Recenct Flight Experience: PIC

low&slow

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I have a few questions regarding "recent flight experience: pilot in command" (61.57). I have read through the FAA's FAQ 14 CFR Part 61 document which answers questions like these, but not these exactly. I believe I have the answers to these, but would just like to see what others think.

1. When flying an aircraft for which a single pilot is required, and two pilots are onboard (only 1 flying), would the non flying pilot be considered a passenger for the purpose of 61.57a & b?

2A. A CFI is flying with a student who has at least a private license and is appropriatly rated in the aircraft. Must the CFI be current with 3 landings in 90 days to instruct the student?
2B. Assume the student isn't 90 day current just like the CFI, is this still legal? (assume both with and without a passenger onboard during the instruction fight)

I have a few other variations of these questions in mind, but want to see what people think first. I'm not trying to play a "what-if" game, just trying to get a better understanding of this for myself.
 

Speedtree

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Low&slow,

Keep in mind that I interpret the FAR's as conservatively as possible.

1. If the person is not a required crewmember than he/she is considered a passenger. The ratings/certificates he/she holds have no bearing on their presence in the aircraft unless you wish to designate them as the PIC and they are current.

2. This question is a little more ambiguous. On the conservative side I would say yes the CFI must be current regardless of whether the student is or not. I couldn't find an FAR that specifically addressed the issue, however, FAR 61.57 states that to act as PIC you must be current within 90 days as further described. My question to you would be: as the CFI are you going to log PIC for the flight in your logbook (do you normally log PIC for flight instruction given)? If the answer is yes than I believe most FAA inspectors would say you should be current. If the student is not current than by all means you must be current. If not, neither one of you is qualified to act as PIC. I am assuming the student and flight instructor are considered passengers.

Again, take the conservative approach. hop in a 152/172 and do your 3 laps. Depending on the airport you can do it in .5 or less. A small price to pay for peace-of-mind.
 

low&slow

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Speedtree
Thanks for your response. On the first question, that's kinda what I thought.
However, I'm not so sure I completely agree with your second answer. First understand I'm not trying to find a way out of .5 to get current, I'm just trying to better understand the regs. I also agree a conservative approach is better. Maybe I'm just being too picky???

As I tried to formulate an answer to my second question, I thought up a few cases to try it. First, I assumed for this that the student was at least a private & rated in the aircraft. Under 61.23b(5) -Operations not requireing a medical certificate - when exercising the privilages of a flight instructor certificate if the person is not acting as PIC or serving as required crewmmember, a CFI would be allowed to instruct a student, and not even have a medical. You point that the CFI would be logging PIC, however the regs state that a CFI can log time as PIC while instructing. Therefor, I would believe that when the student is acting as PIC, the instructor would not be required to be 90 day current, or even have a current medical. Furthermore, tell me if you agree with this: since this would be an instruction flight, and the student would be logging dual received from the CFI, that the CFI would be considered a required crewmember, and therefore not a passenger, therefore both the CFI and student would not have to be current (no passengers onboard)? Now if passengers were onboard during the instruction flight, someone would have to be current.

I would guess to fully understand the answer to this question would be to first understand what a passenger is (hence the first question).
 

avbug

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Low&Slow,

In answer to your questions, in order:

"1. When flying an aircraft for which a single pilot is required, and two pilots are onboard (only 1 flying), would the non flying pilot be considered a passenger for the purpose of 61.57a & b? "

The second pilot who is not a required crew member is a passenger. HOWEVER, for the purposes of meeting recency of flight requirements as specified in 14 CFR 51.57(a) & (b), the important issue isn't weather the second pilot is a passenger, but who is acting as pilot in command.

Assume for example that two pilots, called A and B, are going aloft together. Pilot A will be the pilot in command, but is not current with respect to landings and night flight. If he or she intends to make this operation at night, then the second pilot B, who is not acting as pilot in command, is a passenger, and the flight is not legal.

If B is current and able to act as pilot in command, then he or she may be designated PIC. In this case, A isn't the PIC at all; B is. A may act as sole manipulator of the controls for three takeoffs and landings at night to a full stop, and become current. This is legal. B is the pilot-in-command, and A is acting as sole manipulator, as required by the regulation. Both pilots can fly together. This is only possible if pilot B is current, and rated in the aircraft, and qualified to act as PIC.



"2A. A CFI is flying with a student who has at least a private license and is appropriatly rated in the aircraft. Must the CFI be current with 3 landings in 90 days to instruct the student? "

Again, this will depend upon who is acting as pilot in command. A flight instructor does not have to act as pilot in command. If the student is current and qualified to act as PIC, then the instructor not only doesn't have to be current with respect to 14 CFR 61.57(a) & (b), but doesn't need to hold a medical, have a current flight review, or meet any other requirement necessary to act as pilot-in-command...because he or she is not acting as pilot-in-command.

If the student is not current, or is not rated for the airplane, or for whatever reason is not qualified to act as pilot in command, then the instructor will have to fill this role, and must be current to do so in terms of recency of experience, flight review, medical, etc. The fact that the instructor is an instructor, makes no difference. Remember that a flight instructor certificate is NOT a pilot certificate; it's an instructor certificate. Recency of experience applies to the requirements to act as pilot in command, not as instructor.



"2B. Assume the student isn't 90 day current just like the CFI, is this still legal? (assume both with and without a passenger onboard during the instruction fight) "

No, it's not legal, for the reasons discussed above.
 

Speedtree

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One more thought.

I try not to get that complicated about it. Most of the time there is a simple way of looking at a situation to find an answer.

Let's say you are on a dual flight as an instructor with a student and neither one of you is current with respect to takeoffs and landings/night. I would not want to be the instructor on that flight if something were to happen and/or the FAA was there to greet me when I arrived at the ramp. Don't take any chances and the question becomes moot.
 
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