8900.1 CHG 269

Volume 3  General technical administration


Section 1  Introduction to Part 141 Related Tasks

3-4286    GENERAL.

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.

B.    Definitions.

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).
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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 http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Index.aspx.
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, § 61.160(b), (c) or (d).
7)    Provisional Pilot School. A school that does not meet the requirements of part 141 § 141.5, but does meet the requirements of § 141.7.
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 outcome.

3-4287    PILOT SCHOOL CONCEPT. On August 4, 1997, a complete rewrite of part 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 persons.

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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 requirements of part 61, including obtaining an instructor’s recommendation and successfully completing knowledge and flight tests. The reduced flight time is allowed under part 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.

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3-4289    PROVISIONAL PILOT SCHOOLS. Initially, pilot schools are certificated under part 141 as provisional pilot schools for a period of 24 months. They may be certificated as pilot schools when they meet the requirements of § 141.5(b).


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 §§ 141.5(d) and 141.83.

B.    With Examining Authority. A pilot school with examining authority must meet and comply with the requirements of part 141 subpart D, specifically § 141.63.

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.
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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 under § 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 § 141.5(d)).
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 § 141.67(c), “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 § 141.5(d).

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-4291 through 3-4305.