Yet another change is the duration of a Student Pilot certificate. Before the new regulations, Student Pilot certificates expired after 24 months and they couldnít be renewed; to continue Student Pilot privileges, a new application had to be made. With the new regulations, and like all other levels of pilot certificates, a Sport Pilot certificate will no longer expire. However, even though the Student Pilot certificate doesnít expire, some endorsements may have to be renewed, just as before. For example, solo privileges must be renewed every 90 days.
Note: Student Pilot certificates issued prior to April 1st will continue to be valid until they expire or are replaced by another pilot certificate.
So, how do these new regulations impact existing gyroplane pilots or aspiring gyroplane pilots?
- For existing pilots who have a rating or endorsement beyond the Student Pilot level, the new regulations donít affect them.
- For persons who have a Student Pilot certificate that expires after March of this year, nothing changes unless they may need to renew the certificate. In that case, they will have to make a new application, just as they were required to do before, but the new application will have to vetted by the TSA before they receive a new, plastic card.
- After April 1st, aspiring gyroplane pilots who apply for a Student Pilot certificate will have some delay before receiving the certificate. That doesnít mean they canít take flying lessons during that time; they can. A Student Pilot license isnít required until soloing.
- With the new regulations, I think it will probably be more convenient for most Student Pilots to apply for the certificate; they can do so directly with a flight instructor, including the instructor with whom theyíre taking lessons. This is likely more convenient than making a trip to a FSDO, most of which are not just around the corner, or having to go to a DPE, the numbers of which make them far sparser than instructors.