U.S. Department
of Transportation

Federal Aviation

St. Louis
Flight Standards District Office

10801 Pear Tree Lane
Suite 200
St. Ann, Missouri 63074


February 2001 




Thought for the month...The dictionary is the only place where
completion comes before documentation.

Received and Logged.... Anyone who writes about flying extols the idea that a good pilot is always training. Regardless of the level of certification we hold we all need regular recurrent training to maintain our skills and improve our knowledge. It's also natural for those bitten by the aviation bug, to move up to aircraft with greater performance. The traditional way to do that is to find a knowledgeable flight instructor and let them earn their money checking us out in the new aircraft. As soon as the CFI is satisfied with our performance, we're on our way.

Who is responsible for ensuring that my training is complete and meets all the requirements of the CFR's? Certainly, the CFI giving me the training is putting some endorsements into my logbook but is that satisfactory?

The 1999 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR's) came with a change in the way Part 61 (Certification) was written. It still provides guidance for flight instructors and identifies endorsements they are required to provide, but it also placed a responsibility on me as an individual receiving training.

If I have not previously flown an airplane with retractable gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, before I can do so as pilot-in-command I must comply with the training requirements of CFR 61.31(e). Two things are specified to do that. First, I must have received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a complex airplane. Secondly, the authorized instructor must endorse my logbook certifying that I am proficient to operate a complex airplane.

Of the two requirements, the CFI is only responsible for one. Doing the math, that would leave one remaining. By the regulation, that responsibility is mine. The endorsement by the CFI that the training was given does not satisfy the requirement for me to log the training I received.

While this may seem like an unnecessary regulatory burden, there is a reason for it. The individual receiving the training becomes an active participant in the training. It causes me to be aware of what I will be required to learn, and it ensures that the CFI I am paying is providing the necessary training. In the case of a complex airplane, it leaves the scope and content of that training to the discretion of the instructor. If, however, I am going to fly a pressurized aircraft capable of operating at high altitudes, the CFR's provide twelve specific subjects, that are mandatory. I must receive an endorsement from an authorized instructor who provides training on those 12 items - AND - I must log those twelve specific subjects, indicating that I have received the training.

Why all the emphasis on this? Let me propose a hypothetical situation. Suppose that I am a pilot flying a pressurized high altitude aircraft carrying a world-renowned golf pro from place to place. It's a fractional ownership deal so I'm not operating under Part 135; therefore, I haven't received any company training. Do you think it would be important that I know something about (iii) Effects, symptoms, and causes of hypoxia and any other high-altitude sickness; (iv) Duration of consciousness without supplemental oxygen; and (2)(iii) Emergency descent procedures? Sure, I've got an endorsement in my logbook from an instructor, but did he skip these things in the training? How would I know unless I have a tracking sheet of what training is required and when I got it?

The training requirements for all certificates, recreational through ATP and CFI, include the requirement for the applicant to receive and log training. A competent instructor will ensure that the individuals he or she is training are aware of their responsibilities, but it is the applicant's job to keep the record. Although it is convenient, it is not required that the training be "logged" in an individual's logbook. A separate training record documenting the specific subjects required in the regulations may be kept per CFR 61.51(a). Pilot examiners in the St. Louis District are required to verify that applicants for a certificate have documented the training they are required to receive when they present themselves for a practical test.

With regard to training, the dictionary is the only place where completion comes before documentation.

Upcoming Events

February 12th
Cape Girardeau Pilots Club
Runway Incursions and Land Survival
7 to 9PM

March 13th
932AAW Auditorium
Bldg. 3650
Scott AFB, IL
The Mystery of Amelia Earhart

March 14th
The Columns Banquet Center
St. Charles, MO
The Mystery of Amelia Earhart
6:00PM. Dinner program.
For reservations call 314-731-0199
Click Here for more information.

March 16th
St. Louis University
Carlos Auditorium
Tegler Building
Working CFI Seminar
8AM to 3PM

March 31st
Southwest Illinois College
Granite City, IL
IFR/VFR and Flying Companion Program
8AM to 1PM

FRED P. Harms
Operations Safety Program Manager
1-800-322-8876 extension 4835