Answered By AOPA
You’ve decided that it might be fun on the weekends to start giving flight instruction. You’ll make some money and be able to pass on knowledge to a new generation of pilots. You’ve already got a private instrument license and about 300 hours from over the years, including a couple training for your commercial rating. You currently have a 1st class medical, with 3rd class privileges. Would you be required to obtain a new 1st or 2nd class medical to pursue further ratings and second career as a flight instructor?
AOPA Staff Answer
Absolutely not. The FARs only require you to hold a medical with 3rd class privileges to act as PIC for your commercial and CFI practical tests. For acting in the capacity of a flight instructor and PIC you would only need to have a medical with 3rd class privileges as well. You wouldn’t even need to hold a medical certificate while flight instructing if you weren’t acting as PIC or a required crewmember. FAR 61.23 explains which level of privileges are required for what activities in detail.
And just to add a postscript, flight instructors have full privileges to teach and receive pay while operating under basic med.