CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

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VL Roberts
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby VL Roberts » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:43 pm

Merlinspop wrote:From a practical standpoint, I've never had a CFI who signed my log book enter anything about their medical. No number, no expiration. The CFI number and exp date, yes. I would doubt that X months or years down the road anyone will ask about the CFI's medical. They'll want to know if the CFI was subpart H or not. No?

Your logbook is still an area where the honor system applies (at least to a degree). I hope it stays that way.


The CFI is entering in the log book only what is required by regulation. Medical status, flight review or currency info is not required either. So you are right, it is the honor system and a CFI skirting the rules is not likely to be caught.

However, there have been instances where pilots who were tested by certain DPE's have been told by the FAA that their certificates were no longer valid and they would have to be retested.

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby drseti » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:57 pm

From a strictly practical viewpoint, it is the PTS that dictates what a pilot applicant needs to demonstrate to earn a rating. FARs notwithstanding, if an applicant demonstrates performance consistent with PTS requirements, should it even matter who he or she learned those skills from? This was the thrust of the joint EAA/FAA/NAFI proposal to the FAA, proposing to allow certain skills taught by Subpart K CFIs to count toward higher ratings. I had the pleasure of serving on the committee that drafted the proposal, along with Paul Hamilton, Rod Machado, and Helen Woods. Unfortunately, three years or more later, FAA has failed to act, so I'm not holding my breath. But, if the proposal is ever accepted, the medical certificate status of a Subpart H CFI instructing in an LSA wold become moot.
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby VL Roberts » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:16 am

drseti wrote:From a strictly practical viewpoint, it is the PTS that dictates what a pilot applicant needs to demonstrate to earn a rating. FARs notwithstanding, if an applicant demonstrates performance consistent with PTS requirements, should it even matter who he or she learned those skills from? This was the thrust of the joint EAA/FAA/NAFI proposal to the FAA, proposing to allow certain skills taught by Subpart K CFIs to count toward higher ratings. I had the pleasure of serving on the committee that drafted the proposal, along with Paul Hamilton, Rod Machado, and Helen Woods. Unfortunately, three years or more later, FAA has failed to act, so I'm not holding my breath. But, if the proposal is ever accepted, the medical certificate status of a Subpart H CFI instructing in an LSA wold become moot.


Hey, I'm all for instructors with expired medicals having the privilege of instructing for Private Pilot in LSA's. But when a student is seeking advice on this matter, my answer, based on the regulation , is no the hours won't count.

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:18 am

Boy, this sure blew up yesterday.

There is no question that a sub part H flight instructor without a medical can give instruction in a light sport aircraft using only a drivers' license, and they must operate under the privileges of a sport pilot instructor. The regulations are pretty clear.

That was not the question though. The question is does the time count towards the private pilot certificate. The FAA ruling stated that training provided by a sub part K flight instructor does not count towards the private pilot certificate. A sub part H instructor is still a sub part H instructor even if thay are only exercising sub part K privileges. The time should count toward the private pilot certificate, because the instructor has received the required training in the eyes of the FAA to provide private pilot instruction unlike the sub part K instructor. There will be some training required for the private that they can not do because thay are only flying with a drivers' license.

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby drseti » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:24 am

At the risk of belaboring this thread, I do think I've spotted the root of this disagreement, and can perhaps resolve it.

First off, in the case of Sport Pilot instruction received from a Subpart K CFI counting toward PP, I think we all agree that it doesn't. I don't like it, but unless or until the FAA acts favorably on our petition, that's the law of the land. Case closed.

But, we're talking here about Subpart H CFIs. Those folks are commercial pilots, with instrument ratings, who at some point held a Second Class medical certificate or above. So, the point of contention is: does a lapsed medical automatically turn a Subpart H into a Subpart K CFI? Well, the driver's license medical FAR certainly seems to say so, and I imagine that was the basis for the EAA Expert's response, cited previously.

However, there is a more fundamental question, which was addressed by FAA Legal about a decade and a half before the SP rules were promulgated: does the validity of a CFI certificate (under Subpart H) require a medical certificate? And, to that question, FAA Legal answered with a resounding no. A certain type of medical is required to exercise certain privileges of one's pilot certificate. Clearly, before LSA (and still true in a non-LSA), one must have a medical to act as PIC. But FAA allows a CFI to be a CFI, even in a certified aircraft, as long as he or she is not PIC. Examples include such a CFI giving FAA Wings flight currency training, and performing biennials (flight reviews) for appropriately rated pilots whose currency has not lapsed.

