IFR curency and safety pilot
Votes
Joined 03/06/2020 - 1 Posts
Answered By AOPA
Part 61.57 (d)  states that a pilot that has not done the 6 approaches etc within the pas 6 months as per paragraph (c) the pilot can only reestablish instrument currency by completing the instrument proficiency check.  Local CFII check with FAA office and was quoted the Flight Standards Info that only if 12 months had passed without compiling with paragraph (c) would require a proficiency check.  I found a Flight Standards Information  890.1 CHG 462 Chapter 2  paragraph 5-264 subparagraph A that in part said "failure to met instrument requirement for 12 months would require a proficiency check.  Question: If pilot has not complied with paragraph (c) for 6 months, could pilot then comply with paragraph (c) before the end of a 12 month period, and be legal to fly IFR without a proficiency check ride?
Does a Safety Pilot acting in accordance with 91.109 (c) who is clearly not the PIC, does holds a private pilots certificate but does not have a current biannual legal? Is a current medical required safety pilot ,again if not PIC?
3 Replies
Votes
Joined 01/30/2020 - 6 Posts
AOPA Staff Answer
Because of the type of operation, simulated instrument, the safety pilot is considered to be a required crewmember.  A required crewmember has to have either a FAA medical or BasicMed.  If the safety pilot is using BasicMed then they would be required to be acting PIC which would mean they would need to have a current flight review.
Votes
Joined 06/11/2017 - 699 Posts
Gary Henderson:
Question: If pilot has not complied with paragraph (c) for 6 months, could pilot then comply with paragraph (c) before the end of a 12 month period, and be legal to fly IFR without a proficiency check ride?

Does a Safety Pilot acting in accordance with 91.109 (c) who is clearly not the PIC, does holds a private pilots certificate but does not have a current biannual legal? Is a current medical required safety pilot ,again if not PIC?

To the first question, yes.  As long as it's been less than six months since the last time you were current, you can just fill the 6HITs squares and then act as PIC under IFR.  61.57(c).

To the second, yes -- a Flight Review is required only to act as PIC. 61.56(c).

Finally, yes, a safety pilot not acting as PIC needs at least a Third Class Medical.  91.109(c) says the safety pilot needs at least Private Pilot.  That means the safety pilot is exercising Private Pilot privileges.  61.23(a)(3)(i) says you need at least a Third Class Medical to exercise Private Pilot privileges in an Airplane.

Votes
Joined 06/11/2017 - 699 Posts
Just to be clear, the OP said the safety pilot was NOT acting as PIC.  In that case, a Third Class or better medical is required.  

Beyond the OP's question, as IB points out, someone with Basic Med can be a safety pilot, but ONLY if ALSO acting as PIC.  In that case, the Basic Med/PIC/safety pilot would require not only a 61.56 flight review, but all other requirements to act s PIC, including 61.57 passenger landing currency (since the hooded pilot not acting as PIC is a passenger, not a required pilot crewmember), any applicable 61.31 additional training endorsements, and the appropriate type rating if the aircraft involved requires one.  

In addition to those FAA requirements, to keep the aircraft owner's insurance in force, the Basic Med/PIC/safety pilot would have to meet all open pilot waiver requirements in that policy.  That might not be a big deal for something like a 172 or Warrior, but for a plane like a Bonanza or Cirrus, those could be significant.