I hold a sport pilot certificate and a valid third class medical. I'm pursuing a private pilot certificate and receiving training in C172's and C182's, though I also have access to a C162. I was wondering if I can be signed off to solo in the non-LSA aircraft without going through the process of obtaining a student pilot certificate, and just getting the logbook endorsement as follows:

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required presolo training in a (make and model aircraft). I have determined he/she has demonstrated the proficiency of FAR 61.87(d) and is proficient to make solo flights in (make and model aircraft). 4/25/14 J. J. Jones 987654321CFI Exp. 12/31/05

I have several solo missions that could benefit from additional power and useful load provided by the larger aircraft, but with the new student pilot certification process, I'm wondering if it's worth the hassle.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't have time to research and verify, but I believe once you have a pilot certificate, you no longer qualify for a student certificate. If I'm not mistaken, you may forego the signature required on the reverse of the student license and just receive the logbook endorsement. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2016 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


You do not need to get another student pilot certificate. The endorsement you need is not for student pilots.

A.72 To act as pilot in command of an aircraft in solo operations when the pilot does not hold an appropriate category/class rating: § 61.31(d)(2).

I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the training as required by § 61.31(d)(2) to serve as a pilot in command in a [specific category and class] of aircraft. I have determined that [he or she] is prepared to solo that [make and model] aircraft. Limitations: [optional].

The answer lies in Advisory Circular 61-65. Version H, issued August 27, 2018, is the latest as of May 2023.

  • $\begingroup$ Does this endorsement have the 90-day expiration of the student solo endorsement? $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2017 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ No. There is no time limitation listed in the FARs... however, the instructor would be wise to place one on the endorsement. $\endgroup$
    – wbeard52
    Feb 12, 2017 at 20:31

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