8900.1 CHG 543



Section 1 Qualify a Pilot in Command


5-1732    OBJECTIVE. The objective of this task is to determine that the pilots used by a private or commercial agricultural aircraft operator are qualified to act as pilot in command (PIC) of an agricultural aircraft. An inspector’s completion of this task will result in an indication that the PIC can conduct his job in a satisfactory or unsatisfactory way.

5-1733    GENERAL. When required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 137, § 137.19(e), the applicant or person who is designated as chief supervisor for the operator will be examined to determine that the applicant possesses satisfactory knowledge to conduct those operations safely. An applicant or chief supervisor acting as PIC under § 137.41(c) may be examined to ensure that the applicant possesses the knowledge required to dispense agricultural materials and chemicals safely. The inspector may take into consideration, when making the determination of competency, any agricultural aircraft pilot state-required tests passed by the applicant. For example, based on a pilot’s recent state test, an inspector may determine that a knowledge test is not necessary.

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A.    Knowledge and Skill Requirements. Additionally, a part 137 certificate holder must ensure that the PIC in their operation meets the knowledge and skill requirements for the type of operation conducted. The certificate holder may operate either fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) under part 137.

B.    Knowledge and Skill Requirements for UAS. It is the responsibility of the part 137 certificate holder adding a UAS to their operation to ensure that the PIC of the UAS has the appropriate certification and has demonstrated that he or she meets the requirements of the knowledge and skill test by:

1)    A knowledge and skill test administered by the Administrator,
2)    A knowledge and skill test administered by the chief supervisor, or
3)    Having previously demonstrated they meet the knowledge and skill requirements and provide applicable documentation.

C.    PIC Certification Requirements for UAS. To meet the certification requirements for the operation of UAS, a PIC must have:

1)    A certificate issued under 14 CFR part 61, for UAS that weigh 55 pounds or more; or
2)    A Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating issued under 14 CFR part 107, for UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds.

NOTE:  See Volume 16, Chapter 3, Section 2.

D.    Exemptions for UAS. Evaluation of a PIC for a part 137 operator that wishes to use a UAS requires the inspector to have additional knowledge of Public Law (PL) 112-95, FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Section 333, Special Rules for Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems; part 107; and Volume 16. An applicant proposing to use a UAS must have petitioned for an exemption by the Formal Application Phase of certification and received a grant of exemption with relief from the appropriate sections of part 137 by the Demonstration and Inspection Phase of certification. The applicant must provide a copy of the exemption to the certification team. The phrase “unless otherwise exempted” is used numerous times in this section and refers to the operator’s exemption, whether they are operating a small UAS under part 107 or under a PL 112-95, Section 333 exemption for a UAS that weighs 55 pounds or more.

E.    Location of Test. The skill test may be conducted over an area mutually agreeable to the applicant and the inspector.

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F.    Location of Inspector During Test. The operations inspector shall observe this test from the ground. Under no circumstances should the inspector ride with the applicant during the skill test.

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G.    Crew Equipment.

1)    During manned aircraft operations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly encourages pilots to wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved or Military Specifications (MIL‑SPEC) flight helmet when operating agricultural aircraft in dispensing operations. Although not required by 14 CFR, some aircraft or rotorcraft manufacturers may list helmet use as a requirement in certain Airplane Flight Manuals (AFM), Rotorcraft Flight Manuals (RFM), or Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS).
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2)    During unmanned aircraft (UA) operations, the FAA requires pilots to maintain adequate verbal communication capabilities with visual observers (VO) and any other essential flightcrew. The communications equipment used should not interfere with the remote pilot’s ability to control the aircraft.

H.    Suitable Material to be Dispensed During Test. For the purpose of the skill test, the aircraft’s tanks or hoppers shall be loaded with any suitable material (e.g., water, lime, or sand).

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1)    Loading shall be to the maximum certificated takeoff weight or the maximum weight established for the special purpose load, whichever is greater. A reduced load may be used based on current environmental conditions. For UAS operators using “multiples” (swarms) in their aerial application operations, the maximum number of UAS approved for simultaneous flight should be demonstrated.
2)    Before conducting the skill test, the operator must ensure that the dispensing equipment does not contain chemical residue (an herbicide or other agricultural chemical) which may cause damage or create a hazard to the area where the test is conducted. The inspector must verify this with the operator.
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I.    Reasons for Conducting Knowledge and Skill Test. This task should be performed during initial certification of a part 137 applicant, or the applicant’s designated person to be chief supervisor. It may also be conducted at the request of a part 137 operator or pilot.

