Answers for Pilots: English-proficient endorsement

We have received many questions about the English-proficient endorsement for pilot certificates. Pilots want us to clarify who’s affected, how to get the certificate, and clear up the confusion about the compliance date.

We have received many questions about the English-proficient endorsement for pilot certificates. Pilots want us to clarify who’s affected, how to get the certificate, and clear up the confusion about the compliance date. The initial deadline was March 5, 2008, but the FAA was flooded with applications and has extended the compliance date a year—until March 5, 2009.

Pilots who fly from the United States to any destination outside of the United States, will be required to have a new certificate with “English Proficient” on it when acting as a required crewmember after March 5, 2009. This is a result of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) language proficiency standards for operating internationally.

The requirement applies to all holders of private, commercial, and airline transport pilot certificates with powered ratings, as well as flight engineers and flight navigators. If you hold an instructor certificate, it will not have an English-proficient endorsement and you do not need to order a replacement for it.

Pilots with a U.S.-issued certificate will not need to pass a language test, just obtain a replacement certificate by requesting one from the FAA. The plastic replacement certificate costs $2 and takes about two weeks for online processing, and four to six weeks for paper processing through the mail.

Here’s something to consider if you’ve been meaning to order a new certificate with a number different from your Social Security number, but haven’t gotten around to doing it. Since all new pilot certificates will automatically be issued with the endorsement, you could accomplish both things with one request—and you aren’t charged the $2 fee for a new certificate, only for a replacement.

Pilots can download the paper application for SSN removal from the FAA’s Web site for a replacement certificate ($2).

If you already have an account, just log in. If you are not yet registered, you’ll have to create an account and enter your personal information.

Place a checkmark in front of the $2 box and select “English Proficiency” as the reason. Follow the steps to receive your new certificate in about two weeks.

Read more online, or call 800-USA-AOPA, or e-mail.

Membership Q&A

Answers to frequently asked questions about your AOPA membership

Q: I’m thinking about buying an aircraft. How can AOPA help me?

A: AOPA Member Products offers four aircraft ownership-related products. The AOPA Aircraft Financing Program can get you qualified for an aircraft loan at competitive rates with long repayment terms. The AOPA Aircraft Insurance Agency can obtain quotes from multiple “A”-rated underwriters and provide you with the best advice and the right policy for your needs. AOPA Aircraft Title Services can provide you with essential lien information about the aircraft you plan on purchasing to help you avoid ownership challenges and can file your documents with the FAA. And the AOPA Legal Services Plan will review your purchasing documents and keep you protected while you’re flying. For more information on any one of these AOPA Member Products, go online or call 800-USA-AOPA.

Q: I recently read an issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine and even though I’ve got plenty of flying experience, the articles provided good information that I found to be helpful and interesting. Is there a way I can start getting it monthly in addition to my AOPA Pilot magazine?

A: For just $18 a year, you can add AOPA Flight Training magazine to your AOPA membership. Call Member Services and we’ll be happy to get this started for you.

Q: I’m planning to attend AOPA’s Fly-In and Open House this year and was wondering how I can get more details?

A: AOPA’s eighteenth annual Fly-In and Open House will be held on Saturday, June 7, at our headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. You’ll find information about the event on our Web site, including fly-in procedures, driving directions, and information on area hotels. We’re lining up 100 aviation exhibitors, 40 aircraft that will be on display, as well as speakers on a wide variety of topics, including AOPA President Phil Boyer and AOPA Pilot columnist Rod Machado, so don’t miss this free event and your opportunity to visit with our staff.

Member Services contact information:

Phone: 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672), 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.

After hours: Renew your membership, reset your Web password, or enroll in Automatic Annual Renewal using our self-service touch-tone phone option.

E-mail: [email protected]

Web: Update your personal information, renew your membership and much more by clicking on Manage My Membership on the Membership Services page.

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