FAR 91.3 says:
Aircraft approach category means a grouping of aircraft based on a speed of VREF, if specified, or if VREF is not specified, 1.3 Vso at the maximum certificated landing weight. VREF, Vso, and the maximum certificated landing weight are those values as established for the aircraft by the certification authority of the country of registry. The categories are as follows—
(1) Category A: Speed less than 91 knots.
(2) Category B: Speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots.
(3) Category C: Speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots.
(4) Category D: Speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots.
(5) Category E: Speed 166 knots or more.
So an aircraft category never changes because it is always Vref at max landing weight.
What if I fly an approach at a speed that falls into a different category? For instance, a jet may land at significantly less than this speed if very light, or more than this speed if landing with less than full flaps due to a failure (or any other operational reason). Which minimums do you use then?
According to the FAA Safety Alert for Operators issued on 09/20/2012 (SAFO 12005):
Note that this is different in other areas of the world (Canada for example uses the actual approach speed of the aircraft to determine the approach category).
— (1) Category A: Speed less than 91 knots. (2) Category B: Speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots. (3) Category C: Speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots. (4) Category D: Speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots. (5) Category E: Speed 166 knots or more. So an aircraft category never changes because it is always Vref at max landing weight. What...FAR 91.3 says: Aircraft approach category means a grouping of aircraft based on a speed of VREF, if specified, or if VREF is not specified, 1.3 Vso at the maximum certificated landing weight
plane was fine, and I can't find any Part 61 regulations that are specific to experience in one make/model aside from adding an experimental aircraft as part §61.63(h)(1), which is what I assume the box is really for. Of course I'd rather test in my more-experienced plane, but I'm asking specifically for regulations here if Plan A falls through. Are there any regulations or headaches that I... club's 1980 Piper Archer (PA-28-181). I have well over §61.109's 40 hours in the Warrior alone, and only ~10 hours in the Archer. I have a separate club checkout and CFI solo endorsement for each
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