VOLUME 5 airman certification
CHAPTER 2 Title 14 CFR PART
61 CERTIFICATION OF PILOTS AND FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS
Section 9 Conduct an Instrument Rating Certification
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODE. 1506.
OBJECTIVE. This section provides background to enable the aviation
safety inspector (ASI) to determine if an applicant is eligible for an instrument
rating under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(14 CFR) part 61, §
61.65. Successful completion of this task results in the issuance of Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate (with
an instrument rating), FAA Form 8060-5, Notice of Disapproval of Application,
or a letter of discontinuance.
The instrument rating requires applicants to receive training in precision
and nonprecision approaches. Due to certain instrument approach facilities not
being available in some areas, the certification, training, and recency of experience
requirements do not specifically outline what the precision and nonprecision
approaches should be. However, it is expected that instructors provide training
to their students on all precision and nonprecision approaches that are readily
available in the area. The content of the practical test is dependent on the
equipment installed in the aircraft and approach facilities that are available
in the nearby area. The practical test of §
61.65 and the instrument proficiency check of part
61.57 requires that an applicant be tested on precision and nonprecision
The knowledge test results for an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate
are not acceptable as evidence of aeronautical knowledge for an instrument rating.
If an applicant holds both a single- and multiengine rating on a pilot certificate,
but has not demonstrated instrument proficiency in a multiengine aircraft, that
airman’s certificate must bear a limitation indicating that multiengine flight
is permitted in visual flight rules (VFR) conditions only.
of an Approved School. If an applicant graduated from an approved school,
the applicant is considered to meet the knowledge and experience requirements
61.65. If an applicant graduated from an FAA-approved pilot school within
60 days before application, §
61.71(a) requires the applicant to present an appropriate graduation certificate.
Otherwise, the applicant must meet the requirements of §
of an Approved School With Examining Authority. If an applicant graduated
from an FAA-approved school with examining authority within 60 days before applying,
61.71(a) requires the applicant to present an appropriate graduation certificate.
Otherwise, the applicant must meet the requirements of §
a Graduate of an Approved School. If an applicant is not a graduate of an
FAA-approved school, establish the applicant’s flight experience in accordance
61.65. Official military pilot flight time records are acceptable toward
meeting the requirements of §
Language Requirements. Early in the process of issuing an instrument rating,
the ASI must determine whether the applicant can read, speak, write, and understand
the English language. Advisory Circular
(AC) 60-28, English Language Skill Standards Required by 14 CFR parts
65, explains how to determine English language abilities required for an
If the applicant cannot read, speak, write, or understand the English
language, then the ASI may not issue the instrument rating unless the reason
is because of a medical disability. If the applicant has such a medical disability
(e.g., a hearing impairment or speech impairment that is medically substantiated
by a certified medical physician), the ASI may place an operating limitation
on the person’s pilot certificate. The operating limitation may require the
person to be accompanied by another pilot who is qualified to act as a pilot
in command (PIC) for the appropriate aircraft category, class, type (if class
and type of aircraft is applicable), and operating privilege.
While there are no
practical test standards (PTS)
established to ascertain the applicant’s English language ability, the following
examples may be used as guidelines to evaluate and test an applicant’s proficiency
to determine whether the applicant can read, speak, write, and understand the
a) An ASI
may ask the applicant to listen to a tape recording of an air traffic control
clearance or instructions, then ask the applicant to speak and explain the clearance
or instructions back to the ASI in the English language.
b) An applicant
may be asked to write down in English the meaning of an air traffic control
clearance, instructions, or a weather report, then asked to speak and explain
the clearance, instructions, or weather report back to the examiner in the English
The intent is not to require the applicant to read, speak, write, and
understand the English language at college-level standards. A common sense approach
should be used in evaluating an applicant for this requirement (reference §
TYPES OF INSTRUMENT RATINGS.
Ratings and Associated Aircraft Ratings.
An Instrument—Airplane rating is issued to an applicant who qualifies for an
instrument rating in an airplane. An Instrument—Helicopter rating is issued
to an applicant who qualifies for an instrument rating in a helicopter. An Instrument—Powered-lift
rating is issued to an applicant who qualifies for an instrument rating in a
powered-lift. A person who already holds an instrument rating in one category
of aircraft and is applying for additional instrument rating in another category
of aircraft need only obtain the appropriate aeronautical experience, training,
endorsements, and pass the appropriate practical test, but does not need to
take an additional knowledge test.
INSTRUMENTS REQUIRED FOR INSTRUMENT PILOT AIRPLANE RATING PRACTICAL TEST.
