Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

On September 1, 2004 the FAA inaugurated a new pilot certificate dubbed the "sport pilot" that makes learning to fly easier and more affordable that ever. Intended primarily for recreational use, you can now become a pilot with as little as 20 hours of flight instruction! In addition, the FAA also created a new category of affordable "light-sport aircraft"!

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:37 pm

3Dreaming wrote:61.89 (d) it says a student pilot may use BasicMed. 61.23 says you can take a private pilot checkride with BasicMed. Seems clear to me.


Yes, once you find it, the rules seem clear enough. But, I agree with Tim as to the lack of harmonization. Why should we have to dig through so many non-indexed sections to figure this out? It would be so much better if the relevant rules were all in the same place (or at least sequential).

An example of the Law of Unintended Consequences: I can be PIC of most GA aircraft, exercising Private Pilot privileges, under Basic Med. As a CFI, I can instruct for hire (generally a Commercial Pilot privilege) using Basic Med. As a DPE, I can give Sport Pilot checkrides in an LSA using Basic Med (or even just a driver's license). But as a DPE, I cannot give an RP, PP, Instrument, or Commercial checkride under Basic Med - I'd have to get a Special Issuance 3rd class medical (at great expense, I might add)!

Clearly, exercising DPE privileges is not a commercial activity - if it were, FAA would require a 2nd Class medical. So, why will they not allow Basic Med for that activity? Makes absolutely no sense to me.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:47 pm

61.89 (d) is the missing piece I was asking for. It makes sense with that, but not before that was mentioned.

Speaking of the law of unintended consequences, I still maintain a licensed pilot can act as safety pilot in an LSA without a medical if he can act as PIC in an LSA without a medical.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby bryancobb » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:19 am

3Dreaming wrote:
Can a commercial pilot use BasicMed if they only want to exercise private pilot privileges?


Absolutely, unequivocally, YES! Any flying activity that requires a pilot's license and some form of medical clearance can be done under Basic Med, AS LONG AS IT IS NOT DONE FOR COMPENSATION OR HIRE.

A commercial or ATP rated pilot that is participating in a flying activity that is not for compensation or hire IS only exercising Private Privileges. That is the very intent of Basic Med. It was to relieve some of the burden and expense on non-commerce flying for all pilots.

In plain English, 10+ years of data exists now on Sport Pilots, showing that relaxed medical standards does not result in decreased safety. The AOPA convinced the FAA that the whole general aviation community would benefit greatly from the same degree of relaxed medical standards without making it less safe.

Another plain English statement, Medically, an ATP flying a Kitfox under Basic Med for recreation is the same animal as a Sport Pilot flying a Kitfox using his drivers license. There is a difference in things they are allowed to do though. The Private-plus guy can fly his Kitfox at night if the plane is equipped. The Private-plus guy can fly his Kitfox in B, C, and D airspace without an endorsement.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:13 am

That is entirely correct, Bryan - with one additional privilege. A commercial pilot who is a CFI can give flight instruction for hire (clearly that would be exercising a commercial pilot privilege) under Basic Med. That provision does not appear explicitly in the FARs, it is affirmed in the form of a Letter of Interpretation from FAA Legal.

Unfortunately, they didn't go far enough. As I mentioned in another post, that same commercial pilot who also happens to be a DPE is not allowed to give practical tests under Basic Med, except toward the Sport Pilot rating in an LSA .

In summary, a CP or ATP using Basic Med is still a CP or ATP, but operating as a PP (under PP rules and restrictions). Similarly, a PP, CP, or ATP operating under just a driver's license medical is still a PP, CP, or ATP, but operating as an SP (under SP rules and restrictions).
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:43 am

bryancobb wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:
Can a commercial pilot use BasicMed if they only want to exercise private pilot privileges?


Absolutely, unequivocally, YES! Any flying activity that requires a pilot's license and some form of medical clearance can be done under Basic Med, AS LONG AS IT IS NOT DONE FOR COMPENSATION OR HIRE.

