Here's an interesting questions about who is PIC during an Instrument Proficiency Check when the pilot is not instrument current. A Commercial Pilot and CFII ATP do an IPC in the pilot's owned aircraft. The pilot is not instrument current. The CFII elects to have the pilot file a pop-up IFR clearance in order to perform approaches in IMC during the IPC. They fly in IMC during the approaches on an IFR flight plan. The pilot tells the CFII that he/she will be PIC while on IFR because the pilot isn't current. The CFII agrees; however, the aircraft is a tail wheel and the CFII has not performed the required 3 takeoffs and landings in the last 90 days to a full stop to carry passengers in a tail wheel aircraft. My understanding is that the pilot is not considered a passenger so the CFII can legally be PIC but I would like other opinions.

1 Replies
1372 Posts

Your reading of the regulations regarding 61.57 as interpreted by the Chief Counsel is correct.  This assumes that although not tail-wheel current per 61.57, the instructor is tail-wheel qualified per 61.31(i) either by grandfathering or endorsement.  Otherwise, the instructor would not be legal to be the PIC at all in that tailwheel airplane, even solo.

BTW, a later Chief Counsel letter made clear that the interpretation linked above applies to day operations per 61.57(a) as well as night operations under 61.57(b).