NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.486

 

National Policy

Effective Date: 10/12/18

 

 

Cancellation Date: 10/12/19

 

SUBJ:

Commercial Pilot—Military Competency Non-Category-Specific Aeronautical Knowledge Test and the Commercial Pilot—Military Competence Airman Certification Standards

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice introduces the new Military Competency Non-Category Specific (MCN) aeronautical knowledge test and the new Commercial Pilot—Military Competence Airman Certification Standards (ACS), FAA-S-ACS-12.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Service (FS) aviation safety inspectors (ASI) and aviation safety technicians (AST) who conduct certification functions for pilots and/or have oversight of a designee with pilot certification authorization. Additionally, this notice should be distributed to all designees that perform these functions. The secondary audience is personnel working in the Regulatory Support Division and the Civil Aviation Registry Division, and FS divisions and branches.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/orders_notices. Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at http://fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators can find this notice on the FAA’s website at http://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Applicability. This notice applies to military pilots and former military pilots, described in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, § 61.73, who apply for an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate or rating based on military pilot qualifications in manned aircraft.

5.    Background. Military pilots and former military pilots who seek a Commercial Pilot Certificate based on military qualifications must pass an aeronautical knowledge test in accordance with § 61.73(b)(2). The FAA currently offers the Military Competency Airplane (MCA) and the Military Competency Helicopter (MCH) aeronautical knowledge tests. The FAA has noted an increasing number of military pilots and former military pilots rated in powered-lift category aircraft who apply for an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate based on military qualifications. Section 61.5(b)(1)(v) lists the powered-lift category as an available rating that could be placed on a pilot certificate; however, the FAA does not have a military competency powered-lift aeronautical knowledge test. Prior to this notice, the FAA had not provided any guidance to ASIs, ASTs, or designees on what a military pilot who is only rated in powered-lift aircraft can do to obtain a Commercial Pilot Certificate based on his or her military experience.

6.    Discussion.

a.    Analysis. The FAA reviewed the aeronautical knowledge areas identified in § 61.73(b)(2) and has found that the subject areas are not required to contain category-specific questions. The FAA determined that a single, non-category-specific knowledge test for military pilots and former military pilots to cover the identified topics is appropriate, and has taken steps to make that change. The applicant’s military records will continue to determine the aircraft category, ratings, or type, if applicable, to be added to a Commercial Pilot Certificate.

b.    Aeronautical Knowledge Test. The FAA has developed the new non-category-specific MCN test for applicants to meet the aeronautical knowledge requirements of § 61.73(b)(2). Once an applicant passes the MCN test, the applicant may apply for a Commercial Pilot Certificate in accordance with § 61.73. The MCN aeronautical knowledge test will consist of 50 questions, will require a passing grade of at least 70 percent, and will be valid for 24 calendar-months. However, until the MCN is released, an applicant for a Commercial Pilot Certificate with a powered-lift category rating may take either the MCA or MCH to satisfy § 61.73(b)(2). An applicant who is only rated in an airplane or a helicopter category will still be required to take the appropriate MCA or MCH until the release of the MCN. Once the MCN test is available to computer testing centers, it will replace both the MCA and MCH tests. Military pilots and former military pilots who hold Commercial Pilot Certificates are not required to take another aeronautical knowledge exam to add a category, class, or type rating, if applicable, provided they can show evidentiary proof of military pilot qualification.

c.    ACS. The FAA has developed the new Commercial Pilot—Military Competence ACS, FAA-S-ACS-12. The goal of this ACS is to identify the areas of knowledge to be tested, as outlined in § 61.73, that the FAA has determined as necessary for a military pilot to receive a Commercial Pilot Certificate.

7.    Action. The new MCN test will be available on October 15, 2018 and the new Commercial Pilot—Military Competence ACS will be effective that same day. Unexpired MCA or MCH knowledge tests will be valid until the expiration date and can be utilized for application. To determine which Airman Knowledge Test Report (AKTR) with passing results may be used when applying for a Commercial Pilot Certificate in accordance with § 61.73(b)(2), refer to the following table.

Commercial Pilot

Acceptable Now

Acceptable Beginning 10/15/2018

Acceptable After 10/31/2020

Airplane (only)

MCA

MCA or MCN

MCN only

Helicopter (only)

MCH

MCH or MCN

MCN only

Powered-Lift (only)

MCA or MCH

MCA or MCH or MCN

MCN only

Qualified in any combination listed above.

MCA or MCH

MCA or MCH or MCN

MCN only

8.    Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into FAA Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800), Airmen Certification and Training Branch (AFS-810) at 202-267-1100.

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ Rick Domingo

Executive Director, Flight Standards Service