The medical certificate is attached to pilot privileges, not flight instructor privileges. On the back of my CFI certificate, it says "valid only if accompanied by Commercial Pilot Certificate #xxxxxxx." Nowhere does it say "and a valid medical certificate." Can I give you a flight review in your Bonanza, with a lapsed medical? Absolutely, as long as your two years haven't yet passed. And, I do that all the time. I did not cease to be a Subpart H CFI when I chose to let my medical lapse, I just ceased to be a legal PIC in your Bonanza. (BTW, this rule even applies if the Subpart H CFI's medical has been revoked or withdrawn! No medical required to exercise CFI privileges; it's a pilot requirement, not an instructor requirement.)

Now, how about training a SP to upgrade to PP? Same rule applies. I must have a valid Subpart H CFI certificate, of course, must have renewed it properly within the previous 24 calendar months, and all that. Nothing there about a medical; I'm still a CFI under FAA rules that predate SP. In fact, if the student is a current SP, and we're training in an LSA, and we're not flying at night, I don't even have to be PIC (though in an LSA I clearly could be). And, it could be argued, even if my medical were revoked or withdrawn, I could still give PP instruction to a SP acting as PIC, as long as my CFI is current, you're PIC, you're not under the hood, and we're flying in the daytime.

But, that was not the original question. As I read it, the question was: do SP instructional hours received from a Subpart H CFI with a driver's license medical, in an LSA, count toward PP training hours requirements? If we agree that (per the above) hours trained with such an CFI after the SP has earned his or her ticket do count, than how can it possibly be that hours legally trained with that same CFI before the student became a SP do not?

Yes, when you get ready for his or her night training, the prospective PP has to fly with somebody who has a current medical. Otherwise, all the additional training can be done (in an LSA) with a Subpart H CFI whose medical has lapsed.
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby Merlinspop » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:33 am

drseti wrote:At the risk of belaboring this thread... [edited to preserve our bits and bytes]...

Well reasoned and presented. I agree with your position.
- Bruce

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby drseti » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:40 am

Well, Bruce, whether you agree or not, that's my position and I'm sticking to it. :wink:
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby VL Roberts » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:06 am

drseti wrote:At the risk of belaboring this thread, I do think I've spotted the root of this disagreement, and can perhaps resolve it.

First off, in the case of Sport Pilot instruction received from a Subpart K CFI counting toward PP, I think we all agree that it doesn't. I don't like it, but unless or until the FAA acts favorably on our petition, that's the law of the land. Case closed.

But, we're talking here about Subpart H CFIs. Those folks are commercial pilots, with instrument ratings, who at some point held a Second Class medical certificate or above. So, the point of contention is: does a lapsed medical automatically turn a Subpart H into a Subpart K CFI? Well, the driver's license medical FAR certainly seems to say so, and I imagine that was the basis for the EAA Expert's response, cited previously.

However, there is a more fundamental question, which was addressed by FAA Legal about a decade and a half before the SP rules were promulgated: does the validity of a CFI certificate (under Subpart H) require a medical certificate? And, to that question, FAA Legal answered with a resounding no. A certain type of medical is required to exercise certain privileges of one's pilot certificate. Clearly, before LSA (and still true in a non-LSA), one must have a medical to act as PIC. But FAA allows a CFI to be a CFI, even in a certified aircraft, as long as he or she is not PIC. Examples include such a CFI giving FAA Wings flight currency training, and performing biennials (flight reviews) for appropriately rated pilots whose currency has not lapsed.

The medical certificate is attached to pilot privileges, not flight instructor privileges. On the back of my CFI certificate, it says "valid only if accompanied by Commercial Pilot Certificate #xxxxxxx." Nowhere does it say "and a valid medical certificate." Can I give you a flight review in your Bonanza, with a lapsed medical? Absolutely, as long as your two years haven't yet passed. And, I do that all the time. I did not cease to be a Subpart H CFI when I chose to let my medical lapse, I just ceased to be a legal PIC in your Bonanza. (BTW, this rule even applies if the Subpart H CFI's medical has been revoked or withdrawn! No medical required to exercise CFI privileges; it's a pilot requirement, not an instructor requirement.)

Now, how about training a SP to upgrade to PP? Same rule applies. I must have a valid Subpart H CFI certificate, of course, must have renewed it properly within the previous 24 calendar months, and all that. Nothing there about a medical; I'm still a CFI under FAA rules that predate SP. In fact, if the student is a current SP, and we're training in an LSA, and we're not flying at night, I don't even have to be PIC (though in an LSA I clearly could be). And, it could be argued, even if my medical were revoked or withdrawn, I could still give PP instruction to a SP acting as PIC, as long as my CFI is current, you're PIC, you're not under the hood, and we're flying in the daytime.

But, that was not the original question. As I read it, the question was: do SP instructional hours received from a Subpart H CFI with a driver's license medical, in an LSA, count toward PP training hours requirements? If we agree that (per the above) hours trained with such an CFI after the SP has earned his or her ticket do count, than how can it possibly be that hours legally trained with that same CFI before the student became a SP do not?

