View Full Version : Discussion for Gyro CFI's (Flight Review)
04-07-2004, 10:00 AM
To all active Gyroplane CFI's out there:
The regulations in 61.56(c) state that a Flight Review must be accomplished in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated...(unless, of course, they accomplish one of the other stipulations in 61.56(d)(e)(g).)
I have had several discussions with pilots who accomplish the Flight Review in a gyroplane and they only hold Airplane SEL Licenses. I told them that I believe the Flight Review is not valid and they are breaking the regulations because they are not accomplishing the Review in an aircraft for which they are rated.
My question to you gyroplane CFI's is this: Are you providing your services to pilots for Flight Reviews when they are not rated in rotorcraft - gyroplanes and if so, what is the reference you use?
I have some phone calls into OKC and my local FSDO. I'll be interested in hearing your perspecives...
04-07-2004, 10:06 AM
I'm not a CFI, but basically, anyone who has a valid pilot's certificate that requires a medical, is licensed/rated to fly any experimental. One doesn't need a rotorcraft rating to fly an experimental gyro, therefore it is legal to take a BFR in an experimental gyro when the pilot only has an SEL ticket.
04-07-2004, 10:28 AM
Thanks for your input, but if you read 61.31(k), it states that "this section..." and "The rating limitations" do not apply to....
The section above allows you to fly an experimental gyroplane without a rotorcraft rating. The section I'm talking about is 61.56. The exception in 61.31 does not apply to 61.56 which states that "...no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless...that person has- (1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor.." Remember, just because a pilot can fly a gyroplane under the exception in 61.31 doesn't mean that they are rated in a gyroplane.
04-07-2004, 10:39 AM
Correct....but.....the SEL pilot is not taking a BFR in a "gyroplane," he's taking it in an "experimental," for which he is rated by virtue of holding a valid pilot's certificate. Actually, "gyroplane" or "rotorcraft" has nothing to do with it. They're taking their BFR in an experimental gyro that has been approved under the PRA exemption for usage for instruction and BFRs. The only exception would be if the pilot got his rating in a certificated McCulloch or Air & Space. In that case, your logic might prevail, but maybe they could do their BFRs in an exempted experimental gyro also. I'll have to defer that last point to a knowledgeable CFI. So when the regs say it must be taken in a craft that the pilot is rated for, all valid pilots with a medical are rated to fly experimentals.
04-07-2004, 10:57 AM
Ken, I understand your post, but you are wrong, specifically when you say, "he's taking it in an "experimental," for which he is rated by virtue of holding a valid pilot's certificate." No one is rated by virtue. You are only rated on your license issued by the FAA. Look at FAR 1. There is no such pilot rating as "Experimental".
Also, the PRA Exemption (of which I use) only allows you to use an experimental gyro for instruction and BFR's and charge money. It has absolutely nothing to do with approving you to take a Flight Review in an experimental for which you are not rated.
You're going to have to trust me on this one, Ken. The FAR's spell it out and so far the FAA folks I have spoken to agree. The Flight Review must be done in an aircraft for which you are rated (printed on your license).
04-07-2004, 11:27 AM
Scott and Ken, You both make valid points. I won't comment on that though. Hopefully Jim Mayfield will post the correct answer(s) and why.
One point I would like to make is a BFI or AFI can sign a Pilot off for a BFR under ther following conditions;
The BFI or AFI provides 3 hours of flight instruction in a type of craft the pilot is NOT currently rated in. Such as Trike, Powered Parachute, Gyro etc.
And the pilot has completed 3 Wings program seminars.
I believe this can be done only for the first 3 levels of the "Wings" program.
The Advisory Circular is AC 61-91H. Refer to item f. located at:
FAA web Site (http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/ad6422648ad294b4862569d800496203/$FILE/ATTZWZ5O/AC61-91H.pdf)
04-07-2004, 11:38 AM
O.K., we'll have to agree to disagree. Are you saying that everyone who takes or gives a BFR in a gyro to a pilot with a valid SEL ticket only has been breaking the law? I agree, there is no "experimental" ticket, but everyone with a valid certificate is authorized to fly any experimental. There is no experimental gyro, fixed-wing, trike, etc. They are all experimental. One can not be "not rated" in a trike, powered-parachute or gyro (unless of the 2 certificated gyros). This would mean one can be rated in those.
"It has absolutely nothing to do with approving you to take a Flight Review in an experimental for which you are not rated."
You're contradicting yourself with this statement. Explain how one can be rated in any experimental. You just said that there is no such thing.
04-07-2004, 12:26 PM
My 2 cents;
If a pilot is certified for ASEL and also Rotorcraft/ Gyroplane, he can take a BFR in either one. The purpose of the BFR is to show knowledge of basic FAR's, safe and acceptable piloting.
