38 CFR § 21.4263 - Approval of flight training courses.
(a) A flight school or institution of higher learning are the only entities that can offer flight courses. A State approving agency may approve a flight course only if a flight school or an institution of higher learning offers the course. A State approving agency may not approve a flight course if an individual instructor offers it. The provisions of § 21.4150 shall determine the proper State approving agency for approving a flight course.
(b) Definition of flight school. A flight school is a school, other than an institution of higher learning, or is an entity, such as an aero club; is located in a State; and meets one of the following sets of requirements:
(1) The Federal Aviation Administration has issued the school or entity either a pilot school certificate or a provisional pilot school certificate specifying each course the school is approved to offer under 14 CFR part 141;
(2) The entity is either a flight training center or an air carrier that does not have a pilot school certificate or provisional pilot school certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration under 14 CFR part 141, but pursuant to a grant of exemption letter issued by the Federal Aviation Administration under 14 CFR part 61 is permitted to offer pilot training by a flight simulator instead of an actual aircraft; or
(3) The Federal Aviation Administration has issued the school or entity a training center certificate under 14 CFR part 142.
(c) Aero club courses. An aero club, established, formed, and operated under authority of service department regulations as a nonappropriated sundry fund activity, is an instrumentality of the Federal government. Consequently, VA has exclusive jurisdiction over approval of flight courses offered by such aero clubs.
(d) Approval of flight training as part of a degree program. A State approving agency may approve a flight training course that is part of a program of education leading to a standard college degree provided the course and program meet the requirements of § 21.4253 or § 21.4254, as appropriate. The institution of higher learning offering the course need not be a flight school.
(e) Approval of flight training courses that are not part of a degree program. A flight course is subject to the same approval requirements as any other course. In addition, the State approving agency must apply the following provisions to the approval of flight courses:
(1) The Federal Aviation Administration must approve the course; and
(ii) The course must meet the requirements of 14 CFR part 61, and either be offered -
(A) By a flight school described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section; or
(B) In whole or in part by a flight simulator pursuant to a grant of exemption letter issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to the flight school offering the course.
(f) Application of 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e)(2) to flight training. Notwithstanding the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration will permit flight schools to conduct training at a base other than the main base of operations if the requirements of either 14 CFR 141.91 or 14 CFR 142.17 are met, the satellite base is considered under 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e)(2) to be a branch of the principal school, and must meet the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e)(2).
(g) Providing a flight course under contract between schools or entities. When a school or entity offers all or part of a flight course under a contract with another school or entity, the State approving agency must apply § 21.4233 in the following manner:
(1) The requirements of § 21.4233(e) must be met for all contracted flight instruction, instruction by flight training device, flight simulator instruction, and ground school training. Ground school training may be given through a ground school facility operated jointly by two or more flight schools in the same locality; and
(2) The responsibility for providing the instruction lies with the flight school. The degree of affiliation between the flight school and the entity or other school that actually does the instructing must be such that all charges for instruction are made by, and paid to, one entity having jurisdiction and control over both the flight and ground portions of the program.
(h) Nonaccredited courses -
(2) Additional instruction requirements. The State approving agency will apply the following additional requirements to a flight course:
(i) All flight instruction, instruction by flight training device, flight simulator instruction, preflight briefings and postflight critiques, and ground school training in a course must be given by the flight school or under suitable arrangements between the school and another school or entity such as a local community college.
(ii) All ground school training connected with the course must be in residence under the direction and supervision of a qualified instructor providing an opportunity for interaction between the students and the instructor. Simply making provision for having an instructor available to answer questions does not satisfy this requirement.
(i) A copy of his or her private pilot certificate;
(ii) Evidence of completion of any prior training that may be a prerequisite for the course;
(iii) A copy of the medical certificate required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section for the courses being pursued and copies of all medical certificates (expired or otherwise) needed to support all periods of prior instruction received at the current school;
(iv) A daily flight log or copy thereof;
(v) A permanent ground school record;
(vi) A progress log;
(vii) An invoice of flight changes for individual flights or flight lessons for training conducted on a flight simulator or advanced flight training device;
(viii) Daily flight sheets identifying records upon which the 85-15 percent ratio may be computed;
(ix) A continuous meter record for each aircraft;
(x) An invoice or flight tickets signed by the student and instructor showing hour meter reading, type of aircraft, and aircraft identification number;
(xi) An accounts receivable ledger;
(xii) Individual instructor records;
(xiii) Engine log books;
(xiv) A record for each student above the private pilot level stating the name of the course in which the student is currently enrolled and indicating whether the student is enrolled under 14 CFR part 61, part 63, part 141, or part 142;
(xv) Records of tuition and accounts which are evidence of tuition charged and received from all students; and
Hourly limitations. A flight course approved pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section shall be approved only for those hours of instruction generally considered necessary for a student to obtain an identified vocational objective. This requirement is met only if the number of hours approved does not exceed the maximum set forth in paragraph (i)(1) through (3) of this section. Flight instruction may never be substituted for ground training.
(1) Flight or flight simulator instruction. Except as provided in paragraph (i)(4) of this section, the maximum number of hours of flight instruction or flight simulator instruction which may be approved for a flight course shall not exceed the number determined by this paragraph.
(i) The maximum number of hours of solo flight instruction shall not exceed the minimum number of hours required for the course provided by FAA regulations.
(ii) The maximum number of hours of dual flight instruction shall not exceed the lesser of -
(A) The number of hours of dual flight instruction in the course outline approved by the FAA, or
(B) 120% of the minimum number of hours of dual flight instruction required for the course by FAA regulations.