J.    Not Dispensing Economic Poisons. If the operator does not apply for authorization to dispense economic poisons, the inspector will not test the applicant on § 137.19(e)(1)(ii)–(iv). The statement of competency issued must reflect this.


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A.    Test Development. The examining inspector develops questions from the following topics to determine the applicant’s or chief supervisor’s knowledge of such operations. The inspector may consider administering additional knowledge tests when an operator adds UAS to their operation (this may be required by the conditions and limitations (C&L) in the exemption). Additional tests may also be necessary if changes are made in the operator’s chief supervisor personnel.

1)    The knowledge test may be oral or written, at the option of the person administering the test. A sample written test and its answer key can be found in Figure 5-196, Sample Knowledge Test. This sample should be considered representative of a written test covering the required areas of knowledge.
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NOTE:  It is important to stress Weight and Balance (W&B) issues pertaining to the aircraft flown, as well as performance issues (such as Density Altitude (DA)).

2)    District offices are encouraged to develop their own written tests and answer keys, if they desire to use that method of evaluating the applicant’s knowledge. Any written test, whether the sample provided in Figure 5-196 or one developed by the district office, becomes known after it has been administered several times. The test will need to be updated periodically to reflect changes in regulations, new pesticides, etc.
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3)    When administering a knowledge test to an operator that will be using a UAS, the inspector will consult the operator’s FAA-granted exemption, waiver, Certificate of Authorization (CoA), and any additional operating documents, and include this information into the knowledge and skill test.

B.    State Test Results. Inspectors may accept results of any state or local knowledge test as a portion of the FAA knowledge test, provided the pilot can produce bona fide test results or a license issued by the certifying agency.

Figure 5-196.  Sample Knowledge Test

1. Should a pilot in command (PIC) of an agricultural aircraft assist in mixing and loading the aircraft when dispensing a highly toxic chemical?

2. When dispensing a highly toxic chemical, what instruction would you give your flagger, if one is being used?

3. What are some of the symptoms of chronic toxic effect, which is the cumulative buildup of chemical in the body?

4. How would you dispose of containers that held a toxic poison?

5. Where is the nearest poison control center?

6. If you have mild symptoms of organophosphate poisoning, can you administer the recommended antidote yourself and continue work until an appointment with a doctor can be arranged?

7. What emergency action would you take if a known contamination exists?

8. Indicate your swath runs and procedure turns over the following field, when dispensing an herbicide that could damage plants in the congested area.

{Insert aviation safety inspector (ASI)-developed field sketch here.}

9. Would you apply a chemical such as a highly toxic insecticide to this field? If so, how and when?

10. What wind direction would be required for applying an herbicide on the crop in the following field sketch?

{Insert ASI-developed field sketch here.}

11. How long should records required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 137, § 137.71 be kept?

a. 6 months

b. 12 months

c. Until the end of the season

d. Indefinitely

12. While airborne, before starting your first swath run, what steps would you take?

13. In applying insecticides for insect control adjacent to a lake, stream, or fish-stocked earth tank, what precautions must be taken?

14. Does your Agricultural Aircraft Operator Certificate allow you to fly under 500 feet over the top or closer than 500 feet horizontal to a farm while going to or from your base of operation and the field you are to treat?

15. What are the steps to be taken before you can dispense chemicals over a city, town, settlement, or other congested area?

16. Does your aircraft have to be inspected before you can engage in applying insecticide for insect control over a congested area?

17. In your procedure left turn, you misjudge your turn and roll out 300 feet to the right side of your intended course. How would you correct this error?

18. Your agricultural aircraft is required by part 137 to be equipped with a (circle one):

a. Quantity tank gauge

b. Shoulder harness

c. Stall warning horn

d. Boom pressure gauge

19. In order to dispense chemicals over a congested area, you are required by part 137 to have your aircraft equipped with which of the following:

a. Stall warning horn

b. Tank quantity gauge

c. Emergency dump valve or chemical jettison device

d. Boom pressure gauge

20. {Insert question about the performance characteristics of the aircraft to be flown—such as Weight and Balance (W&B)}.

