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Switching category... is there a written exam?


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I have my commercial and instrument ratings (helicopter), and I am now almost finished with my private airplane rating. I have not taken a written for the airplane yet, and I am not sure if I must. Seeing as I am a commercial pilot in a different category, is there a required written test? My instructor spoke with the examiner, and they said I would have to take the full private pilot airplane written test, which seems like it is a waste of time. I am not sure if they are correct because i have been unable to get a hold of the FSDO this week (maybe b/c of thanksgiving?) Does anyone know where I can find out exactly what i need to do? Seems like it isn't too often instructors encounter the cml heli guy working on his private asel.

 

Thanks

 

Chris

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Your DPE is wrong. You do NOT need to take another written for a category add-on to a private or commercial certificate. Part 61 does not say that you "do not need to take a written......", but also doesn't say that you need to. You only need to take the knowledge (written) to qualify for a private or commercial certificate--which you already have. Notice where it talks about the knowledge test--it's under the main "private" or "commercial" heading along with the age limit, language, etc. It's not mentioned under airplane, rotorcraft, glider, etc training & experience req's (if it was under those headings, then you'd need to take it.)

 

Furthermore, you are not getting a "private airplane/SEL certificate", you are getting a Commercial certificate on which your are authorized to commercially fly a helicopter under IFR & VFR, but you only have "Private Privileges: Airplane SEL." You are still a commercial pilot when you fly an airplane, you just cannot exercise the privs of one.

 

It's just like your medical. After 12 calendar months, you still have a 2nd class medical. You can only exercise the privs of a 3rd class for the next 12-24 calendar months, but it's still a 2nd class medical.

 

The only time you need to take a written test to add categories is:

 

CFI (Glider, Airplane, Powered Lift, or Rotorcraft)

CFII (Airplane, Powered Lift, or Rotor/Heli)

ATP (Airplane, Powered Lift, or Rotor/Heli)

 

Each is 25 easy questions.

 

PS: You can go straight for your commercial airplane SEL and skip the private practical test if you want. It's harder to build that 50 hrs of PIC and fulfill all the solo req's, but you can do it.

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If you need a reference as to what Delorean has stated above, the Designated Pilot & Flight Engineer Examiners Handbook (8710.3D) says in Part.

 

Chapter 9, Private Pilot Certification, including additional category/class ratings

Section 1, 3 - D(2) The holder of a category rating for powered aircraft is not required to take a knowledge test for the addition of another category rating to a private pilot certificate.

 

Chapter 10, Commercial Pilot Certification, including additional category/class ratings

Section 1, 3-E Added category Ratings to a Commercial Certificate. The holder of a commercial certificate with category rating for powered aircraft need not take an additional knowledge test for the addition of another aircraft category rating to that commercial certificate.

 

 

But............. I would still check with your DPE Prior to the check ride

 

There are Knowledge tests for add-on ratings for private and commercial, 30 questions each :huh:

 

Anyway, hope this helps......good luck

 

Fly Safe

Clark B)

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There are Knowledge tests for add-on ratings for private and commercial, 30 questions each :huh:

 

Where? If some software program is showing any for private and/or commercial add-ons, it's wrong because they don't exist.

 

The only the "added rating" tests that exist are:

 

AFA - Airplane CFI added

AFG - Glider CFI added

AIF - Airplane CFII added

ARA - Airplane ATP added

ARH - Helicopter ATP added

ARL - Powered Lift ATP added

FEJ - Flight engineer Turbojet added

FEP - Flight engineer TurboProp added

FPA - Powered Lift CFI added

GFA - Gyroplane CFI added

HFA - Helicopter CFI added

HIF - Helicopter CFII added

IPI - Powered Lift CFII added

 

I know the CFI & CFII test are all 25 questions, the ATP tests are 50.

 

In reading into this I did find one exception to the rule.....If you hold a Private or Commercial certificate with a Balloon (gas or hot air) rating, and you want a Glider rating, you need to take the full glider private or commercial test. Also, if you hold a balloon or glider rating and want an airplane rating, you'll need to take the full test for it. However, you don't need to take it for the Rotorcraft, LTA-Airship, or powered lift. Wierd, huh? That's what FAA Order 8080.6 says.......But 61.23(B)(5) says, "Need not take an additional knowledge test, provided the applicant holds an airplane, rotorcraft, powered-lift, or airship rating at that pilot certificate level."

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Where? If some software program is showing any for private and/or commercial add-ons, it's wrong because they don't exist.

 

 

You're right Delorean, my mistake.

 

I got my information off the Laser Grade website...... but I didn't read it right, evidently had too many adult beverages prior to posting

 

I will read more carefully in the future.......sorry :(

 

Clark B)

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