Instructor Certificate Add-on Ratings
Last week, we posted an article about adding ratings to an existing pilot certificate rating; this week, we’ll cover instructor add-on ratings. If you haven’t already, recommend reviewing what ratings you are eligible to hold based on your military experience: What ratings do I hold? and What instructor ratings do I hold?. If you would like a full explanation of FAA certificates and ratings, you can read Civilian Ratings Explained.
Recommendation: As mentioned in the previous articles, before applying for the airlines, make sure to mil comp as many of your military ratings as possible; however, we do not recommend pursuing add-on ratings (requiring flight training and check rides) simply for your airline app – the additional points won’t be worth the time/money spent on obtaining the additional ratings. If you want to use additional ratings (e.g. you want to instruct on the side), then the training and check rides are worth it – read on!
For military airplane instructor pilots:
If you have only instructed in single or multiengine military airplanes and you would like to add-on the other rating, see the table below. *NOTE: If you have only instructed in a military multiengine aircraft limited to center thrust and received a Flight Instructor, Instrument – Airplane certificate from the FAA, you can now hold a full Flight Instructor, Multiengine Airplane certificate based on a rule change last summer. You will need to visit a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or mil comp designated pilot examiner (DPE) to be reissued your flight instructor certificate; no additional testing needed. For a mil comp DPE, check with your FSDO or ask around – there is no list available online; for Goldsboro pilots, we have 2 mil comp DPEs here!
*You must have a commercial or ATP certificate in the class (single-engine or multiengine) before you can take your instructor check ride for that class (reference §61.183(c)). If you need to get your commercial or ATP add-on in either single or multiengine, refer to Pilot Certificate Add-on Ratings.
**Per §61.191, you must meet all the requirements of §61.183 for an add-on rating, including having a spin endorsement in your logbook (reference – §61.183(i)(1)). Check with your examiner ahead of time – some consider the spin endorsement requirement met if you hold an instructor certificate already (since you met all the requirements to get the certificate). Others will want to see the endorsement in your logbook. If an endorsement is required, you can ask any FAA-certificated instructor who has done spin training with you (in any airplane, military or civilian) for the endorsement, or call around to local flight schools; most experienced military pilots only require a single ride. The spin endorsement required can be found in Advisory Circular 61-65, Appendix A (current version is AC 61-65H, but that changes frequently; use the most current version).
For military helicopter and powered-lift instructor pilots:
Since you will be adding another category (airplane vs powered-lift / helicopter) to your instructor certificate, the check ride will be more involved, but the process is similar to airplane instructors.
*Military powered-lift pilots qualify for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating. For details, reference What ratings do I hold?.
**Once you hold one airplane instructor rating, use the previous chart for any additional airplane instructor add-on ratings.
Add-on Check Rides
To know what will be required of you for any instructor check ride, reference the Practical Test Standards (PTS) for that certificate. *The FAA is moving from the PTS to the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS); eventually all check rides will use the ACS. The ACS and PTS are the FAA’s check ride guides; each certificate (private / commercial / ATP / instructor) has either an ACS or PTS broken into Areas of Operation and associated Tasks for each Area of Operation. If you have an existing rating, you do not have to complete all tasks; check the Additional Rating Task Table (example shown below) to determine what tasks you need to accomplish. For example, if you hold a flight instructor certificate with single-engine and instrument ratings and you plan to take the multiengine instructor add-on check ride, go to the PTS for Flight Instructor and scroll down to the Additional Rating Task Table for the Airplane Single-Engine check ride (shown below); take note of the required tasks in the column for AME (Airplane Multiengine) and IA (Instrument – Airplane).
When you’re setting up flight training for an add-on rating, talk to the flight school and ensure your experience and ratings are clear and that the flight school’s training plan meets the requirements and prepares you for the check ride. The school should double check with the examiner and/or FSDO for any additional requirements if your specific check ride is not given routinely.
We hope this series of articles has been helpful! We only covered the most common ratings / add-ons for military pilots, so if we did not cover your situation, feel free to contact us.