21. What certificate or certificates have to be carried on the aircraft engaged in agricultural aircraft operations?

a. Registration

b. Facsimile of the Agricultural Aircraft Operator Certificate

c. Both of the above

22. You are flying a restricted category agricultural aircraft with a belly unit and two seats. Can you use this aircraft for other purposes than agricultural operations?

23. Are you required to wear a crash helmet during operations?

24. Describe, in detail, the dangers involved with a hot, heavy, downwind turn.

25. As your bank increases, what happens to your stall speed?

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26. Have the applicant work a W&B problem for aircraft flown.

27. Have the applicant work at least one performance problem involving Density Altitude (DA) for aircraft flown.

* The following are sample questions to be added to the above when dealing with Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations:

1. Describe the performance of the aircraft within the proposed flight envelope.

2. How does the system respond, and what safeguards are in place to mitigate the risk of engine power loss?

3. Explain what happens when a failed signal input from the control station takes place.

4. Describe the payload equipment that will fly on board the aircraft. Describe all payload configurations that significantly change W&B, electrical loads, or flight dynamics.

5. Describe/explain aircraft lost link and emergency recovery procedures.

6. Is there a radio signal strength and/or health indicator or similar display to the pilot? How is the signal strength and health value determined, and what are the threshold values that represent a critically degraded signal?

7. Describe the procedure that will be used to communicate between the PIC and the visual observer (VO) when operating.

8. Describe the method(s) in place for see and avoid, and if applicable, identify the members of the flightcrew that hold this responsibility.

9. Describe how the aircraft will react during takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, and landing in the event of a lost link.

10. Operations from a moving vehicle, if applicable. Explain for both normal and lost link, or other contingencies.

11. Operations of multiples (simultaneous flight of numerous UAS, if approved). Explain operating systems and safety mitigation.


1. There is no absolutely correct answer to this question. Ideally, the pilot should not be the person who loads the chemical since the danger of contamination is possible. The person should respond in that manner.

2. Walk upwind at all times to avoid the drifting chemicals.

3. The specific symptoms will vary somewhat with the type of pesticide used. The pilot should also respond that the symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases before chronic toxic effect is suspected and that the effects are cumulative. Generally, the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and excessive sweating, among others.

4. The answer to this question would depend on the chemical in the containers, but the important procedure is to read the manufacturer’s label. Consult state or local regulations for additional guidance regarding the disposal of empty containers.

5. The answer would have to reflect the local area.

6. No.

7. The answer would depend upon the chemical, the location of the contamination, and any state or local requirements. Again, it is important to refer to the manufacturer’s label for guidance. Generally, the pilot should wash with soap and water. For small areas, use alcohol.

8. Spray runs and procedure turns should be depicted so that drift and/or aircraft do not overrun the congested area.

9. A less toxic chemical could be used if a substitute is available. If not, spray only when the wind is blowing away from the sensitive area.

10. From the south to the north.

11. b.

12. Survey the area.

13. A definite wind blowing away from streams, lakes, etc. Consult the label to determine if setback zones are recommended.

14. No.

15. Obtain prior written approval from the governing body of the jurisdiction, give public notice of the operation, and obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved plan.

16. Only the required annual and 100-hour inspections (unless the annual was completed less than 100 hours prior to the congested area operation).

17. Pullup and reenter the swath run.

18. b.

19. c.


21. b.

22. No.

23. No, it is not required by 14 CFR but it may be a requirement in some states or when listed as an operating limitation in certain Aircraft Flight Manuals (AFMs) or Rotorcraft Flight Manuals (RFMs). However, the FAA recommends the use of a helmet.

24. As you start your procedure, turn downwind.

25. Increases.

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26. Refer to the AFM.

27. Refer to the AFM.

* For answers to UAS-related questions 1 through 11, the inspector must consult the operator’s FAA-granted exemption and CoA (if applicable) and additional operating documents for the specified unmanned aircraft (UA).

5-1735    OPERATIONAL SAFETY ISSUES WHICH MAY BE DISCUSSED WITH THE APPLICANT. The applicant should be familiar with the following subject areas.

A.    Contamination Protection. The applicant should have satisfactory knowledge regarding the methods used to safeguard the pilot against contamination and the safe handling of economic poisons that the pilot dispenses. (An explanation of the relative toxicity of economic poisons’ lethal doses for 50 percent of test subjects (LD50) is included in Volume 3, Chapter 52, Section 1.)