You can't fail a BFR. The CFI can refuse to endorse your log book.
04-07-2004, 01:02 PM
Hello Harry, you're exactly correct. You can take a Flight Review in any aircraft which you are rated.
I try to do things correctly- especially when it comes to aviation, safety, and the law. My goal was to hear from some other CFI's (especially the ones who do give Flight Reviews as I described above) and get a feel for their reasons and references.
I just had a very long conversation with my local FSDO (Scottsdale, AZ) and thoroughly discussed this subject. They confirmed that the requirements of 61.56 can not be done in an aircraft that is not listed on your pilot's certificate. They do realize that you may fly any experimental aircraft because you have a license, but not to fulfill the requirements of the BFR. In short, I do believe that everyone who does that are breaking the law. Unintentionally, of course.
A great example of a way to fulfill this requirment is what John Landry does. (Hope you don't mind me mentioning you, John) He is enrolled in the FAA Wings Program and satisfies the requirement via 61.56(e).
I'm not saying that everyone who does the BFR in a gyro without a gyro rating is 'doomed'. :) I'm just trying to communicate with the other gyro CFI's out there and maybe resolve an issue that could land someone in a heap of trouble. I can tell you that if a pilot in Arizona was to get ramp checked by one of the two ASI's I spoke with today, they would begin disciplinary actions. That's what he told me anyway....
04-07-2004, 02:12 PM
I don't understand what's going on here.
When you approach a CFI for a BFR, one of the basic pieces of paperwork he should ask you to present is an Airman' certificate. How can he proceed if you don't have one?
As I see it, he cannot give you a BFR in an aircraft that you are not appropriately certificated. If you don't have an Airman' certificate, see a gyro CFI and get an endorsement to continue flying a gyro. To carry a passenger in an experimental gyro, you must have some *kind* of Airman Certificate. Am I wrong?
04-07-2004, 03:30 PM
Many gyro pilots do not have a gyroplane rating. They usually hold a Private Pilot ASEL or Commercial Helicopter or something like that. They legally fly the gyro because FAR 61.31(k) allows it.
They don't show up without an Airmen's Certificate, they just don't have a gyroplane rating on it.
The discussion is about taking the Flight Review in a gyroplane when you may only have an airplane license, for example.
You appear to have a Commerical Airplane SEL and Commercial Gyroplane so you could take the BFR in either as you mentioned before.
04-07-2004, 03:38 PM
I believe this can be done only for the first 3 levels of the "Wings" program.GyroChuck,
There's no restriction on the number of times a pilot can substitute completing an FAA "Wings" phase in place if the Biennial Flight Review.
"6. PARTICIPATION IN THE PILOT PROFICIENCY AWARD PROGRAM IN LIEU OF A FLIGHT REVIEW. A pilot need not accomplish the flight review requirements of 14 CFR part 61, ~ 61.56 if, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, he or she has satisfactorily completed one or more phases of an FAA-sponsored Pilot Proficiency Award Program in an aircraft (reference 61.56(1))."
No mention of a limit.
A couple more points I'd like to mention:
A Wings phase consists of 3 hour of instruction in any aircraft (not necessarily one the pilot is rated in) with a BFI or CFI. You can take the flight training portion in an ultralight or even a darn hot air balloon if you feel like it!
The safety training portion consist of a *single* safety seminar, meeting, or class. The safety portion can even be satisfied by taking a short on-line safety training program found on several web sites (such the AOPA's Air Safety Foundation).
I'm not rated in gyroplanes, so I satisfied my latest BFR requirement by taking training with Scott Tinnesand in an AAI modified RAF-2000 when he was up in Washing state, and then several months later I did an on-line safety program. The cool thing is you have an entire year to accomplish a Wings phase (flight training and safety training) so you can easily work the flight training into a busy CFI's schedule and do the safety training closer to the time when your BFR is coming due. The Wings phase is only completed once you accomplish both portions.
A very neat and flexible program... one of the best kept training "secrets" the FAA has IMHO.
04-07-2004, 03:48 PM
A great example of a way to fulfill this requirment is what John Landry does. (Hope you don't mind me mentioning you, John) He is enrolled in the FAA Wings Program and satisfies the requirement via 61.56(e).Don't mind at all Scott. :)
I can tell you that if a pilot in Arizona was to get ramp checked by one of the two ASI's I spoke with today, they would begin disciplinary actions. That's what he told me anyway....I know of at least one fixed wing rated only pilot (no rotorcraft-gyroplane rating) who took his BFR in an experimental gyroplane and (apparently) both he and the CFI that administered it thought it was legal to do this. The pilot was very surprised when I told him I didn't think he had a valid BFR in this situation. He pretty much refused to believe me I think. I told him about the Wings program and suggested he go that route next time just to be sure he was legal.
