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Endorsed on an RA-aus aircraft???

Guest bateo

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G'day Guys,


If say a fully licensed RA-aus Pilot for 3 axis bought a Tecnam for private use and has never flown as PIC or trained in a Tecnam.. Is it legal to just hop in and take it for a fly, OR does the pilot need to be accompanied by a Instructor to be ENDORSED on a Tecnam or just another fully licensed Pilot who is experienced and FAMILIAR with the controls of a Tecnam???


I am sorry if it reads confusing?? But have heard so many things I am not sure what is legal..


Basically I want a Pilot to sit in with me while I practice flying from the right hand seat, but not many pilots around my area have had any experience in flying a Tecnam...



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Guest pelorus32

Hi Bateo,


Well I thought I knew the answer until the last para....


If you want to practise being an instructor then you can't without an instructor AFAIK. However I also understand that there is no legal PIC seat in Australian a/c. So if you want to jump in the RH seat and fly the a/c as PIC you can. BUT the real question is can you successfuly fly it from the RH seat first shot? And can you reach across to the key and the ignition switches...and scan the primary flight instruments effectively from over the other side...first shot?


My understanding is that in order to qualify as an instructor you need to do at least 20 hours instructor training with an approved instructor. That'll get you going in the RH seat!! Having said that, I recently flew an unknown (to me) type from the RH seat and found it a breeze. But I had a very experienced guy in the LH seat if I had needed him.


I had a conversation with someone on this forum on the subject of endorsements etc. I'll try and dig it up. But again AFAIK you simply need to be current in an a/c of the same group and broadly similar flying characteristics.


Here's the bottom line though: Let's say that you go off and practise from the RH seat - with or without an inexperienced Tecnam pilot in the LH seat; and on a landing you have the misfortune to depart the runway beacuse of a gust or something. What's your insurer going to say?







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Endorsement & RH seat flying


Years ago in VH, you would be endorsed on a family of aircraft, ie Cessna /150/172/175 ? or auster (exc J5F, the aerobatic one)where they were similar in characteristics. Later,( below the weight limit) it addressed such things as


variable/constant speed propellor.


Retractable undercarriage


pressurised cabin.


multi engine


Instrument ratings


Floatplane endorsement.




etc. etc. etc. So in theory, if your endorsements were appropriate, you could just jump into the aircraft and fly it. But really, how silly would you look if you came to grief in such circumstances.


With RAAus. A/C the only thing (with 3-axis ) is the tail wheel endorsement, as I see it. Prudently, you would go beyond that, even in the case of a single seater, where the most comprehensive briefing on the characteristics of the particular aircraft might be appropriate. (Consider the P-51.as an EXTREME example).The complication with the right hand seat situation, Sam, is Who is in command? The performance of the pilot in the other seat is a complete unknown, till demonstrated over a period of time. Some people do it easily and others do not. An instructor is the only person who would officially be in the right position to make the judgements relating to the safe conduct of such flying training.(& that is what it is ). N...



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G'day Mike,


Yes the requirements are that a minimum of 20 hours of dual instruction flying in the RH seat + PMI course to be qualified.


Regardless, your right when there is no actual legal PIC seat..


I have flown one circuit by myself in RH seat but not at all feeling comfortable first shot (as you stated Mike ' recently flew an unknown (to me) type from the RH seat and found it a breeze. But I had a very experienced guy in the LH seat if I had needed him'.)


I would much rather someone sitting in the LH seat for at least few hours..(before conducting the 20 hours of Dual with instructor)


This is where my question actually comes into play, even if a fellow pilot wanted to hire the plane out for private use, Could he be 'approved' or 'Familiarise' himself to the controls with me being a fully licenced pilot in the RH seat ensuring he flies the aircraft satisfactory OR does it have to be a CFI/instructor.???



