Does flying as an airline pilot under 14 CFR 121 provide different ways to maintain night currency? Suppose a pilot were to bid only day trips and end up flying only during the day for over 90 days. Under the recency of flight experience requirements in 14 CFR 61 that would mean a pilot might not be night current anymore but do 121 operator's op specs have some way around this?

  • Why does that seem reasonable? Sure the pilot knows what they need for currency, so they can bid accordingly and if they don't, the manager knows too and can reassign them. – Jan Hudec May 22 '17 at 21:09
  • @JanHudec I removed the words "seem reasonable." – ryan1618 May 24 '17 at 18:05
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The night currency requirements are in 14 CFR 61.57, which does provide exceptions for pilots flying for an air carrier:

Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers [at night]

61.57(e)(2) has this exception for part 121:

(2) This section does not apply to a pilot in command who is employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct operations under part 121 when the pilot is engaged in a flight operation under part 91 or 121 for that certificate holder if the pilot in command complies with §§121.436 and 121.439 of this chapter.

121.436 has general PIC requirements for part 121, and 121.439 has recency requirements, which are 3 takeoffs and landings in the last 90 days in the same aircraft type, or an equivalent simulator.

So part 121 pilots need three takeoffs and landings in type in the last 90 days, with no specific requirement for them to be at night. That's all based on just reading the regulations, someone who's actually been there and done that could probably add some more information.

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