We have been asked by a number of airmen holding a rotocraft pilot certificate who would like to add on a rating for single engine fixed wing aircraft so that they can enjoy the weekends in single engine aircraft. We believe that each airman’s situation will be different to some extent, but here are the answers that we received from a number of individual Certified Flight Instructors (‘CFI’)…
Pat Brown, Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) Texas Ambassador says,
“Call AOPA HQ (800-872-2672) in Frederick and ask for the Pilot Information Center. They’ll be able to tell you. I don’t believe there is a written test involved, but the applicant will have to have the required AIRPLANE time, whatever that may be. The folks in PIC can help you quicker than I can.“
In any case, we at Third Coast Aviation LLC (‘TCA’) recommend that all of our pilots become members of the AOPA and continue as members. For students, you get 6 months’ free membership (ask our CFI’s for the certificate for your free membership). From there, they answer all the questions you might have.
After discussing with the AOPA pilot services and Reading FAR AIM 2017 61.63 “Additional Aircraft category Rating”, I believe we have a solution for you to move forward on.
- Must complete the training and have the applicable aeronautical experience.
- Must have logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized instructor attesting that you were found competent in the appropriate aeronautical knowledge areas and proficient in the appropriate areas of operation.
- Must pass the practical test (Written not applicable, unless license expired).
- Need not take any additional knowledge test, provided applicant holds an airplane, rotor-craft, power-lift, weight-shift-control aircraft, powered parachute, or airship rating at that pilot certificate level.
The training specified as must do in FAR AIM 61.109 to accomplish the Additional Fixed Wing Aircraft Category rating from FAR AIM 61.63, designates the FAA minimum as described below:
- 3 hours of cross country
- 3 hours of flight training on the control and maneuvering of the single engine aircraft
- 3 hours flight training by authorized instructor
- 10 hours of solo cross country time
- At least 5 hours include solo cross country time:
- One solo to include 150 nautical miles with full stop landing at three points.
- Three takeoff’s and three landings to full stop involving flight in the traffic pattern at an airport with an operating tower.
If your schedule permits, we have a very good instructor who has evenings available Wednesdays, Thursday and every other Friday. If you would like to set a scheduled start time, please let me know, and we will be happy to get you started on your way to attaining the Fixed wing rating.
From a Rotocraft and Single Fixed Wing CFI
This is from a Certified Flight Instructor (rotocraft, single engine fixed wing) and FAR Part 135 pilot with over 4,000 hours in both the military and the civilian aviation industry:
“The add on is based on what he currently has. FAR 61.63 lists the requirements for additional ratings. Since he is adding a category, he’ll need to do all the flight and ground training in FAR 61.107(b)(1) or (2) and get the hours in FAR 61.109(a) or (b). For adding fixed wing commercial, he would need to get 50 hours pilot in command in airplanes and cross country and instrument hours as required in FAR 61.129. He would probably have to get ground training and take the knowledge test, but that would be a question for the FSDO.
Once he gets his private fixed wing, his previous time helps with such me of the aeronautical experience, but he will usually still have to get ground training, take the knowledge test and the practical test. The FAA doesn’t let a whole lot carry over between helicopters and fixed wing. It is easier to add on multi to a single engine license than adding fixed wing to a helo license or vice versa.“
From the Rotocraft Airman himself…
From what I’ve been reading and how I interpret, I am thinking a minimum flight time I could meet the standards is 16. Here are the pertinent FAR items:
- 61.109(a): Does not specify ASEL until the end of this section, but requires 40 hours total time (got that in heli), 20 hours dual (got that in heli), 10 hours solo from 61.107(b)(1) in airplane (need that) – so far, 10 new solo hours required in airplane
- 61.109(a)(1): 3 hours x/c in airplane that could also be at night and over 100nm w/10 patterns so it would also satisfy 61.109(a)(2) – so 3 more hours, 13 total
- 61.109(a)(3): 3 hours instrument/attitude flying training, so that couldn’t be covered by the above because of landings, etc. so 3 more hours, 16 total
- 61.109(a)(4): 3 hours within 2 months of check ride, which the above could all be covered in, no additional hours inherently.
- 61.109(a)(5) 10 hours of solo mentioned above, 5 need to be x/c with a 150nm trip w/3 landing points with patterns
© 2017 by Third Coast Aviation LLC and Robert C. Rhodes, all rights reserved. E-mail excerpts used by permission from the individuals involved.