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Thanks Facthunter,


I agree with what you are saying, But even if I were to Familiarise someone to fly the aircraft (3 axis) satisfactory with me in PIC then let him/her go solo for a few hours as PIC.. Is this legal?? (Regardless of whether they are insured on aircraft or not)



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Hi Sam


The ruling is very simple - there are 2 types of Endorsements with your Certificate (other then trikes and weightshift etc):


1. A Tri-axle Endorsement


2. A Tail Dragger Endorsement


Now if you have a Tri Axle Endorsement on your Certificate you can legally fly any RA-Aus registered Tri-Axle aircraft - a Gazelle, Jabiru. Tecnam, CTsw, Lightwing etc etc etc without any further training.




There are two things that will stop a person from doing this:


1. Your Life


2. Insurance


It would be VERY unwise to hop into an aircraft that you haven't flown before without a very competent person in that type of aircraft, most preferably an instructor, in the right seat - forget the aircraft, it is your life, and possibly others, that you are putting at risk


The other thing being insurance - often insurance only allows people to fly the aircraft that have been endorsed in the aircraft - endorsed as in a stamp placed in your log book from an instructor who is allowed to stamp a log book.


Hope this helps!



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Thanks Ian,


So really, If you have your 3 axis, it is legal to fly ANY 3 axis aircraft legally as PIC... Just not satisfactory or Safely in some cases..


So does this account towards flying in PIC from the RH Seat of a 3 axis WITH a PAX/PILOT sitting in the LH seat?? Regardless of the experience you have flying that particular aircraft.. OR is flying in the RH seat only legal when solo????



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Hi Sam


I have just rang the office about this and what I "believe..." is that you can as long as you have easy access to all the controls the same as you have in the left seat BUT it is a grey area and I would personally and strongly suggest you give them a ring just to make sure.


If I may just say something from personal experience. I started my training in a Jabiru and after 7 hrs I hated it and was going to give it away. I then went to a Gazelle and loved it. Although I was then allowed to fly a Jabiru or CTsw without any further training I then went back to the Jabiru and got endorsed in it - it took 5 hrs to understand the complexities of the Jabiru. Even after I was endorsed I still did another hour in it with an instructor practising engine failures as all aircraft handle differently in such an emergency situation and it is knowing that which will save your life. I then bought my first CTsw and that took another 5 hrs with an instructor before he felt that I was able to fly it comfortably.


After what I thought was 6 months that I hadn't flown the Gazelle I still asked an instructor to come up with me when I next flew her. To my surprise when I checked I hadn't flown the Gazelle for over a year but any case I still had an instructor with me just in case.


Also, I have taken delivery of another CTsw and again I have had the distributor Leo who is an A340 Capt with me when I flew it. I'm man enough to admit that I was darn lucky that I did as although this was my 2nd CTsw it flew totally different to my first one and Leo had to grab the stick a few times otherwise I may have bent her and hurt myself. So even though I had 60 odd hrs in a CTsw I have found that 2 aircraft even of the same make can fly totally different as well.


The small price of an instructor for a couple of hrs - priceless!!!


Hope this helps



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endorsed on RAAus aircraft.


Summing up, If you have a tail wheel endorsement on your CERTIFICATE and are currently a paid up member of RAAus and satisfy the recency requirements ( applicable to the operation ) you can fly any RAAus registered aircraft that anyone is prepared to make available to you ( excluding floats & probably C/S Prop, & retract gear)


However, If that aircraft is being hired to you at a commercial rate, that would put a whole new perspective on the matter, and to be consistent, should be the same standard as in a flying training organisation, ie factory built LAME or L2 maintained etc. If you want to make your aircraft available to a friend who may cover all or part of your costs, then that is something bilong you mate, and you will have to decide whether his standard is good enough,one way or another, whether you have any insurance, whether you want to keep your house and so forth. I am trying to make this point very forcefully because it is important.


Perhaps a comprehensive article in our magazine might be needed .I hope I'm not offending anyone, sometimes I am pretty direct. N...



