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These are the steps to take to add a Category/Class to your pilot certificate (such as sport, private commercial or ATP pilot airplane – as an example adding additional category sport pilot weight-shift control trike).

This is also for adding Category/Class for Sport and Private CFI at the Sport Pilot level.

Additionally, if sport pilots want to get an initial airplane speed endorsement or add an airplane speed endorsement above or below 87 knots/100 MPH to their pilot certificate, or an airspace endorsement this will be covered here.

If you are interested in adding a WSC Trike to your airplane certificate and want to know the time and costs, see Transitioning to WSC Trike Time and Cost.

Here (below) you will learn:

  • How to add a Category/Class at the Sport Pilot level for all Pilots (Sport, Private, Commercial, ATP) and Instructors at the Sport Pilot level
  • How a Sport or Private CFI can add a Category/Class to their existing CFI certificate at the sport pilot level
  • How to add a Speed Endorsement for Sport Pilots and Sport Pilot Instructors
  • How to add an Airspace Endorsement for Sport Pilots (which applies to Sport Pilot Instructors)

What is “Category” and “Class”

To add a Category/Class to your pilot certificate, for all Pilots and Sport Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFIS) this is a Proficiency Check to obtain privlages at the sport pilot level.

NOTE: To add an additional private pilot category (such as airplane to weight-shift control trike), all of the requirements for a private pilot must be met. See private pilot for more on this. This covers adding a Sport Pilot Level category/class.

First let’s understand what is a category and what is a class.

  • Category
    • Airplane
    • Weight-Shift Control (WSC) trike
    • Powered Parachute
    • Gyroplane
    • Glider
  • Class
    • Land
    • Sea
  • Distinct Category/Classes
    • Airplane Single engine Land ASEL
    • Airplane Single Engine Sea ASES
    • Weight-shift Control Land WSCL
    • Weight-shift Control Sea WSCS
    • Powered Parachute Land PPL
    • Powered Parachute Sea PPS

How to add a “Category” or “Class” Pilot Endorsement

If a CFI wants to Solo a pilot (Sport, Private, Commercial, ATP with an FAA certificate) in a different category/class, since the pilot already has a pilot certificate the solo for the additional category/class is done with the 61.31 (d)(2) logbook endorsement. The pilot MUST have a current flight review per 61.56 in a category they are qualified in to utilize this pilot endorsement.  This is also applicable for private pilot additional category/class.

To add a category or class at the sport pilot level, for any sport pilot and above (Private, Commercial, ATP), two CFI’s are needed per 61.321. The first CFI for training and a recommendation, the second CFI for the proficiency check as follows.

CFI #1
  • Receive training on aeronautical knowledge and skill per § 61.309 and § 61.311 for the additional light-sport aircraft category and/or class.
  • Receive logbook endorsement from this authorized instructor to take proficiency check.
  • Get CFI recommendation on the FAA Form 8710-11 for proficiency check.
CFI #2
  • Successfully complete a proficiency check from an authorized instructor other than the instructor who provided training and recommendation. The proficiency check for an additional category/class has all the same tasks in the Practical Test Standards (PTS) as the initial sport pilot checkride. The difference is that it is performed by a CFI rather than an FAA examiner or designated pilot examiner (DPE). DPE’s can perform proficiency checks but they are acting as a flight instructor for the Proficiency check.
  • Receive a logbook endorsement from the instructor who conducted the proficiency check for the additional category and/or class. This instructor will fill out the proficiency check area on the 8710-11 and send the form directly to the FAA Registry within a maximum of 10 days so the added category/class goes on the pilot’s record with the FAA. The additional category/class at the sport pilot level is added to the plastic pilot license/certificate under limitations. You will receive the new green pilot certificate after the 8710-11 form is mailed into the Airman Certification Branch at the FAA

Note that adding a Sport Pilot level category/class per 61.321:

  • No minimum training hours are required
  • No medical needed as long as you use drivers license as medical eligibility
  • No Solo hours are required
  • No knowledge test required

For actual Endorsements click here.

What is nice is that adding a category or class with a proficiency check counts as a flight review per 61.56. If you want the legal ruling see our FAA Vault of documents.