A commercial or ATP rated pilot that is participating in a flying activity that is not for compensation or hire IS only exercising Private Privileges. That is the very intent of Basic Med. It was to relieve some of the burden and expense on non-commerce flying for all pilots.

In plain English, 10+ years of data exists now on Sport Pilots, showing that relaxed medical standards does not result in decreased safety. The AOPA convinced the FAA that the whole general aviation community would benefit greatly from the same degree of relaxed medical standards without making it less safe.

Another plain English statement, Medically, an ATP flying a Kitfox under Basic Med for recreation is the same animal as a Sport Pilot flying a Kitfox using his drivers license. There is a difference in things they are allowed to do though. The Private-plus guy can fly his Kitfox at night if the plane is equipped. The Private-plus guy can fly his Kitfox in B, C, and D airspace without an endorsement.


I posted the question to invoke thought. If people were thinking that a student pilot couldn't use BasicMed because the reference was listed in the private pilot limitations, then a commercial pilot wouldn't be able to use it because of the sane reason. I knew both could use BasicMed.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:48 am

drseti wrote:That is entirely correct, Bryan - with one additional privilege. A commercial pilot who is a CFI can give flight instruction for hire (clearly that would be exercising a commercial pilot privilege) under Basic Med. That provision does not appear explicitly in the FARs, it is affirmed in the form of a Letter of Interpretation from FAA Legal.

Unfortunately, they didn't go far enough. As I mentioned in another post, that same commercial pilot who also happens to be a DPE is not allowed to give practical tests under Basic Med, except toward the Sport Pilot rating in an LSA .

In summary, a CP or ATP using Basic Med is still a CP or ATP, but operating as a PP (under PP rules and restrictions). Similarly, a PP, CP, or ATP operating under just a driver's license medical is still a PP, CP, or ATP, but operating as an SP (under SP rules and restrictions).


Paul, instructing is not a commercial pilot activity. You are being paid for teaching not flying. It is true that a sub part H CFI is required to have a commercial pilot certificate, but that is not because instructing is a commercial activity. The requirement is there because the FAA wants you to have a prerequisite level of skill before becoming a teacher.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:58 am

3Dreaming wrote:Paul, instructing is not a commercial pilot activity. You are being paid for teaching not flying.


Yes, Tom, I understand that, and agree. By the same token, as a DPE, I am not being paid for flying (in fact, except in cases of an emergency, I am NOT supposed to fly). I am being paid for performing a quality control function for the FAA. So, shouldn't I similarly be able to do so under Basic Med?
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:12 am

drseti wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:Paul, instructing is not a commercial pilot activity. You are being paid for teaching not flying.


Yes, Tom, I understand that, and agree. By the same token, as a DPE, I am not being paid for flying (in fact, except in cases of an emergency, I am NOT supposed to fly). I am being paid for performing a quality control function for the FAA. So, shouldn't I similarly be able to do so under Basic Med?


Paul, I think you should be able to act as a DPE under BasicMed.
You had just said for the second time in this thread that instructing was a commercial pilot activity. I don't agree with that.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:42 am

3Dreaming wrote:Paul, I think you should be able to act as a DPE under BasicMed.


I think so too, Tom. AFS-650 (?) seems to disagree. :(

You had just said for the second time in this thread that instructing was a commercial pilot activity. I don't agree with that.


It is, of course, an activity that requires a commercial certificate. For years, it was treated as a commercial activity. IIRC, only in the past decade or so did FAA Legal issue a letter of interpretation saying one can instruct with no medical whatever (but cannot act as PIC while doint so).
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:57 am

drseti wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:Paul, I think you should be able to act as a DPE under BasicMed.


I think so too, Tom. AFS-650 (?) seems to disagree. :(

You had just said for the second time in this thread that instructing was a commercial pilot activity. I don't agree with that.


