Required Flight Crewmember?
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Answered By AOPA
If a CFI does not hold a current medical certificate, he may still provide instruction, provided the customer acts as PIC. Part 61.23 (a)(3)(ii) states: a person Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate When exercising the privileges of a flight instructor certificate and acting as the pilot in command or as a required flightcrew member, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in §61.113(i).
My question is what is the definition of "required flight crewmember" in this context?
the way I read it, The CFI has to be in the plane to give instruction, so he is technically "required" for the flight, thus requiring a medical certificate...

 
3 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
Hi Jonathan,

There is an older, but good Letter of Interpretation (LOI) that covers this question thoroughly, using several examples/scenarios; Fretwell 1995 

The definition of what a "required flight crewmember" in the context of flight instruction can be found in another LOI; Grau 2010 . In this letter the FAA offers this definition:
 

"For purposes of this provision,a required pilot flight crewmember means a pilot assigned to perform a duty in an aircraft during flight time.14 C.F.R.§ 1.1.We have stated, for example, that an instructor is a required pilot flight crewmember if the person receiving instruction is not qualified to act as pilot in command or if the type certificate of the aircraft on which instruction is being given requires more than one pilot flight crewmember and no other qualified pilot is on board. White Interpretation,Oct.5, 1978."

You can see from the above references that the FAA doesn't consider a CFI to be a required crewmember solely based on them providing flight instruction. I hope this helps clarify the medical requirements for a CFI giving instruction.

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Best way to think about it is that the instructor is not required for the flight, but is required for the instruction and the authorization of the PIC in the left seat to log dual instruction.
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Hoss At AOPA:
 

"For purposes of this provision,a required pilot flight crewmember means a pilot assigned to perform a duty in an aircraft during flight time.14 C.F.R.§ 1.1.We have stated, for example, that an instructor is a required pilot flight crewmember if the person receiving instruction is not qualified to act as pilot in command or if the type certificate of the aircraft on which instruction is being given requires more than one pilot flight crewmember and no other qualified pilot is on board. White Interpretation,Oct.5, 1978."

 

There is one other case where a CFI is a required pilot crew member while giving instruction, and that is when acting as safety pilot for someone under the hood.