The FAA has issued a final rule expanding credit for military flight operations that pilots may use toward airline transport pilot certificate minimums and FAR Part 121 pilot in command qualifications.
A final rule published September 21 (effective October 21) allows additional options for military and Part 135 pilots to credit flight time toward the 1,000 hours of air carrier experience required to qualify to serve as pilot in command of a flight conducted under Part 121.
The final rule allows military pilots to credit up to 250 hours flown in powered-lift aircraft toward the time required for an initial ATP certificate. Of the 1,500-hour total time required for an ATP certificate, 250 of those hours must be flown as pilot in command or as second in command performing the duties of PIC. Powered-lift time must be acquired in horizontal flight to be credited.
In the past, military pilots of powered-lift aircraft seeking to earn an ATP certificate were required to obtain the 250 hours of PIC time in the airplane category. Because the FAA designated powered-lift aircraft in a separate category, military pilots were precluded from crediting any powered-lift flight time toward the ATP certificate.
The 1,000-hour requirement in § 121.436(a)(3) was established in 2013 to satisfy the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, to improve qualifications and training for pilots flying in air carrier operations. This rule prohibited pilots from using any flight time obtained as PIC in Part 121 operations prior to July 31, 2013, and prevented military pilots from crediting any flight time obtained in nonqualifying aircraft. The new ruling does away with the July 31, 2013, cut-off, and allows military pilots to credit their flight time acquired while flying as PIC in multiengine and turbine powered-lift aircraft to be used toward the 1,000-hour air carrier requirement.