1)    An aerial applicator pilot who is engaged in the actual application of economic poisons should be knowledgeable of the hazards of the pilot’s mixing or loading highly toxic poisons. Special emphasis should be placed on this job function when the economic poison is being used in an undiluted form.
2)    The pilot should be able to conduct a ground crew briefing concerning economic poisons and the need to wear protective clothing. such as rubber gloves, apron, boots, and a respirator, when handling materials that require them. (If a respirator is required, it should be the type which protects the wearer against the particular pesticide being handled.) The pilot should also be able to brief flaggers, when used, concerning the potential hazard of the pesticide being dispensed, and should indicate that they be equipped with appropriate protective equipment.
3)    Pilots should also be aware that persons working closely with or handling pesticides should change clothes and bathe at the end of the operation or immediately if pesticide gets on their skin. Clean work clothes should be worn daily.
4)    The pilot must be knowledgeable about procedures to prevent contamination of the water sources if water is obtained from streams or ponds for mixing purposes. The pilot must know state and local laws concerning spillage.
5)    The pilot should be knowledgeable about how often aircraft and spray equipment should be cleaned (e.g., daily or as often as required to remove accumulation of pesticide residue). When aircraft are cleaned, the pilot should be aware of state and local laws concerning drainage into a sewer, ditch, pond, stream, or other body of water, or the location of approved disposal sites.

B.    Container Disposal. The applicant should be knowledgeable about recommended methods for disposing of used pesticide containers. The pesticide label contains Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)‑approved methods for disposal. State and local laws, however, may require additional precautions, and it would be useful for the inspector to be aware of them. Local extension agents or an EPA office can be of assistance in this area.

C.    Economic Poison Labeling. Economic poisons manufactured for interstate use are required by EPA regulations to be registered with that department. Those poisons must be labeled showing the brand name, active ingredients, inert ingredients, directions for use, warning, net contents, and name and address of manufacturer or registrant. The label normally contains other detailed instructions concerning the effects on plants, animals, and persons. Therefore, when required by § 137.19(e), the applicant must possess a satisfactory knowledge concerning the general effects and precautions to be observed as described on the label of the economic poisons normally used in the area where the applicant conducts operations.

D.    Detecting Contamination. The requirements contained in § 137.19(e)(1)(iv) should not be interpreted as FAA encouragement or endorsement of self-diagnosis. Rather, it is a requirement that the agricultural pilot possess sufficient knowledge of the primary symptoms of poisoning to motivate seeking immediate professional medical attention when an element of doubt exists concerning contamination.

E.    Decontamination Steps. Decontamination should be accomplished in accordance with the manufacturer’s labeling and instructions.

F.    Poison Control Centers. Refer to the most recent issue of the Directory of Poison Control Centers, a publication from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the location of poison control centers in the United States. A local HHS office may also have a copy. In addition, several chemical hotlines are available for the use of persons handling chemicals. Inspectors may wish to provide these names and telephone numbers to agricultural operators who do not already have them.

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1)    The National Pesticide Telecommunications Network operates a toll-free hotline, 1‑800‑858‑PEST (7378), which is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT). Qualified personnel are available to answer questions about pesticides. Information can be obtained about treatment by a physician after contamination or suspected contamination. The location of the nearest poison control center, cleanup of a pesticide spill, and other related information is also available on the Internet at http://npic.orst.edu/index.html.
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2)    Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (CHEMTREC) offers emergency phones service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event of an incident or accident involving pesticides, CHEMTREC is able to provide emergency response information pertaining to chemical spills. In emergency situations, call 1‑800‑424‑9300. For non-emergency, general information or referrals, call 1-800-262-8200. Nonemergency telephones are staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). They also maintain a website at http://www.chemtrec.com.

G.    Preflight. In addition to the preflight action required by 14 CFR part 91, § 91.103, the following steps should be taken before starting agricultural aircraft operations:

1)    If obstructions to flight include structures, trees, unfavorable terrain, housing areas, etc., and the pilot has not previously or recently worked the particular area, it may be useful to be given a description of the area to be treated by a person familiar with that area and/or conduct a ground survey.
2)    A ground survey may be useful when a pilot finds it necessary to fly under wires.
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H.    Aerial Survey of the Area to Be Treated. When the pilot reaches the vicinity of the target area, he or she should carefully inspect the area from the air. A UAS operator should carefully inspect the area from the ground prior to aerial application.