Although appropriate flight instruments are considered to be those outlined
14 CFR part 91 for flight under instrument flight rules (IFR), an applicant
may elect to satisfy a portion of the instrument practical test in an airworthy
aircraft that does not have all of the instruments required by part
91.205(d), such as a partial panel aircraft with only turn, slip, and airspeed
indicators. However, the applicant will need an aircraft equipped in accordance
91.205(d) to complete the remaining required tasks for instrument certification.
While it may be extremely difficult for the applicant to satisfactorily complete
any portion of the instrument practical test with the limited flight instruments
characterized by the partial panel, and while IFR flight plans cannot be filed,
it is the applicant’s prerogative to attempt the test under these circumstances.
Moreover, it must be emphasized to the applicant that performance standards
will not be relaxed when an airplane is so equipped.
INSTRUMENT FLIGHT INSTRUCTION OR PRACTICAL TESTS INVOLVING SIMULATED
INSTRUMENT FLIGHT. Part
91.109(b)(2) requires a third-person observer whenever the safety pilot
determines that vision is inadequate. The rule requires that a competent observer
who adequately supplements the safety pilot’s forward and side vision be in
the aircraft during simulated instrument flight when the safety pilot does not
have adequate vision forward and to each side of the aircraft. ASIs should ensure
that the subject of adequate vision, as it relates to instrument instruction,
is discussed with flight instructors and examiners. It must be made clear that
the most diligent and expert scanning by the instructor pilot is imperative,
since the instructor pilot is normally the person aboard the aircraft best able
to see and avoid other aircraft.
REQUIRED INSTRUMENT APPROACHES. Section
61.65(a)(8) requires an applicant for an instrument rating to pass a practical
test on instrument flight procedures. The Instrument Rating
PTS requires the applicant to demonstrate the ability to perform the IFR
operations required by §
61.65(c). At least one of the required approaches must be demonstrated in
flight. The ASI conducting the practical test may allow an applicant to perform
the instrument approaches not selected for flight demonstration in a flight
training device/simulator that is authorized by the FAA for such use.
USE OF AIRCRAFT NOT APPROVED FOR IFR OPERATIONS UNDER ITS TYPE CERTIFICATE
FOR INSTRUMENT TRAINING AND/OR AIRMAN CERTIFICATION TESTING. The following
paragraphs are intended to clarify the use of an aircraft not approved for IFR
operations under its type certificate for instrument flight training and/or
airman certification testing.
Training in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). Instrument flight training
may be conducted during VMC in any aircraft that meets the equipment requirements
91.205, and, for an airplane operated in controlled airspace under the IFR
91.413. An aircraft may be operated on an IFR flight plan under IFR in VMC,
provided the PIC is properly certificated to operate the aircraft under IFR.
However, if the aircraft is not approved for IFR operations under its type certificate,
or if the appropriate instruments and equipment are not installed or are not
operative, operations in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) are prohibited.
The PIC of such an aircraft must cancel the IFR flight plan in use and avoid
flight into IMC.
Certificate Data. Appropriate type certificate data will indicate whether
the aircraft meets the requirements for IFR operations.
91.9(a) prohibits aircraft operations without compliance with the operating
limitations for that aircraft prescribed by the certificating authority.
91.9(b) prohibits operation of a U.S.-registered aircraft requiring an airplane
or rotorcraft flight manual unless it has on board a current and approved airplane
or rotorcraft flight manual or approved manual material, markings, and placards
containing each operating limitation prescribed for that aircraft.
DISTANCE MEASURING EQUIPMENT (DME) ARC APPROACHES. DME arc transition
flight paths may be used during approach and departure procedures. While the
technique of arc flying is uncomplicated, it may cause considerable concern
if an instrument pilot’s first exposure to this type approach is encountered
during actual IFR conditions. Therefore, the following should be considered:
Clearance. In addition to difficulties that may be experienced when maintaining
the prescribed arc, there is a general misunderstanding that obstacle clearance
is provided throughout the entire sector containing the arc at the published
arc altitude. For example, the published altitude along a prescribed arc may
be 2,500 feet. This provides obstacle clearance of at least 1,000 feet for a
4-mile distance from either side of the centerline of the prescribed course.
the Arc. Pilots should be cautioned that obstacle clearance to the final
approach fix is not guaranteed if the aircraft departs the arc at other than
the prescribed position, even if the published arc altitude is maintained.
Dissemination. ASIs should ensure that the subject of flying DME arcs is
brought to the attention of examiners, pilot schools, flight instructors, instrument-rated
pilots, and air taxi operators to provide an awareness of the need to become
familiar with the use of this procedure.