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Guest TOSGcentral

I love this sort of thing! There is a vast difference between giving people almost total freedom – and – giving them sound advice and sensible requirements without making it stupidly restrictive – such as giving flying schools a meal ticket (assuming you anyway have one nearby with the right aircraft, and probably you will not with the hundreds of types now in the field and the amount of schools we have!) or the consequent alternative of ‘trying it yourself because ‘who will know’.



FactHunter, as usual, gives sound advice but I would like to go a little further as this thread has opened up quite a few discussion areas.



A number of factors are involved because primarily RAAus operates on ‘Member Responsibility’. That is only really valid if the individual knows sufficient to determine if they need help – particularly if that help is beyond reasonably easy reach.



To the best of my experience the following is how I understand the situation and have operated it:



  • Pilot Certification. (No you cannot have a RAAus Pilot License – they can only issue Pilot Certificates). This entitles you to fly ANY aircraft in your aircraft Group that you feel competent to handle safely. There is ONE exception.
  • Group A aircraft. These are split into two. If you are trained on a nosewheel type then you are restricted to nosewheel types but may fly ANY type you feel competent with. If you train on a taildragger then you are automatically give the nosewheel capability as well – so you can fly ANY RAAus aircraft in Group A that you feel competent to handle.
  • Taildraggers 1. This is NOT an endorsement it is a ‘lifting of a restriction’.
  • Taildraggers 2. Because you are cleared for tailwheels does not mean you will be safe in quite a few of them! Eg – if you train in a Drifter or other very benign tailwheel type then you will likely roll something like a Thruster or Skyfox into a ball. This has been happening now for 20 years and I do not see it changing under the present philosophy!
  • Type Endorsements. There are NO type endorsements.
  • RAAus endorsements. These are restricted basically to ‘paperwork’ certificates and their only impact in operations is consequential – X/Country, Passenger, Radio, Floats, - all of which do require courses of instruction. There are a few others but they are basically redundant at the moment as there is no support for them.
  • Instructor. This is reasonably clear cut although there is no standardized training syllabus to get the rating. But it is basically 20 hrs practical and 30 hours PMI.
  • Protecting your aircraft. You are entitled to fly with another certified pilot to satisfy yourself that they are not going to bend your pride and joy. This is a grey area and should be fully covered that you are pilot in command and that they will relinquish control to you if you are displeased. You are not teaching someone to fly which is what an instructor does, neither are you in any formal upgrade or re-qualification process. You must obviously have a Passenger Carrying rating.
  • Right Hand Seat Flying. I am not going to comment on this other than saying it is WRONG as an automatic right! You are either a trained instructor who has demonstrated command competence in the right hand seat – or you are not!



Left hand designation as command seat is there for a reason and the main one is that circuits are standard left hand and you can see as much as possible. Instructors are experienced enough and have been trained to exercise command from the right hand seat.



There are several human and ergonomic factors involved! These basically revolve around the aircraft control layout and the pilot’s forward view.



Certainly I have found after much instructor training that an essential first step is getting the applicant fully in control in the right hand seat. At times this is difficult while the pilot becomes ambidextrous and is far from suitable for even command flying let alone instruction and delivery of precise demonstrations.



Situations vary and a pilot trained on an aircraft with central stick and central throttle will be a ‘left hand’ pilot while the pilot trained on a tandem seated aircraft will likely be a ‘right hand’ pilot. ‘Changing hands’ may not only be uncomfortable at first but could be vital when you need very precise control inputs to sort out situations!



I have even had Pilot Examiners who would only fly from the right hand seat because they did not trust themselves in the left hand seat that they seldom if ever occupied. Personally, I kept myself current in left or right, front or back seats, left hand or right hand configurations. That is not too difficult to do if you fly for a living and are constantly in and out of different types you are paid to fly rather than have to pay to fly! Could be very different for a low time pilot ‘going exploring’!



View can be critical on some side by side types that suffer badly from inducing parallax effects. Just changing seats can make a well known aircraft a stranger to you and there is a fair chance that you will land it with the machine going somewhat sideways!