1)    The area immediately surrounding the working area should be surveyed to determine that the material dispensed will not cause damage to persons or property on the surface. The engine and propeller noise emitted as the pilot executes a pullup and turnaround over these areas may result in damage to some enterprises. The adjacent area should also be investigated for fish ponds, lakes, and streams, because certain economic poisons may have a lethal effect upon fish and wildlife.
2)    The pilot should make a determination if the area to be treated could be considered to be a congested area. He or she should be familiar with the provisions of § 137.51 for operating over a congested area.
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I.    Aircraft Operating Limitations. The pilot must have adequate knowledge of operating limitations for the aircraft to be used in accordance with the applicable requirements contained in § 91.9, and for UAS operations, any applicable regulations in part 107 and/or the operator’s exemption, waiver, or CoA. Special emphasis should be placed on W&B information. If the applicant conducts operations using helicopters, the applicant should understand that the height/velocity diagrams do not provide information for weights above the maximum certificated gross weight. The applicant must also be familiar with aircraft performance capability, provided performance data have been established for the aircraft to be used. Knowledge about performance shall include such items as:

    Stall speeds at maximum certificated gross weight, straight ahead, power off, flaps up (VS1));

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    Best rate and best angle of climb speed (Vy and Vx, respectively);

    Maneuvering speeds;

    DA and its effect on performance; and

    Takeoff distance required to clear a 50-foot obstacle, maximum certificated gross weight, with zero wind.

J.    Safe Application Procedures. The applicant should be knowledgeable about safe flight and safe application procedures during agricultural operations.

1)    The pilot should be familiar with the hazards associated with dispensing materials that may be flammable.
2)    When conducting operations over sloping terrain, caution should be exercised relative to the direction of swath runs. Flying up the slope may result in stalling the aircraft before reaching the end of the swath run, or contribute to an inadvertent stall during the pullup or turnaround.
3)    Pullups and turnarounds are normally made on the downwind side of the centerline of the swath run. However, unfavorable terrain, wires, guy wires, poles, trees, or other obstructions may require pullups and turnarounds to be made on the upwind side. If a no-wind condition exists, it is usually the best procedure to make the turn into an open area (if available) in the event of power loss or engine failure.
4)    The aerial applicator pilot should avoid diversion of attention during a swath run. Not doing so may result in allowing the aircraft to fly into the ground or other obstruction.
5)    The aerial applicator pilot may have a tendency to apply forward pressure on the elevator control or cyclic control (on a helicopter) when flying under wires. He or she should avoid such a tendency because once any part of the structure of the aircraft (wheels, skids) becomes entangled in crop foliage, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the aircraft from being pulled to the ground. The vertical fin may also contact the wires as the aircraft passes underneath them. Pilots of airplanes, and especially helicopter pilots, may choose not to fly under wires and dress-up the field parallel to the wires.
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6)    When two or more aircraft (manned aircraft or UA) are used in applying chemicals to a field, the pilots conducting the operations should be encouraged to make arrangements between themselves concerning who performs the cleanup swaths or trim passes, when applicable. Mid-air collisions have occurred between aircraft conducting team operations when such coordination has not been accomplished.
7)    When using Global Positioning System (GPS) swath marking equipment, extreme caution should be used to prevent diverting attention away from the task of flying the airplane safely. The pilot should make it a practice not to make adjustments to the computer while in the swath run. The pilot should plan the turn using only reference to the light bar instead of fixating on it.
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K.    Night Operations. If the operator conducts night operations, the pilot should have knowledge of night operations. See Volume 6, Chapter 6, Section 1 for test areas. For UAS that weigh 55 pounds or more, refer to the C&L section of the exemption. For UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds, refer to the applicable sections of part 107 and any associated waiver.

5-1736    SKILL TEST. The skill test shall be accomplished using the content guidance shown in subparagraph 5-1739H.


A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of the regulatory requirements of part 137 and FAA policies and qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations).

B.    Coordination. This task may require coordination with the Airworthiness unit. This task may be performed by the operator’s chief supervisor.


A.    References (current editions):

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    Title 14 CFR Parts 1, 61, 91, 107, and 137.

    Advisory Circular (AC) 137-1, Certification Process for Agricultural Aircraft Operators.

B.    Forms:

    FAA Form 1360-33, Record of Visit, Conference, or Telephone Call.

    FAA Form 8000-36, Program Tracking and Reporting System Data Sheet.

    FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application.