USE OF MAKESHIFT AND NONAPPROVED INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES FOR TRAINING
AND CERTIFICATION. There have been misinterpretations concerning the instrument
approach procedures and facilities required for the training and practical testing
of instrument rating applicants. Specifically, the misunderstanding concerns
whether nonapproved or makeshift approach procedures may be used in lieu of
14 CFR part 97 facilities and procedures during training and practical testing.
An example of a makeshift procedure would be the substitution of a published
approach for one very high frequency omnidirectional range (VOR) on a different
61.65 provides that an applicant for the instrument practical test must
have received instrument flight instruction and have been found competent in
precision and nonprecision instrument approaches to published minimums. Section
61.65 states that the practical test must include instrument flight procedures
selected by the ASI conducting the test to determine the applicant’s ability
to perform competently the IFR operations for which instruction is required
61.65. Since makeshift approaches are not a part of any system, the use
of a makeshift approach would not meet the intent of the regulatory requirement
and is not authorized.
Dissemination. Supervising ASIs should ensure that all examiners, pilot
schools, and instructor personnel are informed that the regulations do not permit
the use of approach procedures other than those outlined in §
91.175(a) for the purpose of meeting the requirements of §
PARTIAL PANEL SKILLS AND EARLY DETECTION OF INSTRUMENT FAILURE. Aircraft
accidents have occurred during IFR operations in IMC when the failure or malfunction
of certain instruments or equipment and the pilot’s lack of competency in instrument
partial panel skills may have contributed to the pilot’s loss of control and
the resulting accident.
Panel Skills. Since many of the single- and twin-engine aircraft operated
in IMC are not equipped with dual, independent, gyroscopic heading or attitude
indicators, it is imperative that the pilot maintain proficiency in partial
panel instrument skills. In addition, the pilot should have an adequate knowledge
of the proper functioning of all gyroscopic instrumentation, pressure/vacuum
systems, and associated electronic equipment to preclude operating in IMC with
inoperative instruments or equipment.
Standards. Current certification standards as outlined in the
PTS and pertinent rules of part
61 describe the level of instrument competency that should be achieved during
pilot training and which must be demonstrated during certification testing.
Responsibilities. Each ASI should take the necessary action to ensure the
The matter of partial panel skills is brought to the attention of all
flight and ground instructors and designated pilot examiners within the Flight
Standards District Office jurisdiction;
14 CFR part 141 approved instrument or instrument-related ground or flight
school training course outlines are reviewed and revised as necessary to ensure
proper emphasis on the subject areas described herein;
ASIs should emphasize pilot competency in partial panel instrument skills
during the training and testing of airmen in simulated emergency operations,
particularly in aircraft that do not have redundant or dual, independently powered
flight instrumentation systems;
ASIs should emphasize the early detection of malfunction or failure of
either pressure/vacuum or electronic flight instruments or systems, particularly
when the failure or malfunction would endanger the safety of the aircraft; and
Flight instructors and pilot examiners conducting instrument proficiency
checks under §
61.57 should ensure that the pilot performing the check demonstrates an
accepted level of competency in partial panel skills.
REQUIREMENT TO DEMONSTRATE GPS APPROACH PROFICIENCY ON A PRACTICAL TEST.
If the practical test is conducted in an aircraft, and that aircraft has
an operable and installed global positioning system (GPS) receiver, an examiner
may require an applicant to demonstrate GPS approach proficiency. If the applicant
has contracted for training in an approved training course that includes GPS
training and a GPS receiver is installed in the aircraft or simulator or flight
training device, as appropriate, and the aircraft or simulator or flight training
device used for the practical test has the GPS receiver installed, an examiner
may require an applicant to demonstrate GPS approach proficiency.
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
This task requires knowledge of the regulatory requirements of part
61, subpart B, and FAA policies, and qualification as an ASI (Operations).
This task may require coordination with the airworthiness unit and with the
Airman Records section of the Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760.
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
Title 14 CFR parts 1,
187 (appendix A, Fees).
FAA-S-8081-4, Instrument Rating
Practical Test Standards.
AC 61-27, Instrument Flying Handbook.
PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).
FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate (Figure 5-44).
FAA Form 8060-5, Notice of Disapproval of Application (Figure 5-46).
FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (Figure
Aids. Sample letters and figures.
