Student Pilot Regulations and Limitations

§ 61.81   Applicability.

This subpart prescribes the requirements for the issuance of student pilot certificates, the conditions under which those certificates are necessary, and the general operating rules and limitations for the holders of those certificates.

§ 61.83   Eligibility requirements for student pilots.

To be eligible for a student pilot certificate, an applicant must:

(a) Be at least 16 years of age for other than the operation of a glider or balloon.
(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.


§ 61.87   Solo requirements for student pilots.

(a) General. A student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight unless that student has met the requirements of this section. The term “solo flight” as used in this subpart means that flight time during which a student pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft.


(b) Aeronautical knowledge. A student pilot must demonstrate satisfactory aeronautical knowledge on a knowledge test that meets the requirements of this paragraph:

(1) The test must address the student pilot's knowledge of—

    (i) Applicable sections of parts 61 and 91 of this chapter;
    (ii) Airspace rules and procedures for the airport where the solo flight will be performed; and
    (iii) Flight characteristics and operational limitations for the make and model of aircraft to be flown.

(2) The student's authorized instructor must—

    (i) Administer the test; and
    (ii) At the conclusion of the test, review all incorrect answers with the student before authorizing that        student to conduct a solo flight.


(c) Pre-solo flight training. Prior to conducting a solo flight, a student pilot must have:

(2) Demonstrated satisfactory proficiency and safety, as judged by an authorized instructor, on the maneuvers and procedures required by this section in the make and model of aircraft or similar make and model of aircraft to be flown.


(d) Maneuvers and procedures for pre-solo flight training in a single-engine airplane. A student pilot who is receiving training for a single-engine airplane rating or privileges must receive and log flight training for the following maneuvers and procedures:

     (1) Proper flight preparation procedures, including preflight planning and preparation, powerplant                  operation, and aircraft systems;
     (2) Taxiing or surface operations, including runups;
     (3) Takeoffs and landings, including normal and crosswind;
     (4) Straight and level flight, and turns in both directions;
     (5) Climbs and climbing turns;
     (6) Airport traffic patterns, including entry and departure procedures;
     (7) Collision avoidance, windshear avoidance, and wake turbulence avoidance;
     (8) Descents, with and without turns, using high and low drag configurations;
     (9) Flight at various airspeeds from cruise to slow flight;
     (10) Stall entries from various flight attitudes and power combinations with recovery initiated at the            first indication of a stall, and recovery from a full stall;
     (11) Emergency procedures and equipment malfunctions;
     (12) Ground reference maneuvers;
     (13) Approaches to a landing area with simulated engine malfunctions;
     (14) Slips to a landing; and
     (15) Go-arounds.


(n) Limitations on student pilots operating an aircraft in solo flight. A student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight unless that student pilot has received:

    (1) An endorsement from an authorized instructor on his or her student pilot certificate for the specific       make and model aircraft to be flown; and
    (2) An endorsement in the student's logbook for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown by an       authorized instructor, who gave the training within the 90 days preceding the date of the flight.


(o) Limitations on student pilots operating an aircraft in solo flight at night. A student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight at night unless that student pilot has received:

    (1) Flight training at night on night flying procedures that includes takeoffs, approaches, landings, and       go-arounds at night at the airport where the solo flight will be conducted;
    (2) Navigation training at night in the vicinity of the airport where the solo flight will be conducted; and
    (3) An endorsement in the student's logbook for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown for           night solo flight by an authorized instructor who gave the training within the 90-day period preceding         the date of the flight.


(p) Limitations on flight instructors authorizing solo flight. 

(1) No instructor may authorize a student pilot to perform a solo flight unless that instructor has—

    (i) Given that student pilot training in the make and model of aircraft or a similar make and model of           aircraft in which the solo flight is to be flown;
    (ii) Determined the student pilot is proficient in the maneuvers and procedures prescribed in this                 section;
    (iii) Determined the student pilot is proficient in the make and model of aircraft to be flown;
    (iv) Ensured that the student pilot's certificate has been endorsed by an instructor authorized to                provide flight training for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown; and
    (v) Endorsed the student pilot's logbook for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown, and that        endorsement remains current for solo flight privileges, provided an authorized instructor updates the        student's logbook every 90 days thereafter.

