Does an Endorsement Cross State Lines?

Here's what you need to know regarding obtaining an endorsement and completing a check ride in different states.

Question: I am a U.S.-based pilot, and I recently completed an accelerated program to achieve my private pilot certificate. I was endorsed for the check ride, but unfortunately the morning of the event, there was a mechanical issue with the airplane. The program is out of state for me, and I couldn’t afford to miss any more work, so I left without taking the check ride. The instructor who signed me off told me I would have to return to complete the check ride, because his endorsement is only good in that state because he is a new CFI. Is this accurate?

Answer: No, it isn’t. A flight instructor certificate is a federal certificate—just like a private pilot certificate—therefore, it is good in any state. A search of the FAR/AIM and advisory circulars failed to show a “new CFI” limitation as you describe it. It may be that the CFI was confused or was trying to get more money out of you.

Renting an aircraft for a check ride and a check ride only can be hit or miss. There are some FBOs that won’t allow you to rent their aircraft for a check ride unless you have flown with and been signed off by one of their CFIs, and only if you fly with ‘their’ DPE (designated pilot examiner), citing ‘insurance reasons.’ It doesn’t matter if you already have a private or commercial certificate, have flown with them before, and even trained there. Other FBOs aren’t so restrictive. As long as you possess a valid pilot certificate and medical, you are good to go.

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