Appointment. Advise the applicant to bring the following documents to the
A properly completed FAA Form 8710-1;
An airman certificate;
At least a current third-class airman medical certificate (FAA Form 8500-9)
and Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA), if applicable;
An Airman Knowledge Test Report, AC Form 8080-2;
A school graduation certificate (if required by §
Personal logbooks or other records substantiating the flight experience
shown on the application form;
The aircraft maintenance records;
The aircraft airworthiness certificate;
The aircraft registration;
A view limiting device;
The aircraft flight manual; and
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) aircraft station license
documents, if applicable.
Arrives for Appointment.
Collect the documents listed above.
Open PTRS file.
In section I, ensure that the applicant has checked the box labeled “Instrument.”
Check the application for accuracy, using the instructions on the form
Check to make sure the flight instructor has signed the reverse side
of the application no more than 60 days before the application.
The FAA Form 8710-1 application must be completed in ink or typed and
signed by the applicant. Per part
61.39(a)(7), the applicant must complete section III, Record of Pilot Time,
on the FAA Form 8710-1 application. As a special emphasis item, the examiner
must review the applicant’s aeronautical experience recorded on FAA Form 8710-1
and in the applicant’s logbook/training record to ensure compliance with the
appropriate aeronautical experience requirements for the certificate and/or
Applicant’s Identity. Inspect acceptable forms of identification to establish
the applicant’s identity (see
Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 3). Compare the identification with the personal
information provided on FAA Form 8710-1.
If the applicant’s identity can be verified, proceed with issuing the
If the applicant’s identity cannot be verified because of lack of identification
or inadequate identification, explain what types of identification are acceptable.
Instruct the applicant to return with appropriate identification to reapply.
If the applicant’s identity appears to be different from the information
supplied on FAA Form 8710-1, or it appears that an attempt at falsification
has been made, do not continue this task (see Volume 7, Chapter 6).
Determine if the applicant meets the specific eligibility, knowledge,
and experience requirements for an instrument rating certification (§
that the applicant for an instrument rating holds either a private or a commercial
pilot certificate with an aircraft rating appropriate to the instrument rating
sought or an ATP certificate limited to VFR.
that the applicant for an instrument rating is able to read, speak, write, and
understand the English language.
c) If the
applicant is not a graduate of an approved school, have the applicant establish
flight experience in accordance with §
61.65 in an acceptable logbook or other reliable record that conforms to
141 graduates (see §
61.71(a)), check the record of flight time in section III of the application
to determine if the applicant has at least the minimum flight experience required
for the rating sought (§
that the applicant is credited with no more than 20 hours of instrument instruction
in a flight training device approved by the Administrator that effectively duplicates
the procedures or maneuvers necessary for the category of aircraft involved.
Check that this 20 hours of flight training device time (if acceptable as instrument
time under §
61.65) has been logged specifically as flight training device instruction
that the flight training device time, including Levels A through D simulators,
is certified by an authorized instructor. Credit all allowed flight training
device time toward total pilot time.
g) If a
personal computer-based aviation training device (PCATD) has been used for the
training for an instrument rating, the maximum creditable time is 10 hours.
The time must be certified by an authorized instructor. The PCATD must be approved
and qualified in accordance with
AC 61-126, Qualification and Approval of Personal Computer-Based Aviation
Training Devices, and the training program must be an integrated ground and
flight training program.
the applicant’s medical certificate to make sure it is at least a current third-class
medical certificate and it does not bear any limitation making a special medical
flight test necessary for the issuance of the instrument rating. (If a special
medical flight test is necessary, see Volume 5, Chapter 8.)
If the applicant holds an instrument rating and is applying for an additional
instrument rating in another category of aircraft, check to see if the applicant
meets the experience requirements of §
If the applicant has failed the Instrument Rating Practical Test, make
sure the applicant’s FAA Form 8710-1 has been re-signed by that applicant’s
instructor and make sure the applicant has received additional training from
that instructor before conducting the retest.
if the applicant graduated from an FAA-approved commercial/instrument pilot
certification course or instrument rating test course within the preceding 60
days. If so, have the applicant present the appropriate graduation certificate
required by §
61.71. Otherwise, the applicant must meet the requirements of §
Request and examine one of the following documents as acceptable evidence
of having passed the knowledge test:
An Airman Knowledge Test Report;
A test report from a knowledge test examining facility; or
A test report from an authorized computerized knowledge test facility.
Check the reverse side of the FAA Form 8710-1 for the instructor’s signature
in the Instructor’s Recommendation section. Verify that the applicant has received
instrument instruction in the last 60 days from a certificated instrument flight
The ASI conducting the practical test, or an airworthiness ASI, should
review the applicant’s aircraft maintenance records, aircraft logbooks, airworthiness
certificate, and aircraft registration to determine if the aircraft is airworthy
and suitable for this practical test. After review, return the documents to
Discrepancies. If a discrepancy that cannot be immediately corrected
exists in any of the documents, return the application and all submitted documents
to the applicant. Inform the applicant of the reasons for ineligibility, and
explain how the applicant may correct the discrepancies.