(2) The flight training required by this section must be given by an instructor authorized to provide flight training who is appropriately rated and current.


§ 61.89   General limitations.

(a) A student pilot may not act as pilot in command of an aircraft:

    (1) That is carrying a passenger;
    (2) That is carrying property for compensation or hire;
    (3) For compensation or hire;
    (4) In furtherance of a business;
    (5) On an international flight, except that a student pilot may make solo training flights from Haines,          Gustavus, or Juneau, Alaska, to White Horse, Yukon, Canada, and return over the province of British      Columbia;
    (6) With a flight or surface visibility of less than 3 statute miles during daylight hours or 5 statute miles      at night;
    (7) When the flight cannot be made with visual reference to the surface; or
    (8) In a manner contrary to any limitations placed in the pilot's logbook by an authorized instructor.

(b) A student pilot may not act as a required pilot flight crewmember on any aircraft for which more than one pilot is required by the type certificate of the aircraft or regulations under which the flight is conducted, except when receiving flight training from an authorized instructor on board an airship, and no person other than a required flight crewmember is carried on the aircraft.


§ 61.93   Solo cross-country flight requirements.

(a) General.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a student pilot must meet the requirements of this section before—

    (i) Conducting a solo cross-country flight, or any flight greater than 25 nautical miles from the airport          from where the flight originated.
    (ii) Making a solo flight and landing at any location other than the airport of origination.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a student pilot who seeks solo cross-country flight privileges must:

    (i) Have received flight training from an instructor authorized to provide flight training on the maneuvers      and procedures of this section that are appropriate to the make and model of aircraft for which solo          cross-country privileges are sought;
    (ii) Have demonstrated cross-country proficiency on the appropriate maneuvers and procedures of this      section to an authorized instructor;
    (iii) Have satisfactorily accomplished the pre-solo flight maneuvers and procedures required by §61.87      of this part in the make and model of aircraft or similar make and model of aircraft for which solo              cross-country privileges are sought; and
    (iv) Comply with any limitations included in the authorized instructor's endorsement that are required          by paragraph (c) of this section.

(3) A student pilot who seeks solo cross-country flight privileges must have received ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the cross-country maneuvers and procedures listed in this section that are appropriate to the aircraft to be flown.


(b) Authorization to perform certain solo flights and cross-country flights. A student pilot must obtain an endorsement from an authorized instructor to make solo flights from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training to another location. A student pilot who receives this endorsement must comply with the requirements of this paragraph.

(1) Solo flights may be made to another airport that is within 25 nautical miles from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training, provided—

    (i) An authorized instructor has given the student pilot flight training at the other airport, and that                training includes flight in both directions over the route, entering and exiting the traffic pattern, and          takeoffs and landings at the other airport;
    (ii) The authorized instructor who gave the training endorses the student pilot's logbook authorizing the      flight;
    (iii) The student pilot has current solo flight endorsements in accordance with §61.87 of this part;
    (iv) The authorized instructor has determined that the student pilot is proficient to make the flight; and
    (v) The purpose of the flight is to practice takeoffs and landings at that other airport.

(2) Repeated specific solo cross-country flights may be made to another airport that is within 50 nautical miles of the airport from which the flight originated, provided—

    (i) The authorized instructor has given the student flight training in both directions over the route,              including entering and exiting the traffic patterns, takeoffs, and landings at the airports to be used;
    (ii) The authorized instructor who gave the training has endorsed the student's logbook certifying that        the student is proficient to make such flights;
    (iii) The student has current solo flight endorsements in accordance with §61.87 of this part; and
    (iv) The student has current solo cross-country flight endorsements in accordance with paragraph (c)        of this section; however, for repeated solo cross-country flights to another airport within 50 nautical          miles from which the flight originated, separate endorsements are not required to be made for each          flight.


(c) Endorsements for solo cross-country flights. Except as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a student pilot must have the endorsements prescribed in this paragraph for each cross-country flight:

(1) Student pilot certificate endorsement. A student pilot must have a solo cross-country endorsement from the authorized instructor who conducted the training, and that endorsement must be placed on that person's student pilot certificate for the specific category of aircraft to be flown.