C.    Job Aids. Sample letters and figures.

5-1739    PROCEDURES.

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A.    Need for Knowledge and Skill Test. Determine if the pilot needs the knowledge and skill test or has been previously qualified under part 137. The knowledge and skill requirements must be evaluated and documented by the certificate holder when a pilot changes operators. This can be accomplished by either the operator (or his or her chief supervisor) administering a knowledge and skill test to the pilot or verifying the pilot has previously passed a knowledge and skill test with a valid logbook endorsement or signed letter of competency. A valid signoff can be from an FAA ASI, a certificated operator, or a qualified chief supervisor. An operator (or chief supervisor) always has the option of administering a knowledge and skill test to a pilot, even if that pilot has previously passed a knowledge and skill test and has documentation showing they did so.

NOTE:  During certification, a knowledge and skill test must be administered by the FAA to an operator or designated chief supervisor. The Certificate Management Team (CMT) or principal operations inspector (POI) must document or sign the operator’s or chief supervisor’s logbook or a signed letter of competency acknowledging the test and date passed. An operator or chief supervisor can carry this endorsement (from FAA) throughout their career, working for other operators.

1)    For a chief supervisor, a knowledge and skill test must be administered by the FAA to the designated chief supervisor. The CMT or POI must document or sign the chief supervisor’s logbook or a signed letter of competency acknowledging the test and date passed. A chief supervisor can carry this endorsement (from FAA) throughout their career, working for other operators.
2)    A PIC must have a knowledge and skill test, which can be administered by the FAA, certificated operator, or a chief supervisor. The test must be documented in their logbook or letter of competency acknowledging the test and date passed. The PIC may carry the knowledge and skill test endorsement to another operator and me demonstrate his or her knowledge and skill by providing the endorsement or, if the operator wishes, the operator may have the PIC take another knowledge and skill test for that operator. When an operator hires a PIC, the operator is responsible for recording the date (for the operator’s records) on which the PIC demonstrated the knowledge and skill to the operator, regardless of whether the demonstration was the acceptance or a previous knowledge and skill test or a new knowledge and skill test administered by the operator or their chief supervisor.
3)    When a knowledge and skill test is administered for an airplane, § 137.19(e)(2)(i)–(v) must be tested and noted in the endorsement and FAA Form 8710-1, if administered by the FAA. When a knowledge and skill test is administered for a rotorcraft, § 137.19(e)(2)(ii)–(vi) must be tested and noted in the endorsement and FAA Form 8710-1, if administered by the FAA. When a knowledge and skill test is administered for a UAS, the test must consist of the inclusion of either § 137.19(e)(2)(i)–(v) for a fixed-wing UAS or § 137.19(e)(2)(ii)–(vi) for a rotorcraft UAS (e.g., quadcopter) and noted in the endorsement.
4)    If a pilot or chief supervisor has completed a knowledge and skill test in a rotorcraft in accordance with § 137.19(e)(2)(ii)–(vi), then wishes to be authorized to conduct agricultural operations in a fixed-wing aircraft (operator is adding a different category aircraft to the Operating Certificate), that pilot/chief supervisor would be required to complete, at a minimum, the requirements of § 137.19(e)(2)(i), as it is specific to the fixed‑wing aircraft. Conversely, if a pilot or chief supervisor has completed a knowledge and skill test in a fixed‑wing aircraft in accordance with § 137.19(e)(2)(i)–(v), then wishes to be authorized to conduct agricultural operations in a rotorcraft (operator is adding a different category aircraft to the Operating Certificate), that pilot/chief supervisor would be required to complete, at a minimum, the requirements of § 137.19(e)(2)(vi), as it is specific to the rotorcraft.
5)    The test for the chief supervisor would need to be administered by the FAA, whereas a test for the pilot can be administered by a qualified operator, chief supervisor, or the FAA.
6)    If the test is not required or can be conducted by the operator’s chief supervisor, record the outcome on FAA Form 1360-33. Place this in the district office file for the operator. Do not open a PTRS file for this task.
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7)    If a test is required, provide the applicant with a copy of FAA Form 8710-1 and schedule a date and time for the test.

