Understanding Student Pilot endorsements: Do you know all 16?

Student pilot endorsements are authorizations given by a flight instructor to a student pilot to perform specific activities or operations during flight training. These endorsements are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, to ensure that student pilots are adequately trained and qualified to undertake certain tasks.

Types of student pilot endorsements

There are several types of student pilot endorsements that a flight instructor can issue, depending on the stage of training and the specific activities the student pilot is allowed to engage in. Some common student pilot endorsements include:

  1. TSA Endorsement for US Citizens 49 CFR 1552.3(h): Flight instructors are required to verify a potential student’s US Citizenship and keep a record of an approved document for five years along with an logbook endorsement.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has presented me with a [type of document presented, such as a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport, and the relevant control or sequential number on the document [if any] establishing that [he or she] is a U.S. citizent in accordance with 49 CFR Sec. 1552.3(h).

      If a potential student is not a U.S. Citizen, learn more about the Alien Flight Training Security Program.
  2. Pre-Solo Endorsement, Instructor Administered Aeronautical Knowledge Test, 14 CFR 61.87(b): Before solo, students are required to take two part test administered by their instructor: a closed-book written quiz and an open-book take-home test, covering the knowledge they will require before their first solo flight.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has satisfactorily completed the pre-solo knowledge test of Sec. 61.87(b) for the [make and model] aircraft.
  3. Endorsement Certifying Pre-Solo Flight Training Received, 14 CFR 61.87(c): Before releasing the student for their first solo, the instructor must certify that the student has received and demonstrated proficiency in all of the required pre-solo flight training.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received and logged pre-solo flight training for the maneuvers and procedures that are appropriate to the [make and model] aircraft. I have determined that [he or she] has demonstrated satisfactory proficiency and safety on the maneuvers and procedures required by Sec. 61.87 in this or similar make and model of aircraft to be flown.
  4. Solo Endorsement, First 90-Day Proficiency ,14 CFR 61.87(n): In addition to the above endorsement, this endorsement, which lasts 90-days, allows a student pilot to fly an aircraft solo for the first time, typically after demonstrating proficiency in aircraft control and basic flight maneuvers.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training to qualify for solo flying. I have determined that [he or she] meets the applicable requirements of 61.87(n) and is proficient to make solo flights in [make and model].
  5. Solo Endorsement, Additional 90-Day Proficiency, 14 CFR 61.87(p): If additional solo flights are necessary beyond the initial 90-Day endorsement, the student’s logbook is updated with:
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training to qualify for solo flying. I have determined that [he or she] meets the applicable requirements of Se. 61.87(p) and is proficient to make solo flights in [make and model].
  6. Solo Flight to Another Airport Within 25 NM, 14 CFR 61.93(b)(1): In order to let students practice take offs and landings and different airports, an instructor will sign them of with:
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training of Sec. 61.93(b)(1). I have determined that [he or she] is proficient to practice solo takeoffs and landings at [airport name]. The takeoffs and landings at [airport name] are subject to the following conditions: [List any applicable conditions or limitations.]
  7. Solo Cross-Country Endorsement, for make, model, and category, 14 CFR 61.93(c)(1) and (2): This endorsement permits a student pilot to undertake cross-country flights solo, which involve flying between different airports or destinations.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required solo cross-country training. I find [he or she] has met the applicable requirements of Sec. 61.93, and is proficient to make solo cross-country flights in a [make and model] aircraft, [aircraft category].
  8. Solo: Cross-Country Flight Plan Endorsement, Instructor Reviewed, 14 CFR 61.93(c)(3): Additionally an instructor––not necessary the student’s primary instructor––must review the student’s cross country flight plan and endorse the student’s logbook.
    • I have reviewed the cross-country planning of [First name, MI, Last name]. I find the planning and preparation to be correct to make the solo flight from [origination airport] to [origination airport] via [route of flight] with landings at [names of the airports] in a [make and model] aircraft on [date]. [List any applicable conditions or limitations].
  9. Solo Flight in Class B Airspace Endorsement, 14 CFR 61.95(a): This endorsement grants permission for a student pilot to fly solo within specific controlled airspace, such as Class B which typically require additional training and authorization.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training of Sec. 61.95(a). I have determined [he or she] is proficient to conduct solo flights in [name of Class B] airspace. [List any applicable conditions or limitations.]
  10. Solo Flight To/From an Airport in Class B Airspace, 14 CFR 61.95(b), 91.131(b)(iv): In addition to flying through Class B Airspace, if a student intends to land at an airport within the Class B Airspace they need the following endorsement:
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training of Sec. 61.95(b)(1). I have determined that [he or she] is proficient to conduct solo flight operations at [name of airport]. [List any applicable conditions or limitations.]
  11. Private Pilot Aeronautical Knowledge Test, 14 CFR 61.35(a)(1), 61.103(d), 61.105: Prior to taking the knowledge test the instructor must sign off that they have received the necessary ground training.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training of Sec. 61.125. I have determined that [he or she] is prepared for the [name of] knowledge test.
  12. Received Training in 2 Calendar Months Prior to Practical Test, 14 CFR 61.39(a)(6)(i) and (ii):
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received and logged training time within 2 calendar-months preceding the month of application in preparation for the practical test and [he or she] is prepared for the required practical test for the issuance of [applicable] certificate.
  13. Review of Deficiencies Identified in Aeronautical Knowledge Test, 14 CFR 61.39(a)(6)(iii): The instructor must review any missed questions from the student’s written knowledge test and sign them off:
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which [he or she] was deficient on the [applicable] airman knowledge test.
  14. Private Pilot Practical Test, 14 CFR 61.39(a)(6)(i) and (ii): Finally the student’s logbook is endorsed that they have received the required training and are prepared for the practical test.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training in accordance with Secs. 61.107 and 61.109. I have determined [he or she] is prepared for the [name of] practical test.
  15. Retest after failure of Knowledge or Practical Test, 14 CFR 61.49:
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the additional [flight and/or ground, as appropriate] training as required by Sec. 61.49. I have determined that [he or she] is proficient to pass the [name of] knowledge/practical test.
  16. Solo Night Flight Endorsement, 14 CFR 61.87(o): If solo flight will be conducted at night, this endorsement allows a student pilot to fly an aircraft at night, requiring specific training on night flying techniques, visual illusions associated with night operations, and aircraft lighting systems within the last 90-days.
    • I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received flight training at night on night flying procedures that include takeoffs, approaches, landings, and go-arounds at night at the [airport name] airport where the solo flight will be conducted; navigation training at night in the vicinity of the [airport name] airport where the solo flight will be conducted.