October 12, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has amended a recent rulemaking, which set a requirement for pilots of turbojet-powered aircraft to undergo a pilot-in-command proficiency check, to give affected pilots a year from the effective date to take the initial required checkride.
The final rule, which was published Aug. 31 and goes into effect Oct. 31, will now give pilots of single-pilot turbojet-powered aircraft and, with some exceptions, turbojet-powered experimental aircraft, until Oct. 31, 2012, to meet the new initial requirement under FAR 61.58.
AOPA’s government affairs staff advocated for the time provided for in the technical change. Allowing additional time was necessary because flight training providers are unable to give the new proficiency checks without first having the procedure added to their training manuals. Additionally, simulator time is typically scheduled weeks or months in advance, making it nearly impossible for pilots to have complied with the original date.
A technical correction of the rule was published Oct. 12 in the Federal Register.
“Without this additional time, operators of these aircraft could have been grounded until the training providers got FAA approval,” said Kristine Hartzell, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. “The FAA's quick response to industry's concerns avoided that.”
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor.
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