Part 61 section §61.327 requires that sport pilots require separate endorsements for aircraft with a VH below 87 KCAS and aircraft above 87 KCAS.

What is the reason for two separate endorsements and what is the significance of 87 kn?

  • $\begingroup$ Don't know if this has anything to do with it, but 87kn is approx 100mph $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Nov 1 '16 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ For whatever it's worth, most students (that I've spoken to) will just go ahead and get the endorsement for the higher speed during regular training. Many also get the endorsements for flying in B, C, and D airspace as well. So, in the end, you get something very close to a PPL, just for smaller planes and no night flying. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Nov 1 '16 at 18:29

When looking at the rules on ecfr.gov you will find references at the bottom of the paragraph indicating the Amendment, Federal Register notices, and other documents related to the rule.

In this case it leads to the following FAA doc. That document includes the following explanation for the rule;

II.B.5. REQUIRE 1 HOUR OF FLIGHT TRAINING ON THE CONTROL AND MANEUVERING OF AN AIRPLANE SOLELY BY REFERENCE TO INSTRUMENTS FOR STUDENT PILOTS SEEKING A SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE TO OPERATE AN AIRPLANE WITH A V Current regulations require student pilots seeking a sport pilot certificate to receive and log flight training in the control and maneuvering of an aircraft solely by reference to flight instruments. This training must be received before conducting a solo cross-country flight or any flight greater than 25 nautical miles from the airport from where the flight originated. It also must be received prior to making a solo flight and landing at any location other than the airport of origination. These requirements are detailed in § 61.93 and are applicable to persons seeking a student pilot certificate to operate any category and class of aircraft. That section, however, does not specify any minimum flight training time to meet these requirements. In addition, current regulations for the issuance of a sport pilot certificate do not require an applicant to receive flight training on the control and maneuvering of any aircraft solely by reference to instruments. The FAA is concerned that persons exercising student or sport pilot privileges in airplanes with a maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) greater than 87 knots calibrated airspeed (CAS) may inadvertently encounter conditions less than those specified for VFR operations due to their greater speed and range. Operators of these aircraft are more likely to encounter instrument meteorological conditions than operators of other categories of aircraft. In order to enhance the ability of these pilots to appropriately react to the possibility of encountering instrument meteorological conditions and the potential consequences of attempting continued visual flight rule (VFR) flight in instrument meteorological conditions, the FAA is proposing to require persons operating an airplane with a VH greater than 87 knots CAS to receive and log 1 hour of flight training on the control and maneuvering of an aircraft solely by reference to instruments. The FAA recognizes that persons may currently be authorized to operate aircraft with a VH greater than 87 knots CAS. To provide those persons with a reasonable period of time to obtain this training, the agency is proposing that the training be completed by 1 year after the effective date of the final rule. This training would include straight and level flight, climbs and descents, turns to a heading, and recovery from unusual flight attitudes. Due to the slower speeds and limited capabilities of categories and classes of aircraft other than airplanes, the FAA is not proposing that this requirement be extended to operators of those categories and classes of aircraft and airplanes with a VH less than or equal to 87 knots CAS. The FAA notes that for training to be conducted solely by reference to instruments in visual meteorological conditions, it must be conducted with a view-limiting device.

My take is that earlier rules covered the conditions with VH less than 87 KCAS. The FAA felt it was necessary to add rules to cover flight at the higher airspeeds.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you train in an AC that's >87kn do you also have to train in one <87kn or can you be good for both? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Nov 1 '16 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW According to 61.327 the answer is you'll need separate instruction and endorsements to be good for both unless you have logged PIC in a <87 KCAS aircraft before April 2010. In that case you only need the new endorsement for the >87 KCAS (basically you would be grandfathered for the slower aircraft.) $\endgroup$ – Gerry Nov 5 '16 at 2:19

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