Co-pilot instrument ratings - transition to new rules
Co-pilot instrument ratings - transition to new rules
Learn about new rules for instrument ratings for co-pilots during the transition period to the new flight crew licensing regulations. These rules came into effect on 1 September 2014.
The full rules are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 (CASR).
Who does this information apply to?
- Pilots who held a co-pilot instrument rating that was issued before 1 September 2014.
- Approved testing officers (ATOs) and flight examiners.
- Operators employing pilots who hold co-pilot instrument ratings.
What is a co-pilot instrument rating?
Co-pilot instrument ratings were available under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR 1988) and authorised the holder to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) as the co-pilot of a multi-crew operation.
Compared to the command rating, the co-pilot instrument rating was restricted because the training and flight test standards were not as extensive. The main differences were in the handling of emergency conditions such as engine failure on departure and in the approach profile.
Are there co-pilot instrument ratings under Part 61?
Part 61 does not provide for a co-pilot instrument rating or co-pilot aircraft ratings.
Under the CAR 1988, pilots qualifying for a co-pilot instrument rating didn’t need to complete all of the training required for the old command rating.
Under Part 61, captains and co-pilots are expected to be fully competent operating the aircraft under IFR. The same applies to aircraft class and type ratings.
What are the transition rules for co-pilot instrument ratings?
A pilot who held a co-pilot instrument rating on 31 August 2014 is entitled to an instrument rating with the equivalent endorsements under Part 61. However, the pilot’s Part 61 instrument rating includes a condition stating the holder is not authorised to act as pilot in command under the IFR.
According to the transition rules, if a pilot held a co-pilot (aeroplane or helicopter) instrument rating and a command (same category as co-pilot rating) instrument rating under CAR 1988 they are entitled to a Part 61 instrument rating without the co-pilot limitation.
How do the instrument proficiency check rules apply to the co-pilot instrument rating?
Ivy held a CAR 1988 co-pilot (aeroplane) instrument rating and a Saab 340 co-pilot type endorsement. She completed her instrument rating renewal in the Saab 340 on 17 March 2014. Ivy is deemed to hold a Part 61 instrument rating, however, the rating will include a limitation on the licence that states she is not authorised to act as pilot in command under the IFR.
According to the transition rules, Ivy is taken to meet the instrument proficiency check requirements specified in Part 61 until her co-pilot instrument rating expires on 31 March 2015.
Is there a co-pilot instrument proficiency check available?
Yes. A special co-pilot instrument proficiency check (IPC-CP) standard has been specified in the Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS) to support pilots who hold CAR 1988 co-pilot instrument ratings. The standard reflects the co-pilot instrument rating renewal standard under CAR 1988 (Civil Aviation Order 40.2.1).
The IPC-CP is only available to pilots who held a current CAR 1988 co-pilot instrument rating before 1 September 2014. The IPC-CP will cease to be available after the end of the transition period on 31 August 2018.
When you complete an IPC-CP the flight examiner (ATO) will include that detail on your instrument proficiency check notification and on your licence to ensure the limitation continues to apply to you.
How do I remove the co-pilot limitation from my instrument rating?
You have to pass the instrument rating flight test for the category and at least the 2D instrument approach endorsement. When this is done, the flight examiner (ATO) will enter the details on your licence and the notification to CASA will be used to remove the limitation on the instrument rating record.
The old limitation won’t be printed on your licence the next time it is printed. You should obtain an updated version of your licence once you have passed the flight test.
What if I held a current co-pilot instrument rating and a current command instrument rating on 31 August 2014?
Fred is entitled to a multi-engine aeroplane class rating and a Falcon 900 (DA50/900) type rating (limited to co-pilot). He completed a co-pilot instrument rating renewal in the Falcon on 7 July 2014 and a command instrument rating renewal in a C402 on 13 April 2014.
Fred can continue flying IFR in the Falcon 900 as co-pilot until 31 July 2015 and he can fly as pilot in command in class-rated single and multi-engine aeroplanes until 30 April 2015. From 1 May 2015, Fred could continue flying under the IFR as co-pilot in class-rated single and multi-engine aeroplanes and the Falcon until 31 July 2015.
If Fred passes the instrument rating flight test in the Falcon 900, the co-pilot limitation on his licence will be removed. However, until then, he will still only be able to operate as co-pilot in the Falcon 900.
Rohan is a helicopter and aeroplane pilot and held instrument ratings for both categories under CAR 1988. Transitioning to Part 61, Rohan will be entitled to the following:
- CPL(H) and CPL(A)
- helicopter ratings:
- BK117/EC145 type rating (co-pilot limitation)
- single-engine helicopter class rating
- aeroplane ratings:
- multi-engine aeroplane class rating
- single-engine aeroplane class rating
- instrument rating:
- multi-engine helicopter endorsement (co-pilot limitation)
- multi-engine aeroplane endorsement.
Rohan completed the following instrument rating renewals before 1 September 2014:
- Co-pilot helicopter in BK117 on 23 March 2014
- Command multi-engine aeroplane in BE76 ON 15 January 2014.
Based on the above, Rohan can continue operating under the IFR in the BK117 as co-pilot until 31 March 2015. He can complete an IPC-CP in the BK117 and that would allow him to continue as co-pilot on the BK117 for another year.
Rohan can also continue operating under the IFR in class-rated single and multi-engine aeroplanes until 31 January 2015. From 1 February 2015, Rohan can’t operate aeroplanes under the IFR because he doesn’t have a current IPC for aeroplanes even though he has a current IPC (with co-pilot limitation) for helicopters.
Want to know more?
Visit Licensing regulations.
The new rules for aircraft ratings are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
- Regulation 61.887 - removal of instrument rating condition about acting as pilot in command under IFR.
- Subregulations 202.266 (5) and (6) - removal of conditions on certain continued authorisations.
- Subregulations 202.267 (5) and (6) - flight review and proficiency check requirements for certain new authorisations.
- Subregulations 202.276 (3) and (4) - flight review and proficiency check requirements for certain new authorisations.
The standards for the co-pilot instrument proficiency check IPC-CP are in the CASR Part 61 Manual of Standards, Schedule 5, Appendix 1A for aeroplane pilots and Appendix 2A for helicopter pilots.