What instructor ratings do I hold?

Last week, we shared information on verifying which FAA ratings you can receive via the mil comp process (What ratings do I hold?). This week, we’ll run through instructor ratings. Again, for a full explanation of civilian ratings, you can check out Civilian Ratings Explained. We’ll cover the basics below, but if you have a situation or question that is not covered, feel free to contact us!

Your instructor certificate (i.e. your instructor license) will be a separate card from your pilot certificate. The front will show FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR. What you’re qualified to instruct in will show on the back.

Two notes under the LIMITATIONS section: First, you have to fly with your pilot certificate when instructing. Second, your flight instructor certificate expires! The FAA recently made reinstating an expired certificate less painful for military pilots (you have to visit a FSDO with proof of a military instructor check within the past 6 months – reference 14 CFR 61.199), but recommend not letting it expire. To renew, you can visit a FSDO with an updated military instructor check (reference – §61.197 (2)(iv)) or complete an online renewal course like American Flyers, King Schools, etc. (reference – §61.197 (2)(iii)).

Below are the instructor ratings you will receive based on military aircraft flown. Your instructor certificate will not show type ratings or land / sea; you can instruct in any aircraft which falls under the rating listed on your instructor cert (e.g. if your instructor certificate includes an AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE rating, then you can instruct in whatever single-engine aircraft are listed on your pilot certificate; if your pilot certificate shows AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND, you can instruct in single-engine land but not single-engine sea planes.).

*As mentioned in the pervious article, the FAA did away with the centerline thrust restriction in August 2018. If you received your FAA instructor certificate AFTER the rule change, you will receive AIRPLANE MULTIENGINE; INSTRUMENT – AIRPLANE just like standard multiengine instructors. If you received your instructor certificate before the rule change, you will need to visit a FSDO with your paperwork to receive the AIRPLANE MULTIENGINE rating.

If you also instructed in helos and/or powered-lift, you will also have one or more of the below. For powered-lift pilots, you will not receive an airplane instructor rating – reference FSIMS 8900.1 Vol 5, Ch 2, Sec 15, 5-620 E.2.

If you have not visited the FSDO to get your instructor certificate, then you will need to: 1. Take the mil comp instructor written test (study via Sheppard Air and then either test on base at the education center if they offer FAA testing or at a local test center). 2. Take your written and instructor check ride paperwork to the nearest FSDO or a Designated Pilot Examiner who can handle mil comp paperwork (check with your FSDO or ask around – there is no list available online; for Goldsboro pilots, we have 2 mil-comp DPEs here!). If you have previously completed the mil comp process for your instructor cert but now fly another military aircraft that qualifies you for an additional instructor rating, you do not need to take an additional written test; simply visit the FSDO or mil comp DPE with your paperwork.

Next up – what can you do with these ratings in the civilian aviation world? And how do you add other ratings that you can’t get via mil comp?