10. Aircraft Systems. There are NO requirements to demonstrate your competence or knowledge on aircraft systems such as flaps, variable pitch, retracting undercarriage etc. Being fresh to these systems, and a new type at the same time, can be a daunting experience. But it is left up to you.



Those are some views for readers to consider.









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Thankyou guys,


It is all quite clear, but have known Pilots -not instructors, to fly from the right hand seat because they actually prefer it!


When you have no Instructors in the area you are in, it makes things difficult for pilots, and some of the outcomes are 'grey' with these kinds of actions.


Maybe its something RA-aus can clear up in the near future.. By actually endorsing pilots on a particular aircraft and not how it sits on it's undercarriage!! I would find this more beneficial for insurance and of course Safety.


I have no doubt that I will do my RH seat flying with an instructor now, once PMI is completed next week.


I am still glad I asked this question though.. as it's still a grey area that needs to be understood.



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Geez Sam , we don't even have endorsements on all the different aircraft in VH, Just categories , The BFR will grow into an epic if we don't watch it . Let's keep the red tape to a minimum, and the maximum amount of good Gen. to the troops, so they know what they should be doing. We don't need to set it up so the flying schools can exploit the system to make more money. Regards Nev...



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Spare a thoight for the bloke who builds a single seater. At least he doesnt have to worry about which side to sit.


Prudence dictates that you get all the help and advice you can.


I have an endorsement to fly a Cessna 180 or 185 and would never dream of jumping in one and trying to fly / land it.


Ian Borg



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Sorry Nev, I meant Categories.. E.g Converting from say a Rag-and-Bone X-air to a fully enclosed Jabiru (2 different types of flying with 3 axis) and also your tail dragger, retractable etc... I agree on not exploiting the system.. I meant Rag-and-Bone one Category.. Jab, CT's, Gazelles, Tecnams another...As I find most are much different to fly and can become unsafe if not flown satisfactory.



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Right Seat or Rear Seat as PIC?


Seems that this comes back to competency, as well as what your insurers, and authorities, would consider to be the level of prudence you've displayed.


Sure, most pilots can adapt to flying from the 'co-pilot' position - but the problem is that you will react, after only very low experience, to an emergency situation as if you were in the PIC seat. Crosswind situations come to mind as you could be 3-6 degrees 'out-of-line' at touchdown due to not looking forward on the correct line.


As well, if the wx is at all marginal, avoid flying anywhere but the LH seat, because it's not easy to fly 'cross cockpit' in lowering visibility.


In regards to 'practicing' rear seat, solo, in tandems - be aware that the POH probably disallows that because of W&B considerations. Also, in Cubs, you can't reach the flaps, or fuel selector or mixture.


I was also once told by a LAME that the LH side controls of C150 and C152 were built stronger than the RH side because they were the most used. Not sure if this is true !!


happy days,



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A couple of important points have been missed here.


A trike is 'weight shift' and not a 'group A' ultralight.


Therefore you will need the aircraft group displayed on your certificate to fly it.


Check your aircraft grouping, it will probably be 'D' for trike - have a look!


You will need aircraft group 'A' for a Tecnam.


Similarly to Powered Parachutes, they are group D.


This may take several hours, depending on how competent you are. This has become a hot topic before, particularly with Powered Parachutes offering a cut down syllabus and then upgrading to 3-axis later.


There is also no 'command seat' in an Ultralight or GA aircraft, provided that it is not mentioned in the Pilot Operating Handbook and the aircraft must have dual controls, including brakes. It would be wise to 'practice' with a pilot in the left, but there is no requirement for this.


If the circuit direction was an issue, then the helicopter pilot in command would sit in the left, rather than the right.


The right hand seat thing comes from school policy rather than the law.


I hope that clears things up AND in only several paragraphs!



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest brentc

Thanks, I wasn't aware. Same deal applies still.


Hmmmm I wonder if I should get a "b" on my certificate now.



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