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Specific case: I have a student who is ready for his ride, but he has not yet scheduled it, and because I'm moving, I will be permanently unavailable to endorse it in a few days. I want to add a stipulation to his endorsement that says the endorsement is valid only until a certain date, and it's only valid if he has had some number of hours of flight training within the preceding $x$ days.

Neither of these items are mentioned in AC 61-65.

General case: How much can I legally deviate from the guidance for checkride endorsements given in AC 61-65?

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Advisory Circulars by definition, are advisory and not regulatory in nature (Chapter 1, paragraph 3 of FAA Order 1320.46C). Therefore, AC 61-65 provides suggested language that will ensure compliance with the FARs. You are free to word the endorsements differently, but if the examiner takes issue with your endorsement, the student may not have any recourse but to have the entries redone (by you, or another CFI).

Since you say your student is ready (I am assuming for their Private Pilot check ride), why not go ahead and endorse them right now? FAR 61.109(a)(4) requires the student to receive 3 hours of flight training within the two months prior to the test, this would cause your endorsement to automatically expire if they don't test (or receive additional training) within that window.

Alternatively, I would suggest contacting the local Flight Standards District Office and get guidance from them directly.

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  • $\begingroup$ The reason I didn't want to endorse him right then was because 61.109(a)(4) only requires 3 hours within two months, and two months is a lot of time for a new private pilot to build up rust. $\endgroup$ – Steve V. Sep 19 '15 at 18:36

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