B.    PTRS File. Open the PTRS file for this task.

C.    Review Application. After arriving for the test, examine FAA Form 8710-1 for completeness and accuracy.

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1)    Ensure that the applicant has entered “Agricultural Aircraft Pilot Test” in the “Specify Other” blank provided under Section I, Application Information.
2)    Ensure that the applicant has filled out Section I, A through O1. If “O” has been checked “yes,” “O1” must also be filled out.
3)    Ensure that the applicant has filled out Section IIA, l, 2a, and 2b.
4)    The applicant does not need to fill out Section III, Record of Pilot Time.
5)    Ensure that the applicant has checked either “yes” or “no” in Section IV.
6)    Ensure that the applicant has signed and dated the application in Section V.
7)    No instructor’s recommendation is required on the reverse side of FAA Form 8710-1.

D.    Pilot Certificates. Inspect pilot certificates and ensure the pilot has:

    An appropriate and current medical certificate; and

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    An appropriate pilot certificate (part 61 certificate) with category and class ratings as required;

    An appropriate Remote Pilot Certificate (under part 107); and/or

    An appropriate pilot certificate allowed through a granted exemption (§ 137.19), unless otherwise exempted.

E.    Knowledge Test. Conduct oral and/or written examination on the subject matter specified in § 137.19(e)(1).

1)    If the oral or written test portion is failed, notify the pilot and operator. Confirm in writing (Figure 5-197, Letter Confirming Failure of Knowledge and Skill Test) and reschedule the knowledge portion of the test. On the reverse side of FAA Form 8710-l, check “disapproved” under the Inspector’s Report section. Place FAA Form 8710-1 in the district office file for the operator. Do not forward it to Oklahoma City. If the knowledge portion of the test is unsatisfactory, the skill test portion is not to take place.
2)    If the oral or written test portion is satisfactory, proceed with the skill portion of the test. Discuss the sequence of events and the safety considerations for the skill portion of the test.
Indicates new/changed information.

F.    Aircraft Documents. Inspect the aircraft’s documents. Ensure that the registration and airworthiness certificates are current and appropriate. If the aircraft is a UA that weighs 55 pounds or more, check the C&L of the operator’s exemption. If the aircraft is a UA that weighs less than 55 pounds, check the applicable sections of part 107.

1)    N-number matches that on the registration certificate, or for noncertificated UAS, have the operator provide the registration number (FA number) and serial number;
2)    Data plate information, serial number, airworthiness certificate, and registration certificate match each other and aircraft registry records; and
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Agricultural Aircraft Operator Certificate facsimile is on board, if knowledge and skill test is not conducted as part of initial operator certification, unless otherwise exempted.
Indicates new/changed information.

G.    Aircraft Conformity. Inspect aircraft for compliance with §§ 137.19(d), 137.31(b), and 137.33(a) and (b) (Airworthiness), unless otherwise exempted or allowed under part 107.

1)    Aircraft maintenance documents reflect that all required inspections have been accomplished, and
2)    Airworthiness Directives (AD) are complied with.
Indicates new/changed information.

H.    Skill Test. Conduct the skill portion of the test (§ 137.19(e)(2)). The applicant is to be briefed and evaluated on piloting skill and operational judgment in the following, unless otherwise exempted, as not all required skills are applicable to UAS. If the test is to be conducted using fixed-wing aircraft, § 137.19(e)(2)(i)–(v) must be covered. If the test is to be conducted using a rotorcraft, § 137.19(e)(2)(ii)–(vi) must be covered. If the pilot will be operating both fixed-wing and rotorcraft, all of § 137.19(e)(2) must be covered.

1)    Ground crew coordination and loading procedures.
2)    Engine start, warm-up, and taxi procedures.
3)    Short field and soft field takeoffs (airplanes and gyroplanes only), directional control, lift-off, and climb:

    One soft field takeoff and climb; and

    One short field takeoff and maximum performance climb.

4)    Approaches to the working area:
Indicates new/changed information.

    Satisfactory aerial (or ground UAS) survey of area for obstructions; and

    Proper method of beginning operations; normally, starting operation crosswind on downwind side of field.

5)    Flareout:

    Should not touch ground or crop during flareout; and

    Should be consistently at same height and proper position over field on several flareouts.

6)    Swath runs:

    Consistent altitude (plus or minus 5 feet);

    Four or more passes demonstrated;

Indicates new/changed information.

    Looking behind the aircraft at the spray pattern during swath run is disqualifying (manned aircraft);

    Flight should be executed so as not to fly through the spray droplets or the dust of previous swath. Successive swath runs spaced so as to place the wing tip into or overlapping the vortices of the previous swath is not disqualifying; and

    Start and stop the spray application within the target area and prevent drift onto adjacent fields.

