High Altitude Endorsements
Legal Framework: A high altitude endorsement is required per FAR 61.31(g) for PIC operation of aircraft with a service ceiling above Flight Level 250 (25,000 ft). The requirements include:
- Ground training in high altitude physiology, aerodynamics, weather and aircraft systems and operations.
- Operational flight training in an appropriate aircraft above FL250.
- Specific parts of the checkouts can be conducted in an FAA approved Elite RC-1 full vision (5 screen) simulator powered by X-plane at our affiliated partner California Airways in Hayward.
- Examples include rapid decompression-VNE descents, and single engine approaches to CAT I or CAT II minimums. Details of the subjects to receive instruction and training in are outlined in AC 61-107. The High Altitude Endorsement can be combined with the also seprately availabe RSVM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums) ground training.
Our course generally takes the better part of a day. Plan on about 2-3 hrs ground instruction (1.5 hrs class room, 1.5 hrs at the aircraft covering systems) and ~3 hrs flight time. It is a good idea to share the flight portion with a partner, which allows for a longer trip (one leg flown by each pilot). Course training material, checklists, and W&B sheets can be downloaded from a secure website as soon as you have made a commitment for the ground portion. A brief syllabus is available here.
The endorsement can be credited towards a full insurance checkout (example for C-340), and arrangements for block time (10-25 hrs) can be made.
A multi-engine instrument rating is required. The more MEL and instrument time you have, the easier it will be. It may save time if you are current in basic instrument skills, we suggest a few hrs in a simulator before the endorsement.
The high altitude endorsement alone does not constitute a full C340 checkout, nor does it automatically include an instrument competency check.