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Reinstating a CFI issued after 1975
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Answered By AOPA
I have an expired CFI with Airplane Single And Multiengine, and Instrument Airplane ratings. Issued in 1977.
In reading CFR Part 61, 5-502 it says:

5-502    REINSTATEMENT. A holder of an expired flight instructor certificate issued after November 1, 1975, may have all ratings reinstated by accomplishing a flight instructor additional rating practical test. If appropriate, for an additional flight instructor rating, an aeronautical knowledge test may be required (refer to § 61.183(f)).

Does this mean that I could have my flight instructor certificate with all the ratings reinstated by just doing the practical test? Would the flight test have to be in a multi-engine plane or include all the items in the CFII flight test guide in order to reinstate these ratings?
 
7 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
Hi Thomas,

The FAR that covers this question is FAR 61.199. It covers the reinstatement requirements for CFIs with expired certificates.

In short this regulation states that expired (non-military) CFIs have two options:
  • Take a practical test for one of the ratings you already hold on your expired certificate
  • Take a practical test for an additional rating (one that you don't already hold on your expired certificate)
Passing either of the options above will reinstate your CFI with all the ratings that you currently have on your expired CFI certificate. The practical test that you use to reinstate is completely up to you. I see that you hold a CFI-A, CFII and MEI. So you can choose to do whichever of those practical tests you want, it does not need to be in a multi-engine unless you choose to do it that way.

To determine the required tasks for the practical test you will need to look in the respective PTS for the rating you choose for the appropriate "task table", for example here's the one from the CFI-A PTS:


Here's the table for the MEI (comes from the same PTS as the CFI-A)


Here's the one from the CFII PTS:




You'll then need to go through the PTS to determine what is required under each task for the practical.
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Thank you.
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1183 Posts
Ronald Levy:
John Cronin:
If a pilot should fail the CFI reinstatement flight test (either a previous rating or new one), will the pilot still be able to exercise the current privileges held?

The CFI will have 15 days to successfully complete the test.  If that doesn't happen, the Flight Instructor certificate will be suspended -- the whole certificate, not just the rating which was being tested.  Further...

"3)    If the applicant’s flying proficiency is seriously in doubt, begin reexamination action against the applicant’s pilot certificate in accordance with the regulations. (See Volume 5, Chapter 7, Section 1.)"

https://fsims.faa.gov/PICDetail.aspx?docId=8900.1,Vol.5,Ch2,Sec11
 

After further consideration, I guess the message here is if you've been out of regular instructing long enough to need a reinstatement ride, you'd probably be wise to get some CFI refresher training (ground and flight) from an active and experienced CFI even though neither specific training nor an endorsement is required to do the reinstatement ride -- the potential negative consequences of failing the ride are quite serious.

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1183 Posts
John Cronin:
If a pilot should fail the CFI reinstatement flight test (either a previous rating or new one), will the pilot still be able to exercise the current privileges held?

The CFI will have 15 days to successfully complete the test.  If that doesn't happen, the Flight Instructor certificate will be suspended -- the whole certificate, not just the rating which was being tested.  Further...

"3)    If the applicant’s flying proficiency is seriously in doubt, begin reexamination action against the applicant’s pilot certificate in accordance with the regulations. (See Volume 5, Chapter 7, Section 1.)"

https://fsims.faa.gov/PICDetail.aspx?docId=8900.1,Vol.5,Ch2,Sec11
 

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If a pilot should fail the CFI reinstatement flight test (either a previous rating or new one), will the pilot still be able to exercise the current privileges held?
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AOPA receives, with some frequency, questions about renewing an expired flight instructor certificate. To be clear, an expired flight instructor certificate cannot be renewed - it must be re-instated. And as detailed here, a flight test is the only option. An in-person or online FIRC cannot be used to re-instate an expired certificate. Unfortunately, the call starts happy and cheery enough, but upon learning the only option, the tone changes. We hate to break the bad news, but that is the way it is.

Double check your instructor certificate expire date, which is printed on the back of the card. Many assume, incorrectly, the issue date month, printed on the front, is the same as the expiration month. It may be, but because of the 4-month renewal window FAA allows, it may different. Some instructors we talk to are quite relieved after they flip the card over and realize they have another month to go, when they thought their privileges had already expired.