The FAR 61.31(d)(2) reads that a person can act as pilot in command if they:

Have received training required by this part that is appropriate to the pilot certification level, aircraft category, class, and type rating (if a class or type rating is required) for the aircraft to be flown, and have received an endorsement for solo flight in that aircraft from an authorized instructor.

Is this endorsement a one-time thing, or does it need to be "renewed"? I met an glider instructor who claimed that my glider solo endorsement is no longer valid because my power license lapsed.


You didn't say which certificates and ratings you hold, but since you mention 61.31 I assume you're already a certificated pilot in a non-glider category/class (ASEL?) and you're receiving glider training.

The short answer is that a 61.31 solo endorsement expires only if the instructor added an expiration date as a limitation. Including an expiration date is optional, not required; see the Bennett interpretation:

The regulations of 14 C.F.R., however, do not prohibit an instructor from placing limitations, including an expiration date, in a § 61.31(d) solo endorsement. See 14 CFR § 61.195(d) (prescribing flight instructor limitations on endorsements).

AC 61-65 is the reference for endorsements, and it has this language for a 61.31 solo endorsement (note the "optional" limitations section at the end):

A.71 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 [M/M] aircraft. Limitations: [optional].

Therefore, whether your 61.31 solo endorsement expires or not is determined by the wording of the endorsement itself. But as always, even if your endorsement is valid from the FAA's point of view, the glider school/club and their insurance company may have their own, additional requirements before letting you solo.

I don't understand the second part of your question: "my glider solo endorsement is no longer valid because my power license lapsed". FAA certificates never expire so I have no idea what you mean by "lapsed" (maybe this scenario?). In any case, I suspect that it might be better to ask that as another question; if you do, please tell us exactly which certificates and ratings you have.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually a solo endorsement for a student pilot is no longer valid for authorizing solo flights at or after 90 days of the endorsement. A student pilot must obtain a new solo endorsement from a CFI thereafter in order to continue solo flights. See 61.87 (n) $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 30 '18 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ @CarloFelicione At least if I've understood it correctly, this question isn't about a student pilot. Tyler asked about 61.31, not 61.87. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 30 '18 at 17:15

Logbook endorsements for solo flight do expire - or no longer authorize solo flight - on after 90 days since the CFI endorsed tour logbook for solo flight. See 61.87(n). Also solo endorsements authorize solo flight only to the specific make and model of aircraft listed in the solo endorsement and cannot be applied to conduct solo flight by a student pilot other types of aircraft.

  • $\begingroup$ Since the question is about 61.31, I'm not sure why 61.87 is relevant? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 30 '18 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ But it is relevant to the OP’s question about whether an solo endorsement expires or not. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 30 '18 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ You're correct that a 61.87 solo endorsement expires but a 61.31 one doesn't unless the instructor added that limitation, as I explained in my answer. They're completely different endorsements (see the A.6, A.7 and A.71 examples in AC 61-65), so I'm still not sure why 61.87 is relevant in the specific case that Tyler is asking about. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 30 '18 at 19:17

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Despite a low gross weight of only 5,520 lb the Eclipse 500 requires a type rating.

The OP should have warned this is not a "general" question, it is for special circumstances. FAR 61.31 would normally be for an already rated pilot that does not hold a endorsement for a "TYPE" certificate necessary for a special type of aircraft.

FAR 61.31 Is for approval to act as PIC of aircraft that require a "TYPE", rating commonly called "large", "turbojet", or "special" purpose aircraft (i.e. warbirds).

So, if a person already has a pilot's license, then FAR 61.31 is a lifetime endorsement.

A new FAR in 2017 (FAR 61.87(n)) places a 90day limit on student solos.

I doubt any instructors would approve a student pilot to fly solo in a aircraft that requires a TYPE rating such as the Eclipse 500. However, if the person were a student pilot, then the endorsement would be for only 90days per the limitation placed on student pilots in FAR 61.87(n).

  • $\begingroup$ Near as I know TBMs do not require type ratings although SOCATA does have a intital transition and recurrent training program for TBM pilots. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jul 1 '18 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ Your correct, I misread the lb for kg. I edited a better example - Thx. $\endgroup$ – jwzumwalt Jul 1 '18 at 1:43

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