Note that FAR 61.303 additionally specifies who can fly what and what regulations and limitations apply.

It should be noted that IACRA DOES NOT WORK for Proficiency Checks. It must be done with paper 8710-11 form. Follow the specifics as specified in the FAA Proficiency Check 8710-11 Guidance or it will be sent back for correction.

How to add a “Category” or “Class” CFI Endorsement

If an existing Sport or Private CFI wants to add a different category and/or class at the sport pilot level 61.415, this is done similar to Pilot as described above but per 61.419.   Be trained by one CFI 1 and take a proficiency check with another CFI 2.

For actual Endorsements click here.

It should be noted that IACRA DOES NOT WORK for Proficiency Checks. It must be done with paper 8710-11 form. Follow the specifics as specified in the FAA Proficiency Check 8710-11 Guidance or it will be sent back for correction.

How to add a “Speed” Endorsement

For Sport Pilots, this is a single CFI logbook endorsement. CFI note: Once a CFI has and additional “pilot” speed endorsement, he/she can teach in the additional speed classification.

It should be noted per 61.327 the speed endorsement (above and below 87 Knots/100MPH) mainly applies to airplanes. Other categories such as WSC trikes, gyroplanes and powered parachutes typically do no go above 87 knots/100MPH full power straight and level at sea level standard conditions, or Vh as is it specified. So, airplanes are specified specifically needing a low speed endorsement BELOW 87 knots/100 MPH and all LSA require a speed endorsement above 87 knots/100 MPH of which trikes, gyroplanes and powered parachutes typically do no go. Bottom line, only AIRPLANES need to worry about the speed endorsement per the regulation 61.327. 

First, let’s understand what is a Speed Endorsement.

  • Per 61.327, Sport pilots must have a logbook endorsement, either above 87 KCAS Vh, or below 87 KCAS Vh to operate a LSA (Vh is full power level flight at standard conditions which divides the high-speed low drag aircraft from the low speed, high drag, low mass aircraft which have different flying characteristics).
  • Sport pilots do need this speed endorsement 61.327 to fly solo per 61.87 (c) (5). This solo endorsement allows the student to take the checkride in the aircraft in the speed range and this endorsement is applicable to the pilot after the checkride. Note that this speed endorsement only applies to sport and student pilots per 61.87 (c) (5).
  • Per 61.303, private pilots, flying as private pilots with a medical or sport pilots without a medical, do NOT need any speed endorsement. They can fly in both speed groups.

Pilots who have been trained and have the low-speed endorsement, less than 87 KCAS, must obtain the higher aircraft speed endorsement to fly the higher speed aircraft. Similarly, sport pilots who were trained in the higher speed aircraft need to be trained in a slower speed aircraft and receive a slower speed endorsement for the slower speed aircraft to fly one.

Only one CFI is needed to get the additional speed endorsement.

  • Receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a Make and Model of LSA that is within the same speed range of aircraft you wish to fly.
  • Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who provides training in the speed of LSA you wish to fly per 61.327.

Note that a speed endorsement DOES NOT count as a flight review. This is similar to a tailwheel endorsement with one CFI completing the process rather than two with a proficiency check.

For actual Endorsements click here.

How to add an “Airspace” Endorsement

For Sport Pilots, this is a single CFI logbook endorsement. CFI note: Once a CFI has and “pilot” airspace endorsement, he/she can teach in the airspace and provide this endorsement.

First, let’s understand what is an Airspace Endorsement.

  • Per 61.325, Sport pilots must have an airspace logbook endorsement,  to operate an LSA in Class B Class C and Class D airspace. This can be obtained as a student pilot or added after the checkride as a pilot.
  • Per 61.303, private pilots, flying as private pilots with a medical or sport pilots without a medical, do NOT need any airspace endorsement.

Only one CFI is needed to get the additional speed endorsement.

For actual Endorsements click here.

  • Receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in Class B, Class C and/or Class D airspace. Note this is three takeoffs and landings in the airspace.
  • Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who provides training in the airspace you wish to fly.

Note that an airspace endorsement DOES NOT count as a flight review. This is similar to a tail wheel endorsement with one CFI completing the process.

Got questions?

Contact Paul Hamilton

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