Indicates new/changed information.
7)    Pullups and turnarounds (may not apply to UAS operations):

    Consistent height in turnarounds, obstructions permitting;

    Smooth and coordinated;

    Turn in proper direction relative to wind, obstructions, and field layout;

    Obstruction clearance before starting turn; and

    Proper throttle and hopper or tank control.

8)    Clean-up swath or trim passes:

    Recognizes the need for clean-up swath; and

    Adequately covers area to be treated.

9)    Jettisoning of remainder of load after swath runs in the event of in-flight emergency.

NOTE:  Prior to evaluating this maneuver, caution the pilot that this demonstration could be extremely hazardous if conducted with a full hopper load. You must ensure that the pilot has received proper training on the flight control forces that may be experienced during a jettison and the proper procedures for maintaining aircraft control.

Indicates new/changed information.
10)    Rapid deceleration or quick stops (helicopter and UAS).
11)    Approach, touchdown, and directional control on landing:

    One landing; and

    Adequate precautions used around turning propellers or rotor blades.

12)    Taxi, engine shutdown, and securing of aircraft.
Indicates new/changed information.
13)    Lost link emergency procedure demonstrated (UAS).

I.    Skill Test Unsatisfactory. If the applicant fails the skill portion of the test, notify the pilot and the operator. Confirm in writing (Figure 5-197) and schedule a date and time for reexamination. On the reverse side of FAA Form 8710-1, check “disapproved” under the Inspector’s Report section. Place FAA Form 8710-1 in the district office file for the operator. Do not forward it to Oklahoma City.

J.    Skill Test Satisfactory. When the applicant satisfactorily accomplishes the skill portion of the test, issue a letter of competency (Figure 5-198, Statement of Competency Letter) or make a logbook entry (Figure 5-199, Sample Logbook Endorsement). If a logbook entry is used, write a memorandum indicating satisfactory completion of the test for the district office file for the operator. On the reverse side of FAA Form 8710-l, check the “approved” box under the Inspector’s Report section. Place FAA Form 8710-1 in the district office file for the operator. Do not forward it to Oklahoma City.

K.    PTRS. Close the PTRS work entry for this task.

L.    District Office File. Place the results of the test in the district office file for the operator.

5-1740    TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of this task results in either:

    A logbook entry or letter of competency, or

    A letter to the operator and/or pilot indicating failure of the knowledge, skill, or both portions of the test.

5-1741    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Any future monitoring of a pilot after successful completion of a knowledge and skill test would be as part of a scheduled surveillance of the part 137 operator or as a result of a complaint, violation investigation, accident investigation, or in cooperation with other government agencies.

Figure 5-197.  Letter Confirming Failure of Knowledge and Skill Test

[FAA Letterhead]


[Applicant’s address]

Dear [applicant’s name]:

This is to inform you that on [date], you failed to satisfactorily demonstrate the required [skill] [knowledge] required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 137 to act as a pilot in aerial agricultural operations.

The areas of deficiency were:

[Cite the areas]

Additional instruction or study in these areas is recommended.

Should you have any questions concerning this test, please contact this office.


[Signature of inspector conducting the test]

[Send copy to supervisor of agricultural operations, if applicable]

Figure 5-198.  Statement of Competency Letter

[FAA Letterhead]


[Operator’s name and address]

Dear [operator’s name]

This is to certify that [pilot’s name] holder of [grade of certificate] pilot certificate [certificate number] has on this date satisfactorily completed the knowledge and skill test for an agricultural aircraft pilot as specified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 137, § 137.19(e) and is qualified to serve as pilot in command (PIC) in agricultural aircraft operations.

[He or she] is [is not] authorized to dispense economic poisons.


[Signature and title of FAA inspector or supervisor of agricultural operations, if applicable]

Figure 5-199.  Sample Logbook Endorsement

This is to certify that [pilot’s name] holder of [grade of certificate] pilot certificate [certificate number] has on this date satisfactorily completed the knowledge and skill test for an agricultural aircraft pilot as specified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 137, § 137.19(e) and is qualified to serve as pilot in command (PIC) in agricultural aircraft operations.

[He or she] is [is not] authorized to dispense economic poisons.


[Signature and title of FAA inspector or supervisor of agricultural operations]

RESERVED. Paragraphs 5-1742 through 5-1760.