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Removal of ATP VMC Circle Limitation

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Removal of ATP VMC Circle Limitation

Old 12-01-2022, 08:40 AM
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Question Removal of ATP VMC Circle Limitation

Question for the internet about the issuance of an ATP with the VMC Circle to Land limitation. I know this is standard practice, so I promise this is not the usual question.

If I have a prior type rating (full PIC type, no limitations) issued on a commercial certificate and then obtain an ATP, does the circle to land maneuver already demonstrated from the previous type carry over onto the ATP? (ATP was issued on the basis of a 121 AQP so circle to land maneuver was not completed). I know type ratings ďelevateĒ to the ATP even if they were issued before the ATP because they are done to ATP standards. Only thing I can find in the ACS is how to remove the limitation and what maneuvers are required to be accomplished. But it seems to be worded in a manner that it is done after the fact and not necessarily from a previous type rating.

I canít find anything else about this specific scenario and I have gotten mixed answers. One individual noted this exact scenario; temporary issued with the VMC circling limitation which was later changed by Airmen Certification when his permanent was issued without the limitation. (which is what led to this question). I even called Oklahoma City for clarification and spoke to a DPE who seemed quite annoyed at my question and stated it was issued correctly, of course.

While the overall issue is minor and not even relevant if I stay in the 121 world, hereís my thinking:
-If I have already demonstrated the maneuver and IF it should transfer over then why not correct it now, for free, versus later as Iíve already put in the effort.
-And, if I ever decide to go back to 135 operations, it might be expected to have the ability to circle to land (even if itís known to be dangerous, but thatís not the discussion point here).
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:11 AM
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Circling approach and circle to land are specified in the ACS for ATP Airplane, so at face value it has to be demonstrated on the ride. I'm not aware of provisions to "grandfather" anything from the CPL.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Circling approach and circle to land are specified in the ACS for ATP Airplane, so at face value it has to demonstrated on the ride. I'm not aware of provisions to "grandfather" anything from the CPL.
And thatís the simple expectation. The curveball to this entire thing was a real example given to me. Maybe that one was wrong, who knows. Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by QRH Bingo View Post
If I have a prior type rating (full PIC type, no limitations) issued on a commercial certificate and then obtain an ATP, does the circle to land maneuver already demonstrated from the previous type carry over onto the ATP? (ATP was issued on the basis of a 121 AQP so circle to land maneuver was not completed). I know type ratings ďelevateĒ to the ATP even if they were issued before the ATP because they are done to ATP standards. Only thing I can find in the ACS is how to remove the limitation and what maneuvers are required to be accomplished. But it seems to be worded in a manner that it is done after the fact and not necessarily from a previous type rating.
The short answer is yes: your type rating issued at a lower level of certification carries forward to your new level of pilot certificate. If you hold a type rating without a circling limitation on a commercial level pilot certificate, when you obtain your ATP, the type rating carries to the ATP certificate and does not lose the circling limitation.

This is found in various locations. An example is FAA Order 8900.2C, General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook, section 11, paragraph 76, which states that there is one level of standard for all type ratings (regardless of grade of pilot certificate held), and that they carry forward from a superceded level of certification, to the new level of certification, without further testing.

(The Dynamic Regulatory System --DRS--is the current source, but is at times fickle and tempermental, such as this moment when typing, for example, due to system maintenance and government bull****: https://drs.faa.gov/browse)

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...er_8900.2C.pdf

An aircraft type rating may be added to a private, commercial pilot, or ATP certificate. However, type rating practical tests are conducted to a single standard for all certificate levels. Regardless of the grade of certificate held, an applicant must meet the standards for a type rating in the appropriate ATP and aircraft type rating PTS. All type ratings within category and class held on a superseded certificate or issued under the military competence provisions are carried forward to the new certificate level without further testing.
Your type rating should not have been altered when you obtained your ATP certification, as this is contrary to policy. Regardless of whether you were required to demonstrate circling as part of your ATP training (you should have been), it does not impact the fact that you already demonstrated it with your type rating and the rating was issued without a circling limitation; it is required to be carried forward as you upgrade from the commercial pilot level of certification, to ATP. In other words, the FAA's policy is to keep the circling limitation with the type rating when you get your ATP: you've already demonstrated it at the ATP level, and are NOT required to demonstrate it again.

You said you called Oklahoma City and spoke to a designated pilot examiner? Why, if you are calling the FAA, are you assigned a DPE, instead of an inspector? Regardless, the DPE's own handbook specifically states that the type rating carries forward without need of further testing, so whomever you spoke to was incorrect. If you are being issued the rating initially, then any restrictions applicable will be added at that time (eg, circling, a seaplane restricted to land or sea as demonstrated during the practical test, VFR-only as applicable, etc). Once you have removed that limitation (such as during the initial practical test for the type rating), there is no provision to put that restriction on your rating, when issuing a different level of pilot certification.

This can be confusing; there are different testing requirements in an airplane at each level of pilot certification, and different maneuvers, etc...but that's true of other aircraft ratings, but not a type rating. The type rating has one standard: a pilot must fly to ATP standards for a type rating as a private, commercial, or ATP pilot. When your type rating migrated to your ATP certificate, whomever issued it with a circling restriction did so in error, and you should see about getting it corrected. Is this recent, or an old error? If the error was put on your paperwork, when submitted, by the training organization that did your ATP course, then you should go to them to get it corrected, as the first step is to seek correction through the issuing person, organization, or unit.

