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Requirements to aeronautical experience for FAA ATP license

Posted on: 10/29/2022

§ 61.159 Aeronautical experience: Airplane category rating.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, a person who is applying for an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane category and class rating must have at least 1,500 hours of total time as a pilot that includes at least:

(1) 500 hours of cross-country flight time.

(2) 100 hours of night flight time.

(3) 50 hours of flight time in the class of airplane for the rating sought. A maximum of 25 hours of training in a full flight simulator representing the class of airplane for the rating sought may be credited toward the flight time requirement of this paragraph if the training was accomplished as part of an approved training course in parts 121, 135, 141, or 142 of this chapter. A flight training device or aviation training device may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

(4) 75 hours of instrument flight time, in actual or simulated instrument conditions, subject to the following:

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, an applicant may not receive credit for more than a total of 25 hours of simulated instrument time in a full flight simulator or flight training device.

(ii) A maximum of 50 hours of training in a full flight simulator or flight training device may be credited toward the instrument flight time requirements of paragraph (a)(4) of this section if the training was accomplished in a course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.

(iii) Training in a full flight simulator or flight training device must be accomplished in a full flight simulator or flight training device, representing an airplane.

(5) 250 hours of flight time in an airplane as a pilot in command, or as second in command performing the duties of pilot in command while under the supervision of a pilot in command, or any combination thereof, subject to the following:

(i) The flight time requirement must include at least –

(A) 100 hours of cross-country flight time; and

(B) 25 hours of night flight time.

(ii) Except for a person who has been removed from flying status for lack of proficiency or because of a disciplinary action involving aircraft operations, a U.S. military pilot or former U.S. military pilot who meets the requirements of § 61.73(b)(1), or a military pilot in the Armed Forces of a foreign contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation who meets the requirements of § 61.73(c)(1), may credit flight time in a powered-lift aircraft operated in horizontal flight toward the flight time requirement.

(6) Not more than 100 hours of the total aeronautical experience requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or § 61.160 may be obtained in a full flight simulator or flight training device provided the device represents an airplane and the aeronautical experience was accomplished as part of an approved training course in parts 121, 135, 141, or 142 of this chapter.

(b) A person who has performed at least 20 night takeoffs and landings to a full stop may substitute each additional night takeoff and landing to a full stop for 1 hour of night flight time to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section; however, not more than 25 hours of night flight time may be credited in this manner.

(c) A commercial pilot may log second-in-command pilot time toward the aeronautical experience requirements of paragraph (a) of this section and the aeronautical experience requirements in § 61.160, provided the pilot is employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct operations under part 135 of this chapter and the second-in-command pilot time is obtained in operations conducted for the certificate holder under part 91 or 135 of this chapter when a second pilot is not required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is being conducted, and the following requirements are met –

(1) The experience must be accomplished as part of a second-in-command professional development program approved by the Administrator under § 135.99 of this chapter;

(2) The flight operation must be conducted in accordance with the certificate holder’s operations specification for the second-in-command professional development program;

(3) The pilot in command of the operation must certify in the pilot’s logbook that the second-in-command pilot time was accomplished under this section; and

(4) The pilot time may not be logged as pilot-in-command time even when the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls and may not be used to meet the aeronautical experience requirements in paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(d) A commercial pilot may log the following flight engineer flight time toward the 1,500 hours of total time as a pilot required by paragraph (a) of this section and the total time as a pilot required by § 61.160:

(1) Flight-engineer time, provided the time –

(i) Is acquired in an airplane required to have a flight engineer by the airplane’s flight manual or type certificate;

(ii) Is acquired while engaged in operations under part 121 of this chapter for which a flight engineer is required;

(iii) Is acquired while the person is participating in a pilot training program approved under part 121 of this chapter; and

(iv) Does not exceed more than 1 hour for each 3 hours of flight engineer flight time for a total credited time of no more than 500 hours.

(2) Flight-engineer time, provided the flight time –

(i) Is acquired as a U.S. Armed Forces’ flight engineer crewmember in an airplane that requires a flight engineer crewmember by the flight manual;

(ii) Is acquired while the person is participating in a flight engineer crewmember training program for the U.S. Armed Forces; and

(iii) Does not exceed 1 hour for each 3 hours of flight engineer flight time for a total credited time of no more than 500 hours.

(e) An applicant who credits time under paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section is issued an airline transport pilot certificate with the limitation, “Holder does not meet the pilot in command aeronautical experience requirements of ICAO,” as prescribed under Article 39 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

(f) An applicant is entitled to an airline transport pilot certificate without the ICAO limitation specified under paragraph (e) of this section when the applicant presents satisfactory evidence of having met the ICAO requirements under paragraph (e) of this section and otherwise meets the aeronautical experience requirements of this section.

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