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Final rule eases single-engine ATP path

The FAA revised ATP requirements in 2013 with air carrier operations in mind, following passage of a 2010 federal law, elements of which were intended to enhance safety of air carrier operations. The revised requirements included a requirement to complete an FAA-approved certification training program (CTP) to qualify to take the practical test for an ATP certificate and a type rating concurrently.

This did not prove particularly problematic until 2016, when Cirrus Aircraft certified the SF50 Vision Jet, a single-engine jet that requires a type rating.

As the FAA noted in the final rule published November 9, the Vision Jet’s arrival in light of how the regulations had been revised meant that any pilot seeking an ATP certificate concurrently with a single-engine airplane type rating was required to complete an ATP CTP, which is always a multiengine training program geared toward air carrier operations.

“Alternatively, to avoid the training requirement, a pilot could use a different single-engine airplane (i.e., one that does not require a type rating) to obtain the initial ATP certificate and then complete a second practical test in the SF50 to add the type rating to the ATP certificate,” the FAA notes in the final rule. “Or, a pilot could add the type rating to his or her commercial pilot certificate first and then complete an ATP practical test in a different single-engine airplane and the SF50 type rating would be carried forward to the ATP certificate. In either case, the pilot would be taking an additional practical test to avoid completing the multiengine training in the ATP CTP.”

The final rule allows a pilot to apply—and test concurrently—for an ATP certificate with a single-engine airplane type rating, without having to complete any multiengine training, though aircraft flown under Part 121 must still have at least two engines, and the SF50 currently remains the only single-engine aircraft that requires a type rating.

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