricula, or part
141 appendix K. However, end-of-course tests approved under §
141.57 or part
141 appendix K must be at least as comprehensive as a test leading to a
certificate or rating. Therefore, the end-of-course tests that are used as counters
141.5(d) (for meeting the 80 percent pass rate criteria or the 10 graduates
quantity criteria) are the end-of-course tests that are approved under part
141 appendix K courses or the comprehensive, all-inclusive, end-of-course
tests that are approved under an approved examining authority course (i.e.,
those listed in §
b) When a pilot school, with or without examining authority, requests progressive
phase tests for the end-of-course test, the request must be denied. One of the
basic concepts of a pilot school having examining authority is that the issuance
of a certificate or rating be given without the need for any further testing
by the FAA. However, per
“Tests given by a pilot school that holds examining authority
must be approved by the Administrator and be at least equal in scope, depth,
and difficulty to the comparable knowledge and practical tests prescribed by
the Administrator under part
61 of this chapter.” Per §
141.67(c), the FAA/principal operations inspector (POI) has the authority
to require a school’s end-of-course test to be comprehensive and all-inclusive.
Requiring a school to administer a comprehensive, all-inclusive, end-of-course
test make it possible for a school’s end-of-course test to be counted in the
determination of the quantity and quality requirements of §
141.5(d). Requiring a school’s end-of-course test to be a comprehensive,
all-encompassing test would satisfy the requirements of §
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-4291 through 3-4305.