Yes, when you get ready for his or her night training, the prospective PP has to fly with somebody who has a current medical. Otherwise, all the additional training can be done (in an LSA) with a Subpart H CFI whose medical has lapsed.


All very logical. So, looking FAR 61.23 , can an examiner without a medical give a Private Pilot check ride in a LSA? Or is that examiner restricted to Sport Pilot check rides?

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby Merlinspop » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:08 am

drseti wrote:Well, Bruce, whether you agree or not, that's my position and I'm sticking to it. :wink:

That's MUCH more nicely stated than when my wife expresses the same sentiment. :shock:
- Bruce

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:13 am

VL Roberts wrote:All very logical. So, looking FAR 61.23 , can an examiner without a medical give a Private Pilot check ride in a LSA? Or is that examiner restricted to Sport Pilot check rides?


I think an examiner needs to have a medical regardless of the kind of aircraft they are doing the checkride in. I will be talking to one next week and I will ask if this is the case.

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby drseti » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:15 am

VL Roberts wrote:can an examiner without a medical give a Private Pilot check ride in a LSA?


My interpretation: Yes, if the PP candidate is already a licensed SP, passenger-current, and hence able to be PIC during the checkride. But, I'll be interested to hear what Tom finds out.

Or is that examiner restricted to Sport Pilot check rides?


Separate issue entirely. There are restrictions on a DPE's designation. Some can give only Private, some Private and Commercial, some only Sport, etc. It's up to the issuing FSDO (or in the case of SP only examiners, up to AFS-610) to specify.
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby VL Roberts » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:22 am

3Dreaming wrote:Boy, this sure blew up yesterday.

There is no question that a sub part H flight instructor without a medical can give instruction in a light sport aircraft using only a drivers' license, and they must operate under the privileges of a sport pilot instructor. The regulations are pretty clear.

That was not the question though. The question is does the time count towards the private pilot certificate. The FAA ruling stated that training provided by a sub part K flight instructor does not count towards the private pilot certificate. A sub part H instructor is still a sub part H instructor even if thay are only exercising sub part K privileges. The time should count toward the private pilot certificate, because the instructor has received the required training in the eyes of the FAA to provide private pilot instruction unlike the sub part K instructor. There will be some training required for the private that they can not do because thay are only flying with a drivers' license.


Let's forget about Sport Pilot for a moment. Do you contend that a CFI w/o a medical can provide instruction to a student pilot pursuing a Private Pilot certificate so long as instruction takes place in a LSA?

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby drseti » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:14 pm

If we're talking a current Subpart H CFI, I can't see why not. After all, he or she can give flight reviews to a PP, CP, or ATP without having a medical, and that's exercising CFI privileges, isn't it?
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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby VL Roberts » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:38 pm

drseti wrote:If we're talking a current Subpart H CFI, I can't see why not. After all, he or she can give flight reviews to a PP, CP, or ATP without having a medical, and that's exercising CFI privileges, isn't it?


A Subpart K instructor can give flight reviews to a PP, CP, or ATP also, provided the review is conducted in a LSA.

As for flight instruction , if the only issue was PIC ability, you would be right as regards Examiners and Flight Instructors.

I think it is clear (at least to me), that for practical tests and instruction for airman certificates other than sport , the FAA wants a medical.

The FAA ruling on Subpart H instructing for Sport and counting the hours toward Private didn't address the issue of medicals because that wasn't asked.

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Re: CFI exercising Sport Pilot CFI Privileges question

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:47 pm

VL Roberts wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:Boy, this sure blew up yesterday.

There is no question that a sub part H flight instructor without a medical can give instruction in a light sport aircraft using only a drivers' license, and they must operate under the privileges of a sport pilot instructor. The regulations are pretty clear.

That was not the question though. The question is does the time count towards the private pilot certificate. The FAA ruling stated that training provided by a sub part K flight instructor does not count towards the private pilot certificate. A sub part H instructor is still a sub part H instructor even if thay are only exercising sub part K privileges. The time should count toward the private pilot certificate, because the instructor has received the required training in the eyes of the FAA to provide private pilot instruction unlike the sub part K instructor. There will be some training required for the private that they can not do because thay are only flying with a drivers' license.


Let's forget about Sport Pilot for a moment. Do you contend that a CFI w/o a medical can provide instruction to a student pilot pursuing a Private Pilot certificate so long as instruction takes place in a LSA?


That is not what I said. Instruction given to a sport pilot student by a sub part H flight instructor can be counted towards the private pilot certificate. This is dirrected to the OP original question.
As whether a sub part H flight instructor can give instruction to a private pilot student in a LSA without a medical. Just reading the FAR's and not looking at any legal rulings from the FAA I would say no. This is just like the fact that a student pilot must hold at least a third class medical to exercise the privileges regardles of the type of airplane they are flying, unless they are seeking sport pilot privileges in a light sport aircraft.
I think the need for a medical really comes down to what are the intensions of the student.


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