Changes to flight review and instrument proficiency check rules from 1 July 2016
Two exemptions came into effect on 1 July 2016, which provide alternatives to the rules relating to aircraft rating flight reviews and instrument proficiency checks (IPCs).
Flight reviews and IPCs for type rated aircraft were introduced under Part 61. The new rules were designed to address the risks associated with the complexity and high performance characteristics of these aircraft, and the need to ensure pilots who operate them maintain their proficiency. These flight reviews and IPCs are also consistent with international better practice, although there are differences in how some countries manage the maintenance of pilot competency.
While the rationale for introducing additional flight reviews and IPCs was sound, CASA recognised that the new rules had resulted in significant costs for a number of pilots. The changes to flight review and IPC rules now in effect are designed to reduce the burden these policies were having on some industry participants, while ensuring the safety risks continue to be effectively addressed.
CASA EX97/16 provides an alternative to the aircraft class rating and pilot type rating biennial flight reviews, with an aircraft category and multi-engine aircraft requirement.
CASA EX93/16 provides alternative requirements for pilot type rating instrument proficiency checks.
Under Part 61, pilots need to have a valid flight review for each aircraft rating. That means pilots flying a class-rated aircraft need to have a valid flight review for that class rating and, if the same pilot flies a type-rated aircraft, they need to have a separate flight review for that pilot type rating. The flight review exemption (CASA EX97/16) simplifies the flight review requirements and, for some pilots, reduces the number of flight reviews they need to complete. Pilots only need to complete a flight review that was conducted in an aircraft of the same category within the previous two years. If it is a multi-engine aircraft, the flight review must have been done in a multi-engine aircraft of the same category. The flight review rules already recognise other activities that pilots complete such as flight tests, proficiency checks and certain training, all of which satisfy the flight review requirements. The same rules apply under the exemption.
Flight reviews for the low-level, private IFR and night VFR operational ratings remain unchanged.
A flight review that includes training - and CASA strongly encourages pilots to include training in their flight review - must be conducted under a Part 141 or Part 142 operator as applicable.
Read our information sheet about changes to aircraft rating flight review requirements - July 2016.
View the exemption (CASA EX97/16).
Instrument proficiency checks
Under Part 61, to exercise the privileges of an instrument rating, pilots need to have completed an instrument proficiency check (IPC) in the previous 12 months (regulation 61.880). To exercise the privileges of a pilot type rating under the instrument flight rules (IFR), pilots need to have completed an IPC in an aircraft covered by the pilot type rating in the previous 24 months (regulation 61.805). For type-rated single-pilot turbojet aeroplanes, the IPC needs to have been done in an aircraft covered by the type rating as a single-pilot operation in the previous 12 months.
The exemption (CASA EX93/16) doesn’t change the annual instrument rating IPC requirement. Pilots still have to complete an annual IPC that was conducted in an aircraft of the same category, and to fly a multi-engine aircraft under the IFR, the IPC must have been done in a multi-engine aircraft of the same category.
However, under the exemption, instead of having a valid IPC for a pilot type rating, pilots only need to have completed an IPC in the previous 24 months that is relevant to the aircraft being flown. There are three safety criteria: whether the aircraft is type-rated, whether it is multi-crew certificated, and whether it is a turbojet aeroplane to be flown single-pilot.
Read our information sheet about changes to instrument proficiency checks - July 2016.
View the exemption (CASA EX93/16).
No changes to Part 61 licences or forms
The licence entries required to be made by flight instructors and flight examiners on a Part 61 flight crew licensing document will not change as a result of the new flight review and instrument proficiency check requirements.
Consequently, pilots do not need to apply for a new licence as a result of these changes. Any authorisations that appeared on your licence before the changes were introduced will remain valid.
Approved testing officers, flight examiners and flight instructors should refer to the current CASR Part 61 Licence Instruction Guide for detailed information on how to make entries.
Resources and guidance
- Information sheet: Changes to instrument proficiency checks - July 2016 (new)
- Information sheet: Changes to aircraft rating flight review requirements - July 2016 (new)
- Licensing information sheets (updated)
- CASR Part 61 Licence Instruction Guide (updated)