Instrument Rating Training question
During an instrument training flight with an instructor, if you have picked up an IFR clearance and are operating under IFR conditions is the instructor the pilot in command in this training scenario?
3 Replies
During any flight training, the instructor is always "deemed" to be the pilot in command.  See Administrator v. Moeslein, Administrator v. Strobel, and Administrator v. Hamre.

Further, an instrument trainee who does not yet hold instrument privileges cannot legally be the PIC when operating in IMC or under IFR.  See 14 CFR 61.3(e).
However, the instrument trainee is able to log that time which they are the sole manipulator of the controls as PIC time per 61.51(e)(1)(i),  Dual Instruction and instrument actual. The instructor also can log the time as PIC per 61.51(e)(3). In this case the instructor is the "acting" PIC, per 1.1 the FAA defines “PIC” (acting) as the person who:
(1) Has final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight,
(2) Has been designated as pilot in command before or during the flight, and
(3) Holds the appropriate category, class, and type rating, if appropriate, for the conduct of the flight.

Prometheus is right that they they can both log PIC time during that flight, but that's an entirely separate issue covered by separate from who is the PIC -- and there can be only one PIC at a time during flight.  In order to be legal, if that flight is in IMC or under IFR, the PIC must have instrument privileges under 61.3(e), and in the OP's scenario, the trainee doesn't have an instrument rating and thus doesn't have instrument privileges.