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I had trained for my complex and high-performance endorsements in an airplane that was certified with an engine that does not meet high-performance criteria but had been modified by STC such that it did meet criteria.

The logbook endorsement mentions the model of the airplane and that it had been modified such that the aircraft produced more than 200 horsepower. The question is do I need to actually track down the STC information just in case of a ramp check or when going for a more advanced pilot certificate?

Edit:

This question was posted due to a conversation with a flight instructor who had balked at the legality of the endorsement. His argument essentially went like this:

1) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" factory new engine, you put it on a dyno, it generates 205 HP. It's still a "200 HP" engine as per the FAA.

2) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" engine, you do a top-of-the-line overhaul, you put it on a dyno, it generates 205 HP. It's still a "200 HP" engine as per the FAA.

3) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" engine, you apply an STC that changes the cylinder and piston configuration to intentionally generate 205 HP, you put it on a dyno and it does make 205 HP, now because the intent of the STC being to generate more than 200 HP and the FAA approval via STC as a "more than 200 HP" engine the aircraft only at this point meets the high-performance criteria.

His argument was that in cases 1 and 2, since the engine was not "modified" with the specific intent to generate more than 200 HP you merely won the horsepower lottery but it's still certified as a 200 HP engine. He had questioned whether the STC was intended to bring the power output above 200 HP or if it was just an accidental byproduct and it was still therefore certified as a 200 HP engine.

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    $\begingroup$ You shouldn't, the CFI's signature and that note should be enough. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Dec 26 '17 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ CFIs are only people and often wrong. $\endgroup$ – pericynthion Dec 27 '17 at 17:21
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The FAA only requires that you have training in the high performance aircraft as per FAR 61.31:

(f)Additional training required for operating high-performance airplanes.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a high-performance airplane (an airplane with an engine of more than 200 horsepower), unless the person has -

    (i) Received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a high-performance airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a high-performance airplane, and has been found proficient in the operation and systems of the airplane; and

    (ii) Received a one-time endorsement in the pilot's logbook from an authorized instructor who certifies the person is proficient to operate a high-performance airplane.

(2) The training and endorsement required by paragraph (f)(1) of this section is not required if the person has logged flight time as pilot in command of a high-performance airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a high-performance airplane prior to August 4, 1997.

(By the way, notice (2) above, you don't even need an endorsement if you logged any time as PIC in a high-performance aircraft, flight sim, or FTD prior to 8/4/97!!!)

So going over what your CFI said:

1) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" factory new engine, you put it on a dyno, it generates 205 HP. It's still a "200 HP" engine as per the FAA.

2) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" engine, you do a top-of-the-line overhaul, you put it on a dyno, it generates 205 HP. It's still a "200 HP" engine as per the FAA.

3) If you have an aircraft with a "200 HP" engine, you apply an STC that changes the cylinder and piston configuration to intentionally generate 205 HP, you put it on a dyno and it does make 205 HP, now because the intent of the STC being to generate more than 200 HP and the FAA approval via STC as a "more than 200 HP" engine the aircraft only at this point meets the high-performance criteria.

1: It is still a >200HP aircraft
2: It is still a >200HP aircraft
3: It is still a >200HP aircraft

STC's aren't just some paperwork the manufacturer creates for aircraft modifications, they are approved by the FAA, side-effects and all, for installation on specific airframes.

You could counter your CFI about that... Ask him if flying an aircraft that had a STC bringing it into the >200HP still requires a high-performance rating. Of course it does! Now why can't you get your high-performance rating in that aircraft? You can! If you flew that aircraft without the rating and you were ramp checked, you would be violated. The FAA doesn't care if the aircraft has >200HP as it was factory built, or if it was modified by STC to get there.

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No. All that’s required is that you received ground and flight instruction in an aircraft which meets the requirements for a high performance airplane in 14 CFR §§61.31 (f) and received an high performance endorsement from an authorized instructor in their logbook. If the approved STC makes alteration to the engine such that the power out is now rated to exceed 200 bhp per the terms of the STC, then the airplane would be considered high performance under §§61.31.

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