In the DRS linked above, you can access FAA Order 8900.1, the FSIMS (Flight Standards Information Management System). Volume 5, Chapter 2, Section 19, Paragraph 5-728 will give the same direction as the excerpt from 8900.2C quoted above, verbatim. For clarity, it's copied here again, complete, from the FSIMS, as found on DRS (emphasis and italics, mine):

https://drs.faa.gov/browse/excelExte...6005EBEA9.0001

​​​​​​​5-728 GENERAL. An aircraft type rating may be added to a Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot,
or ATP Certificate. However, type rating practical tests are conducted to a single standard for all
certificate levels.
Regardless of the grade of certificate held, an applicant must meet the
standards for a type rating in the ATP and/or type rating practical test standards (PTS) or Airmen
Certification Standards (ACS) as appropriate. All type ratings within category and class held on
a superseded certificate are carried forward to the new certificate level without further testing.

For military pilots applying under the provisions of part 61, ß 61.73, a type rating may be
upgraded to the ATP Certificate level. Type ratings limited to visual flight rules (VFR) also may
be upgraded to the ATP Certificate level without further testing. However, there is no provision
for taking an initial ATP practical test in an aircraft that would require a VFR limitation. A type
rating for a single-place (single-pilot station) aircraft may not be upgraded to the ATP Certificate
level.
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:29 PM
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"ATP circ. apch. - VMC only" and "<type> circ. apch. - VMC only" are separate limitations; it's possible to have either, none, or both.

If you have a type rating without a circling limitation issued at any level (assuming with an instrument rating...that's a whole other can of worms) then that limitation will never be placed on that type following subsequent training and checks. So, If you show up to airline training with a commercial certificate and a, let's say, Citation type rating, then when you finish, you will have an ATP certificate with circling limitations on the ATP level and whatever airliner type you trained for, but your Citations type rating will remain unrestricted.
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Old 12-01-2022, 02:51 PM
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Real pilots circle in IMC - only
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Old 12-01-2022, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by flydrive View Post
"ATP circ. apch. - VMC only" and "<type> circ. apch. - VMC only" are separate limitations; it's possible to have either, none, or both.

If you have a type rating without a circling limitation issued at any level (assuming with an instrument rating...that's a whole other can of worms) then that limitation will never be placed on that type following subsequent training and checks. So, If you show up to airline training with a commercial certificate and a, let's say, Citation type rating, then when you finish, you will have an ATP certificate with circling limitations on the ATP level and whatever airliner type you trained for, but your Citations type rating will remain unrestricted.
The original poster has described a type rating with no circling restrictions, on his commercial certificate; upon issuance of the ATP, circling restrictions were added, hence, the question.

The error was adding the circling restrictions. the type should have been placed on his ATP-level pilot certificate, with no circling restrictions.
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Old 12-01-2022, 04:50 PM
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How does one circle in non vmc conditions? Isnít it a visual maneuver? Iíve never understood why this restriction is placed on a certificate as if youíd ever perform a circle approach in imc.
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Old 12-01-2022, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
The original poster has described a type rating with no circling restrictions, on his commercial certificate; upon issuance of the ATP, circling restrictions were added, hence, the question.

The error was adding the circling restrictions. the type should have been placed on his ATP-level pilot certificate, with no circling restrictions.
We are in agreement. My only addition to your analysis is that a circling limitation on an ATP rating and a circling limitation on a type rating are two different things. In OP's scenario, a circling limitation on the ATP certificate (ATP CIRC. APCH. - VMC ONLY) is appropriate, but a circling limitation on the pre-existing type rating is not. My next question would be if OP is certain that the circling limitation has actually been placed on his pre-existing type rating. What does the back of his certificate actually say?
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Old 12-01-2022, 06:11 PM
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Alrighty, this is going down a rabbit hole and I'm sorry. For clarification, I am speaking about the ATP certificate (and privileges), not my first type. The first type has not changed.
As Rickair7777 stated, the maneuver was not performed on the ATP ride itself so therefore, not included. And that makes sense.

Where this became a question and made me start asking around, is when two separate individuals I spoke to had different thoughts to this. One of them, who is an APD, believes that if the circling maneuver was already demonstrated on a previous type, it should count as demonstrated for the new ATP cert. The other instance is what I stated in the OP.

Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
. . .You said you called Oklahoma City and spoke to a designated pilot examiner? Why, if you are calling the FAA, are you assigned a DPE, instead of an inspector? . . .
I called Airmen Certification and one of the options from the phone tree was "speak to a DPE" so that seemed like the logical selection to me.

At this point, I am just going to let the paperwork work its way through the system and see what comes on the permanent cert and I thank you all for your input.

Originally Posted by Myfingershurt View Post
How does one circle in non vmc conditions? Isnít it a visual maneuver? Iíve never understood why this restriction is placed on a certificate as if youíd ever perform a circle approach in imc.
Splitting hairs here I guess since circling approaches usually have ceilings less than 1,000' and/or visibility requirements less than 3sm which would make it IFR conditions over the field. Therefore, not VFR weather. But yes, it is an instrument approach combined with a visual maneuver to a different runway.
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