(iii) The maximum number of hours of instruction by flight simulator or flight training device that a State approving agency may approve is the maximum number of hours of instruction by flight simulator or flight training device permitted by 14 CFR part 61 for that course when:
(A) A course is offered in whole or in part by flight simulator or flight training device conducted by a training center certificated under 14 CFR part 142; and
(B) 14 CFR part 61 contains a maximum number of hours of instruction by flight simulator or flight training device that may be credited toward the requirements of the rating or certificate that is the objective of the course.
(iv) If a course is offered in whole or in part by flight simulator or flight training device, and the course is not described in paragraph (i)(1)(iii) of this section, either because the course is offered by a flight training center with a grant of exemption letter, or because 14 CFR part 61 does not contain a maximum number of hours of instruction by flight simulator or flight training device, the maximum number of hours of instruction by flight simulator or flight training device that may be approved may not exceed the number of hours in the Federal Aviation Administration-approved outline.
(2) Ground school. The ground training portion of a flight course may include two forms of ground training instruction, ground school and preflight briefings and postflight critiques. The minimum hours for ground training, as specified in 14 CFR part 141, appendixes C through J refer only to ground school and not to preflight briefings and postflight critiques. If the ground school training consists of units using kits containing audiovisual equipment, quizzes and examinations, the maximum number of units approved shall not exceed the number on the course outline approved by the FAA. For all other ground school training, the number of hours of training shall not exceed the number of hours on the course outline approved by the FAA.
Preflight briefings and postflight critiques. Hours spent in preflight briefings and postflight critiques need not be approved by the FAA.
If these hours are on the FAA-approved outline, the maximum number of hours of preflight briefings and postflight critiques shall not exceed the number of hours on the outline exclusive of the preflight briefings and post-flight critiques which are attributable to solo flying hours that exceed the minimum number of solo flying hours for the course in 14 CFR part 141.
If these hours are not on the FAA-approved outline, they may not be approved unless the State approving agency finds that the briefings and critiques are an integral part of the course and do not precede or follow solo flying hours which exceed the minimum number of solo flying hours for the course in 14 CFR part 141. The maximum number of hours of preflight briefings and postflight critiques which may be approved for these courses may not, when added together, exceed 25 percent of the approved hours of flight instruction.
(4) Waiver of limitation in approvable course hours.
(i) Flight schools that wish to have a greater number of hours of dual flight instruction approved than are permitted by paragraph (i)(1)(ii) of this section, may seek an administrative review of their approval by the Director, Education Service. Requests for such a review should be made in writing to the Director of the VA facility having jurisdiction over the flight school. The request should -
(A) State the reasons why the flight school believes that the approval should extend to a greater number of hours, and
(B) Include any evidence tending to show that the greater number of hours should be approved.
(ii) The Director, Education Service shall base her or his decision upon the evidence submitted, the recommendation of the Director of the VA facility, and, if appropriate, the recommendation of the State approving agency having jurisdiction over the flight school.
(iii) The limit on the number of hours of solo flight instruction found in paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section may not be waived.
(j) Charges. The appropriate State approving agency shall approve charges for tuition and fees for each flight course exclusive of charges for tuition and fees for solo flying hours which exceed the maximum permitted under paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section and for preflight briefings and postflight critiques which precede or follow the excess solo hours.
(1) The approved charges for tuition and fees shall be based upon the charges for tuition and fees which similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the same flight course are required to pay. Charges for books, supplies and lodging may not be reimbursed.
(2) For the ground school portion of ground training, the State approving agency should approve group charges or unit prices if audio-visual equipment is used. For the preflight briefings and postflight critiques, the State approving agency should approve individual instructor rates for individual training flights. An average charge per hour based upon total hours and cost of all training given on the ground may not be approved.
(3) A veteran, servicemember or reservist or group (all or part of whom are veterans, servicemembers or reservists) owning an airplane may lease it to an approved flight school and have exclusive use of the aircraft for flight training. The aircraft should meet the requirements prescribed for all airplanes to be used in the course, and should be shown in the approval by the State approving agency. The leasing arrangement should not result in charges for flight instruction for those owning the airplane greater than charges made to others not leasing an aircraft to the school.
(4) If membership in a flight club entitles a veteran, servicemember or reservist to flight training at less than the standard rate, his or her educational allowance will be based on the reduced rate. No payments will be made for the cost of joining the flight club, since it is not a charge for the flight course.
(k) Substitute aircraft. Except for minor substitutions a veteran, servicemember or reservist enrolled in a flight course may train only in the aircraft approved for that course. If a particular aircraft is not available for some compelling reason, the veteran, servicemember or reservist may be permitted to train in an aircraft different from that approved for the particular course, provided the aircraft substituted will adequately meet the training requirements for this particular phase of the course. Substitutions should be explained on the monthly certifications of flight training. If this shows that the charge for the substituted aircraft is different from the charge approved for the regular aircraft, the reimbursement will be based on the lesser charge. When substitution becomes the practice rather than the exception, VA will suspend payments and notify the veterans, servicemembers, reservists and the school. VA will refer the matter to the State approving agency for appropriate action.
(l) Enrollment limitations. A flight course must meet the 85-15 percent ratio requirement set forth in § 21.4201 before VA may approve new enrollments in the course. The contracted portion of a flight course must meet all the requirements of § 21.4201 for each subcontractor.