Most 135 training/testing says something like this:

§135.343 Crewmember initial and recurrent training requirements. No certificate holder may use a person, nor may any person serve, as a crewmember in operations under this part unless that crewmember has completed the appropriate initial or recurrent training phase of the training program appropriate to the type of operation in which the crewmember is to serve since the beginning of the 12th calendar month before that service. This section does not apply to a certificate holder that uses only one pilot in the certificate holder's operations.

Before that though, 14 CFR 135.323 states:

§135.323 - Training program: General.


(b) Whenever a crewmember who is required to take recurrent training under this subpart completes the training in the calendar month before, or the calendar month after, the month in which that training is required, the crewmember is considered to have completed it in the calendar month in which it was required.


So let's say that I completed initial training in March. This says that if I complete recurrent training in February or April that they consider the training to have been completed in March.

So what happens if a year passes and recurrent training is due. I don't make it in February or March, but the company schedules me for recurrent training towards the end of April. Is it legal for me to fly in April before I go to recurrent training?

At this point, I don't meet 135.343 (because I am no longer within the required 12 calendar months) but I haven't been to training yet, so 135.323 doesn't really apply.

From my interpretation of the regulations I would say no, however every 135 company that I have ever flown for continues using pilots until they go to school, or stop flying at the end of the late grace month if they still haven't gone. The POI's have never complained about it. I feel like I must be missing something.

Is it legal for me to fly 135 trips during the late-grace month?? Note that the same the same scenario applies to 61.58 PIC checks as well, which also have a provision to train during the eligibility period (the month before or the month after it is due).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ My experience with a 121 carrier mirrors your experience. We had at one point a severe lack of sim time that caused almost every pilot needing recurrent for a 3 month window to go into the grace month, with most timing out and getting a paid vacation. Given the scope of those issues I'm sure our POI was well aware of it and I have to conclude that is an accepted practice, though I don't have any regs to point out. I recall verbiage in our FOM addressing this, but I'll have to check and update. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Feb 7, 2014 at 4:27

2 Answers 2


Yes, the FAA issued a Letter of Interpretation from their Chief Counsel in May 2015 which covers Section 61.58 proficiency checks and specifically addresses this issue.

It says that a pilot may continue to act as PIC during the grace month under Parts 91, 121, and 135. It says (in part, and emphasis added by me):

Section 61.58(i) states that, if a pilot completes the proficiency check in the calendar month before or the calendar month after the month it is due, "the pilot is considered to have taken it in the month in which it was due for the purpose of computing when the next pilot-incommand proficiency check is due."

You have asked whether the language in paragraph (i) creates a "grace month" during which a pilot whose currency has lapsed under paragraph (a) may continue to act as pilot in command. The FAA has previously stated in a legal interpretation that § 61.58 includes a "grace month" for purposes of complying with the 12- and 24-month proficiency check requirements. We did not explicitly state, however, that a pilot may continue to act as PIC during this grace month. Legal Interpretation to Sean Conlin (Feb. 24, 2000). We have indicated, however, that similar provisions in parts 121 and 135 create a "grace month" during which a pilot may to continue to act as PIC during the month after the pilot's currency has lapsed? Legal Interpretation to Gregory S. Winton (2006), Legal Interpretation to J. Dennis Vanatta (June 25, 1996).

The FAA intended the grace month to limit disruptions in operations conducted under parts 121 and 135 by accommodating pilots who are unable to complete recurrent training requirements in the month they are due. At the same time, the FAA did not want operators to use the grace month as a means of regularly extending a 12-month proficiency check to a 13-month proficiency check. For that reason, a proficiency check under part 121 or part 135 that is completed in the grace month is considered to be completed in the month it is due. The FAA believes that the same approach is appropriate for§ 61.58 proficiency checks. As such, a pilot may continue to act as pilot in command during the month after a§ 61.58 proficiency check is due. However, when a pilot completes a §61.58 proficiency check during this grace month, it is considered to have been completed during the month it was due for the purpose of calculating the next proficiency check.


You mention that it includes FAR Part 91. No where in the text does the part 91 appear.

So lets say the pilot gets their last recurrent Jan 10 of the previous year. Of course this is just an example. Their recurrent would be due in January of the following year. Now this pilot just happens to have two months of vacation available. They schedule that vacation in January through February of the next year. Training would put them into class for recurrent in March.

So now their completion date shows March of that year. When is the period of grace begin (clearly month before and month after) however this training event does on occur anytime within those guidelines.

Is there now a new training month that will be referenced? Remember this is FAR part 91 and not 135 or 121.

61.58 does not address specifically part 91 events, only the regulated carriers of 135 and 121.

The only sentence that might even be construed to be part 91 would be aircraft that require a PC.

  • 1
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    – Lnafziger
    May 2, 2017 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @AuHunter The Letter of Interpretation that you seem to be referring to does not specifically mention §91, but it does not need to. That letter addresses §61.58, which applies to the PIC of any "aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered" except it "does not apply to persons conducting operations under subpart K of part 91, part 121, 125, 133, 135, or 137 [etc.]". In other words §61.58 applies to operations under §91 except for subpart K. §61.58 does not apply to operations under §121 or §135. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    May 2, 2017 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @mins I think this does attempt to answer the question (unless I misunderstand the intent), it just does so inaccurately. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    May 2, 2017 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanWalters: Now I've a doubt about being wrong, I'd like to retract my VTD, but it seems this is not allowed by the review system.. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    May 2, 2017 at 21:24

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