Drop Pilot Initial Issue

General Info

The NZPIA Parachute Industry Association Drop Pilot Course meets the requirements of 61.651 (a)(3) and once a pilot has enrolled in the course they will have continued access to the online competency system and study material that can be used for the requirements of other sections of Civil Aviation Rules such as Part 115.

Drop Pilot System.

The NZPIA Drop Pilot course consists of theory, oral and practical sections, you will complete an online exam and on passing the exam and all the appropriate sections to your evaluators’ satisfaction you will receive electronic notification of your results at that time. You can then have your log book signed as required by 61.653. The NZPIA competency sections under 115 allow you to return using your log in access any new material related to parachute dropping, update your records and carry out the competency checks required by 115.353 and keep an electronic record of these for future reference.


A current parachute drop rating authorises the holder to act as pilot-incommand of an aircraft on parachute drop operations subject to the privileges and limitations of the holder’s pilot licence.


 a)  To be eligible for a parachute drop rating, a pilot must:

  • Be the holder of at least a current private pilot licence; and
  • Have at least 200 hours flight time as a pilot, including at least 100 hours as pilot-in-command of the category of aircraft being used for the parachute drop operation; and
  • Have satisfactorily completed a course in dropping parachutists conducted by a parachute organisation if the organisation’s Part 149 certificate authorises the holder to conduct the course; and
  • Have demonstrated competence in the dropping of parachutists to an appropriately authorised person within a parachute organisation if the organisation’s Part 149 certificate authorises the holder to conduct the assessment.

 b)  A pilot who holds a current parachute drop rating issued by an ICAO Contracting State is deemed to have met the requirements of paragraph (a)(3).

61.653 ISSUE

 a)  When a pilot has met the eligibility requirements of rule 61.651, the authorised person who completed the competency demonstration required by rule 61.651(a)(4) may issue the parachute drop rating by entering the following statement in the pilot’s logbook in accordance with rule 61.29:

This is to certify that [name of pilot] has satisfied the requirements of Civil Aviation Rules Part 61 for the issue of a parachute drop rating.

 b)  The holder of a parachute drop rating issued under paragraph (a) may apply to the Director to have the rating endorsed on the holder’s pilot licence.

 c)  On receipt of an application under paragraph (b) and payment of the applicable fee, the Director may endorse the pilot licence with the parachute drop rating.


 a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b), the holder of a parachute drop rating must not exercise the privileges of the rating unless:

  • Within the previous 12 months, the holder has performed at least 6 parachute drop flights; or
  • Within the previous 12 months, the holder has demonstrated their continued competency in accordance with the requirements of rule 61.651(a)(4); and
  • )The authorised person who conducted the competency demonstration certifies the successful completion of the check in the pilot’s logbook in accordance with rule 61.29.

 b)  A pilot who completes the demonstration required by paragraph (a)(2) within 60 days before the date on which it is required, is deemed to have completed the demonstration on the required date.