Log PIC When Two Pilots Fly Together
Votes
Answered By AOPA

Both fully qualified pilots share the workload of piloting and alternate controls. Who can log as PIC?

10 Replies
Votes
AOPA Staff Answer

In your case, if two rated pilots are taking turns flying, so to speak, then whomever is sole manipulator of the flight controls can log the PIC time.

As Ron noted, acting as PIC and logging PIC time can be different. A pilot must either be rated in the aircraft, or have solo privileges, to log PIC time. A newly minted private pilot whose only experience is in a Cessna 172 can log PIC time in a Beech Bonanza, as it is a SEL airplane. The complex and/or high performance endorsements are required to act as PIC, not to log PIC time.

Likewise, a private pilot training for an instrument rating can log actual IMC time, and PIC, while sole manipulator. An instrument rating is not a requirement to log actual IMC time. In fact, in a somewhat humorous twist in FAR 61.51(g), one only has to be a ‘person’ to log instrument time; holding a pilot certificate is not required!

Votes

Hello Richard. The answer to your question will be situation dependent. For instance, will you be operating the airplane in a manner requiring two person crew (simulated instrument in VFR conditions for instance)? Will you be flying under a IFR filed and accepted flight plan? Who is accepting the responsibility as “acting” PIC versus PIC for the purpose of flight training? Here are two links explaining some of those scenarios:

https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/learn-to-fly/old-pages/legacy-pages/aviation-subject-report-logging-pilot-in-command-pic-time

https://www.boldmethod.com/blog/2014/04/can-two-private-pilots-log-pic-at-the-same-time/ 

I recommend calling the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 1-800-872-2672 if you would like to discuss in further detail. 

Votes

A qualified pilot rated for the aircraft and operation can log PIC flight time whenever he/she is the sole manipulator of the controls.

Votes
1296 Posts

Andrew Meranda: 
 

A qualified pilot rated for the aircraft and operation can log PIC flight time whenever he/she is the sole manipulator of the controls.

Doesn't have to be “rated…for the operation.” Instrument students rated in the aircraft log PIC time during training under IFR.  The criteria to log PIC time are listed in 61.51(e), and if you meet any one of them, you can log it.  Just don't confuse the requirements to log PIC time with those to be the PIC, which are governed by other regulations.

Votes
1296 Posts

Here's a good flow chart to decide when you can log PIC time.

Votes

It would be interesting to add the box containing, “Are you a current CFI?” :-)