04-07-2004, 04:03 PM
Hmmmmmm. I guess we need to wait for Jim Mayfield to answer this one. I have previously taken a BFR in a PRA exempt gyro while holding only a SEL rating. I have the gyro rating now, so the question is moot for me, but it's still an interesting discussion. I'll still hold that one can take a BFR in an exempt experimental gyro, even with just a SEL rating. My logic is that anyone with a valid SEL ticket can fly any experimental, and with the PRA exemption, those gyros can be used for instruction and BFRs and the CFI can charge accordingly. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.......if I'm wrong.......never mind.
04-07-2004, 05:24 PM
When I first heard of this thru your posting on Norm's site. I mentioned this to Tom Milton who is a safety consular with the FAA. He gave me the Wings booklet (of course I can't find it right now). I thought I read that the requirements for phase 4 to 10 were such that the flight portion could not be accomplished in an Ultralight Vehicle. I thought it had something to do with needing Instrument flying.
If I can find it. I'll post it here. If I don't post it here I either could not find it or I was wrong. :D
By the way John. Thanks for pointing this out originally on Norms forum.
04-07-2004, 05:30 PM
The whole issue of definitions was beaten to death on Norm's old forum, then ressurected and beaten to death again. Local FSDO's have a very poor track record at understanding the letter and intent of category and class in this regard, and have been reversed when the authors of this section were reached..
Your premise, that you're taking the BFR in a "gyroplane," is not valid. A registered experimental gyroplane is NOT in the Rotorcraft/Gyroplane Class/Category. The Private ASEL is a rating which includes all experimentals.
At least for now! ;^ )
04-07-2004, 07:49 PM
round and round we go again and again have fun
04-07-2004, 09:17 PM
I thought I read that the requirements for phase 4 to 10 were such that the flight portion could not be accomplished in an Ultralight Vehicle. I thought it had something to do with needing Instrument flying.GyroChuck,
I think you're basically confusing and combining several areas of the Advisory Circular. There is some mention of Wings phases 1 to 3 and how that relates to instructors obtaining Wings awards... but this is of no interest to us (regular pilots). Anyway, I'll attach a copy of AC 91-61h to this post and you can look it over again.
By the way John. Thanks for pointing this out originally on Norms forum.You're more than welcome!
04-07-2004, 10:19 PM
I have been eyeballing Norm's forum since 1998 and do recall the discussions. I know definitively that the black and white words printed in the FAR's contain hundreds of similar instances where one can 'interpret' the regs. Regardless of interpretation, if one follows the words exactly as printed, there is no room for interpretation. Case and point: take your BFR in an aircraft that you have specifically printed on your license and there is absolutely no way you can be wrong! Conversely, have a Fed question it and now your spending your time and money trying to cover your ass if he disagrees with your interpretation (even if some other Fed said it was O.K. before).
The 61.31 exceptions are exceptions for "Type rating requirements, additional training, and authorization requirements." They do not apply to all of the rest of the regs. Only that section.
Could I be wrong? Of course. BUT! None of my students or myself will ever be under the microscope of someone in authority that doesn't interpret 61.56 that way. :)
04-08-2004, 03:29 PM
You may be right. I still believe the day is coming when it won't be practical to fly a registered experimental gyro without a gyro PPL, no matter what's allowed in Part 61. For pilots who already have the private ASEL and hundreds of hours flying gyros, it's going to be hard justifying paying for the required 20 hours of dual instruction to add the gyro rating, but I believe getting the rating will be the only way to buy liability insurance. More and more airports are going to require insurance to appease paranoid neighbors, and because they think it will keep out the rabble.
04-08-2004, 07:43 PM
Great points- I agree. I think the upcoming Sport Pilot may reduce those flight instruction hours slightly, but it's still probably around 15 hours of dual. I'm finding that a good day of training, taking into account some ground school, maintenance and lunch, is about 3-4 hours of flying time. I've done much more than that but then we begin to approach the point of diminishing returns. Anyway, my point is that someone could knock out the dual requirements in 3-4 days working hard. If travel and hotel, ect. was required it could still be very cost prohibited.
AND, speaking of airports, I have actually been told that one of the airports I intended on flying to had a restriction on gyroplanes. I think it was a non-government funded airport so they could get away with that but I didn't like it much.
04-09-2004, 12:18 AM
Scott (or anyone), go to this page for a list of airports that have accepted federal aid. They're listed alphabetically, state by state, and cover from around 1995 to 2002. If they've ever taken any money, they cannot discriminate against any class of aircraft. :mad:
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