Blue Seal Certificates (Instrument)


Well-Known Member
I've heard you can get a blue seal certificate (all certificates are usually black - if they're not CFI gold of course)

Anyone got (a student through) one? Can you get one as a PPL (ie without an Instrument Rating? It seems like that might be the case below)


5-320 “BLUE SEAL” PILOT CERTIFICATES. Since 1961, pilot certificates bearing blue seals have been issued to applicants who have demonstrated their ability to control an airplane by reference to instruments.

A. Blue Seal Incentive. This seal conveys no additional privileges but was intended as an incentive to holders of other pilot certificates to obtain instrument instruction.

B. Blue Seal Eligibility. The following pilots may obtain Blue Seal certificates from ASIs:

· Private pilots who originally demonstrated their instrument competence on their private pilot practical tests,
· The holder of a private pilot certificate who has not previously demonstrated instrument ability by passing a practical test on the instruction required by § 61.107(b)(6),
· Commercial pilots with airplane category ratings whose certificates do not bear ICAO instrument limitations,
· The holder of a commercial pilot certificate that bears a ICAO limitation may obtain a Blue Seal certificate by obtaining the flight experience required by § 61.129(b)(2)(ii) and passing a practical test on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments,
· Holders of instrument ratings, and
· ATPs.
C. Applying for a Blue Seal Certificate. A pilot who meets the requirements for a Blue Seal certificate may apply on FAA Form 8710-1. The applicant must clearly mark the application “APPLICATION FOR BLUE SEAL CERTIFICATE” (see Figure 5-28).

1) The applicant should present the application, the pilot certificate, logbooks, and any other pertinent documentary evidence to an ASI for issuance of the certificate.

2) When the ASI has determined the applicant’s eligibility, the ASI should prepare FAA Form 8060-4 and complete the certification file in the usual manner, noting on the application the basis for issuance.

3) An applicant who is tested for a Blue Seal certificate and found unsatisfactory shall be issued FAA Form 8060-5 in the usual manner and have the original pilot certificate returned. Any corrective action taken should be completely informal and advisory, unless immediate action is necessary for safety.
Yep. They have all been blue since 1961, when the requirement for 'some' control by reference to instruments was first time required and tested for Private and Commercial certification.

This paragraph is to explain to those old heads who have not yet upgraded their control by reference to instruments training.
Ah I see, so a PPL from 1960 could exchange theirs, it's not something that's still open to people. I wonder how many of them there are left, who have been PPLs since '60, as a reissue/upgrade would be in blue...

Any other colours available? Is it like the WINGS program :eek:

I wonder how many of them there are left, who have been PPLs since '60, as a reissue/upgrade would be in blue...
A 'reissue', by itself, would not be in blue. You would have to get the required 3 dual hours and pass a flight test on control by reference to instruments to get a blue seal.
This is news to me. My commercial has a blue seal and my CFI has a black seal. Hopefully I will have a can change that black seal to gold here soon.
a similar little nugget of info regarding CFI certification:

61.199(b) Flight Instructor Ratings.

Flight Instructor used to be (pre-1960, about) a rating on your commercial certificate.

This paragraph (61.199(b)(2)) is how to get a current CFI. (pass all the tests)
You will also find black seals on Ground Instructor certificates.

To add to the previous comment, Airline Transport Rating (ATR), used to be a rating on the commercial certificate before there were ATP certificates. Also, used to have "AIRPLANE" as a rating on a flight instructor certificate until around in the 70s when it was divided into AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE and AIRPLANE MULTIENGINE. However, it was not further divided between land and sea.
Basically, they are all blue now if it is a pilot certificate. Everyone from pasel and up has to demonstrate some instrument proficiency. If you have at least a private pilot certificate, you have a blue seal. Cfi's are either gold or black, they are not considered a pilot certificate. Thats why it mus be accompanied by pilot cert.