Whether it's your favorite seaplane, tailwheel, complex, or high-performance airplane that you hope to someday fly as pilot in command, the FAA requires training and testing, or an endorsement by an authorized instructor, to have an additional category, class, or operating privilege added to your credentials.
As always, feel free to call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA with questions.
Part 61 of Title 14 — Code of Federal Regulations, or 14 CFR part 61 for short, provides pilots regulatory details on how to obtain these additional ratings or privileges, but often the "legalese" language of the regulations can lead to more confusion.
The goal of this subject report is to help simplify and put into plain language what exactly the FAA requires of you before you can take the controls as pilot in command of an aircraft you've often dreamed of flying. You'll also find pertinent articles to help you as you progress in your advanced flight training.
A good question to ask yourself before you start instrument training is, why do you want this rating? The answers can usually be grouped into three areas. One common answer is that it's a good thing to have in your pocket just in case you need it. Next is that it's just another important step to a career in aviation. The third reason is that you want to increase the productivity of your personal or business flying.Learn More
AOPA Pilot Information Center Podcast, Episode 2: ATP Certification
David Oord, AOPA's Manager of Regulatory Affairs, explains the changes to airline transport pilot certification and flight regulations. July 2014.