135.293 Initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements.
(a) No certificate holder may use a pilot, nor may any person serve as a pilot, unless, since the beginning of the 12th calendar month before that service, that pilot has passed a written or oral test, given by the Administrator or an authorized check pilot, on that pilot's knowledge in the following areas -
(1) The appropriate provisions of parts 61, 91, and 135 of this chapter and the operations specifications and the manual of the certificate holder;
(2) For each type of aircraft to be flown by the pilot, the aircraft powerplant, major components and systems, major appliances, performance and operating limitations, standard and emergency operating procedures, and the contents of the approved Aircraft Flight Manual or equivalent, as applicable;
(3) For each type of aircraft to be flown by the pilot, the method of determining compliance with weight and balance limitations for takeoff, landing and en route operations;
(4) Navigation and use of air navigation aids appropriate to the operation or pilot authorization, including, when applicable, instrument approach facilities and procedures;
(5) Air traffic control procedures, including IFR procedures when applicable;
(6) Meteorology in general, including the principles of frontal systems, icing, fog, thunderstorms, and windshear, and, if appropriate for the operation of the certificate holder, high altitude weather;
(7) Procedures for -
(i) Recognizing and avoiding severe weather situations;
(ii) Escaping from severe weather situations, in case of inadvertent encounters, including low-altitude windshear (except that rotorcraft pilots are not required to be tested on escaping from low-altitude windshear);
(iii) Operating in or near thunderstorms (including best penetrating altitudes), turbulent air (including clear air turbulence), icing, hail, and other potentially hazardous meteorological conditions; and
(8) New equipment, procedures, or techniques, as appropriate; and
(9) For rotorcraft pilots, procedures for aircraft handling in flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions, including methods for recognizing and avoiding those conditions.
(b) No certificate holder may use a pilot, nor may any person serve as a pilot, in any aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 12th calendar month before that service, that pilot has passed a competency check given by the Administrator or an authorized check pilot in that class of aircraft, if single-engine airplane other than turbojet, or that type of aircraft, if helicopter, multiengine airplane, or turbojet airplane, to determine the pilot's competence in practical skills and techniques in that aircraft or class of aircraft. The extent of the competency check shall be determined by the Administrator or authorized check pilot conducting the competency check. The competency check may include any of the maneuvers and procedures currently required for the original issuance of the particular pilot certificate required for the operations authorized and appropriate to the category, class and type of aircraft involved. For the purposes of this paragraph, type, as to an airplane, means any one of a group of airplanes determined by the Administrator to have a similar means of propulsion, the same manufacturer, and no significantly different handling or flight characteristics. For the purposes of this paragraph, type, as to a helicopter, means a basic make and model.
(c) Each competency check given in a rotorcraft must include a demonstration of the pilot's ability to maneuver the rotorcraft solely by reference to instruments. The check must determine the pilot's ability to safely maneuver the rotorcraft into visual meteorological conditions following an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions. For competency checks in non-IFR-certified rotorcraft, the pilot must perform such maneuvers as are appropriate to the rotorcraft's installed equipment, the certificate holder's operations specifications, and the operating environment.
(d) The instrument proficiency check required by 135.297 may be substituted for the competency check required by this section for the type of aircraft used in the check.
(e) For the purpose of this part, competent performance of a procedure or maneuver by a person to be used as a pilot requires that the pilot be the obvious master of the aircraft, with the successful outcome of the maneuver never in doubt.
(f) The Administrator or authorized check pilot certifies the competency of each pilot who passes the knowledge or flight check in the certificate holder's pilot records.
(g) Portions of a required competency check may be given in an aircraft simulator or other appropriate training device, if approved by the Administrator.
(h) Rotorcraft pilots must be tested on the subjects in paragraph (a)(9) of this section when taking a written or oral knowledge test after April 22, 2015. Rotorcraft pilots must be checked on the maneuvers and procedures in paragraph (c) of this section when taking a competency check after April 22, 2015.
(i) If the certificate holder is authorized to conduct EFVS operations, the competency check in paragraph (b) of this section must include tasks appropriate to the EFVS operations the certificate holder is authorized to conduct.