(2) Logbook endorsement

    (i) A student pilot must have a solo cross-country endorsement from an authorized instructor that is          placed in the student pilot's logbook for the specific make and model of aircraft to be flown.
    (ii) For each cross-country flight, the authorized instructor who reviews the cross-country planning             must make an endorsement in the person's logbook after reviewing that person's cross-country               planning, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The endorsement must—
        (A) Specify the make and model of aircraft to be flown;
        (B) State that the student's preflight planning and preparation is correct and that the student is                  prepared to make the flight safely under the known conditions; and
        (C) State that any limitations required by the student's authorized instructor are met.


(d) Limitations on authorized instructors to permit solo cross-country flights. An authorized instructor may not permit a student pilot to conduct a solo cross-country flight unless that instructor has:

     (1) Determined that the student's cross-country planning is correct for the flight;
     (2) Reviewed the current and forecast weather conditions and has determined that the flight can be            completed under VFR;
     (3) Determined that the student is proficient to conduct the flight safely;
     (4) Determined that the student has the appropriate solo cross-country endorsement for the make and        model of aircraft to be flown; and
     (5) Determined that the student's solo flight endorsement is current for the make and model aircraft to        be flown.


(e) Maneuvers and procedures for cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane. A student pilot who is receiving training for cross-country flight in a single-engine airplane must receive and log flight training in the following maneuvers and procedures:

     (1) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage and dead reckoning with the aid of a         magnetic compass;
     (2) Use of aircraft performance charts pertaining to cross-country flight;
     (3) Procurement and analysis of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts, including recognition of           critical weather situations and estimating visibility while in flight;
     (4) Emergency procedures;
     (5) Traffic pattern procedures that include area departure, area arrival, entry into the traffic pattern,            and approach;
     (6) Procedures and operating practices for collision avoidance, wake turbulence precautions, and               windshear avoidance;
     (7) Recognition, avoidance, and operational restrictions of hazardous terrain features in the                       geographical area where the cross-country flight will be flown;
     (8) Procedures for operating the instruments and equipment installed in the aircraft to be flown,                 including recognition and use of the proper operational procedures and indications;
     (9) Use of radios for VFR navigation and two-way communications;
    (10) Takeoff, approach, and landing procedures, including short-field, soft-field, and crosswind                   takeoffs, approaches, and landings;
    (11) Climbs at best angle and best rate; and
    (12) Control and maneuvering solely by reference to flight instruments, including straight and level             flight, turns, descents, climbs, use of radio aids, and ATC directives.


§ 61.95   Operations in Class B airspace and at airports located within Class B airspace.

(a) A student pilot may not operate an aircraft on a solo flight in Class B airspace unless:

    (1) The student pilot has received both ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on that         Class B airspace area, and the flight training was received in the specific Class B airspace area for         which solo flight is authorized;
    (2) The logbook of that student pilot has been endorsed by the authorized instructor who gave the             student pilot flight training, and the endorsement is dated within the 90-day period preceding the date       of the flight in that Class B airspace area; and
    (3) The logbook endorsement specifies that the student pilot has received the required ground and             flight training, and has been found proficient to conduct solo flight in that specific Class B airspace         area.

(b) A student pilot may not operate an aircraft on a solo flight to, from, or at an airport located within Class B airspace pursuant to §91.131(b) of this chapter unless:

    (1) The student pilot has received both ground and flight training from an instructor authorized to               provide training to operate at that airport, and the flight and ground training has been received at the         specific airport for which the solo flight is authorized;
    (2) The logbook of that student pilot has been endorsed by an authorized instructor who gave the               student pilot flight training, and the endorsement is dated within the 90-day period preceding the date       of the flight at that airport; and
    (3) The logbook endorsement specifies that the student pilot has received the required ground and             flight training, and has been found proficient to conduct solo flight operations at that specific airport.

(c) This section does not apply to a student pilot seeking a sport pilot certificate or a recreational pilot certificate.
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