Practical Test. After determining that the applicant is eligible and meets
all prerequisites for the instrument rating, conduct the practical test.
Use the procedures and maneuvers outlined in the Instrument Rating
PTS, FAA-S-8081-4, for the appropriate category and class of aircraft.
An applicant for retesting typically receives credit for those pilot
operations successfully completed on the previous practical examination(s).
However, an ASI will reexamine the applicant on all pilot operations required
for a pilot certificate or rating after more than 60 days have elapsed, or when
the ASI has reason to doubt the applicant’s competency in any areas for which
credit has previously been given.
If the practical test is not completed for reasons other than proficiency
(knowledge and/or skill), issue the applicant a letter of discontinuance (see
Figure 5-43). Return the application and any submitted documents to the applicant.
Performance. If an applicant’s practical test performance is not satisfactory,
terminate the practical test and inform the applicant of the reasons.
Prepare FAA Form 8060-5, Notice of Disapproval of Application, in accordance
with the guidance in
Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 6 (see Figure 5-46).
Indicate on the FAA Form 8060-5 the following:
All required areas of operation and tasks on which the applicant was
evaluated as unsatisfactory,
Operations not performed during the practical test, and
Number of practical test failures by the applicant for this certificate
or rating, listed in any available space on the form.
NOTE: An applicant for retesting may receive credit for those
areas of operation and tasks completed satisfactorily on the previous practical
examination(s). However, an ASI must reexamine the applicant on all areas of
operation required for a pilot certificate or rating if 60 days has lapsed from
the date of the initial practical test for the certificate or rating, as appropriate.
An ASI may reexamine the applicant on any areas of operation required for a
pilot certificate or rating, as appropriate, if the applicant demonstrates unsatisfactory
proficiency or competence on a task that was evaluated satisfactory on a previous
The ASI must date and sign the FAA Form 8060-5 and enter the district
office routing symbol.
Sign, date, and check the appropriate boxes on the form. Give the applicant
a copy of the notice of disapproval and retain the original for the certification
Retain the FAA Form 8710-1 and return all other submitted documents to
Satisfactory Performance. Issue FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman
Certificate, including all of the applicant’s previous ratings and the appropriate
instrument rating to the applicant.
Prepare the certificate in duplicate as per
volume 5, chapter 1, section 5 (see Figure 5-44).
Indicate the appropriate instrument rating on the certificate:
“INSTRUMENT—HELICOPTER” for applicants who have met the requirements
in a helicopter;
“INSTRUMENT—AIRPLANE” for applicants who met the requirements in an airplane;
“INSTRUMENT—POWERED-LIFT” for applicants who have met the requirements
in a powered-lift.
If an instrument rating is added to a certificate using a single-engine
airplane, and the applicant has a multiengine rating (land or sea), enter a
VFR limitation for those multiengine privileges.
If the pilot certificate is issued in a foreign country, see §
61.13(a) and part
187, appendix A.
Complete the inspector certification section and sign the reverse side
of FAA Form 8710-1.
Forward the completed file to AFS-760.
Return all submitted documents not forwarded to AFS-760 to the applicant.
PTRS. Complete PTRS in accordance with the PPM.
TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of this task results in the issuance of
one of the following:
Temporary airman certificate,
Notice of disapproval of application, or
Letter of discontinuance.
Grade. Pilots may return for another grade of airman certificate.
Rating. Pilots may return for an additional category or class rating.
Figure 5-43. Letter of Discontinuance
[applicant’s name and address]
Dear [applicant name]:
On this date you successfully completed pilot operation
1—ground phase for a [indicate grade] certificate with an [indicate
category] category and [indicate class] class rating. The practical
test was discontinued because of [indicate reason].
If application is made by [indicate date 60 days from
date of letter], this letter may be used to show the following portions
of the practical test which have been completed satisfactorily.
[Indicate pilot operations
completed on the test]
After [indicate expiration date] you must repeat
the entire practical test. This letter does not extend the expiration date as
shown on the knowledge test results, medical certificate, or required endorsements.
[signed by inspector conducting practical test]
Figure 5-44. Sample FAA Form
8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate, Instrument Rating
Figure 5-37. Sample FAA Form
8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application
Figure 5-46. Sample FAA Form 8060-5, Notice of Disapproval
of Application for Instrument Rating
RESERVED. Paragraphs 5-449 through 5-465.