It is, of course, an activity that requires a commercial certificate. For years, it was treated as a commercial activity. IIRC, only in the past decade or so did FAA Legal issue a letter of interpretation saying one can instruct with no medical whatever (but cannot act as PIC while doint so).


Paul, I think it is much longer than just the past decade. As far as I know it has been that way since I became an instructor in 1990. Getting an instructors rating requires a commercial pilot certificate. Using the flight instructor rating does not.

As I was thinking about this I thought of Clint McHenry. I know he did aerobatic instruction without a medical quite some time ago, so I googled him. the FAA started allowing instructors to instruct and charge for the instruction back in 1981.
https://www.iac.org/hall-fame-1993-clint-mchenry

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:06 pm

3Dreaming wrote: FAA started allowing instructors to instruct and charge for the instruction back in 1981.
https://www.iac.org/hall-fame-1993-clint-mchenry


That long ago? Seems like only yesterday. Damn, I must really be getting old! ;)
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:00 pm

I got my Commercial in 1967 and CFI in 1968. I always got a second class medical just in case I had an opportunity to fly a charter flight, which I often did while in college. That worked for me until 2005 when I started dealing with health issues.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby bryancobb » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:17 pm

3Dreaming wrote:
drseti wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:Paul, instructing is not a commercial pilot activity. You are being paid for teaching not flying.


Yes, Tom, I understand that, and agree. By the same token, as a DPE, I am not being paid for flying (in fact, except in cases of an emergency, I am NOT supposed to fly). I am being paid for performing a quality control function for the FAA. So, shouldn't I similarly be able to do so under Basic Med?


Paul, I think you should be able to act as a DPE under BasicMed.
You had just said for the second time in this thread that instructing was a commercial pilot activity. I don't agree with that.

I agree with you 3D. It has always been hammered in my head that any activity of "giving flight instruction" is not a Commercial activity and does not require a Medical Certificate unless they are a REQUIRED CREW MEMBER while instructing.

Now with Basic Med, my belief is the GAME HAS CHANGED. Since giving flight instruction has been determined by the FAA to be a Non-Commercial Flying Activity, my stance is that any CFI, even when acting as PIC or a Required Crew Member, can fulfill that role with only Basic Med. They are NOT flying for compensation or hire. They are teaching for compensation or hire. If the student were to have a heart attack and die. The pilot would be compliant with all FAR's to fly and land.

I also believe when the dust settles, the FAA will advise DPE's that they only need Basic Med to conduct checkrides. The premise is, the applicant is and always has been the PIC and if they were to croak, the DPE can fly and land, compliant with all FAR's.

When the FAA makes a significant change to the FAR's like this, it's so complex that no one can anticipate the far-reaching effect it has. They can make a change in ink pen color required to complete FAA forms and one of the results may be airliners crashing into mountains because pilots can't see their writing under red cockpit lights. LOL

BE ADVISED: DO NOT call or write the FAA to get an answer. This usually results in their Legal Department writing some binding letter that goes 180 degrees against what the FAR's authors (and often the AOPA) intended the new FAR to allow.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:20 pm

bryancobb wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:
drseti wrote:
Yes, Tom, I understand that, and agree. By the same token, as a DPE, I am not being paid for flying (in fact, except in cases of an emergency, I am NOT supposed to fly). I am being paid for performing a quality control function for the FAA. So, shouldn't I similarly be able to do so under Basic Med?


Paul, I think you should be able to act as a DPE under BasicMed.
You had just said for the second time in this thread that instructing was a commercial pilot activity. I don't agree with that.

I agree with you 3D. It has always been hammered in my head that any activity of "giving flight instruction" is not a Commercial activity and does not require a Medical Certificate unless they are a REQUIRED CREW MEMBER while instructing.

Now with Basic Med, my belief is the GAME HAS CHANGED. Since giving flight instruction has been determined by the FAA to be a Non-Commercial Flying Activity, my stance is that any CFI, even when acting as PIC or a Required Crew Member, can fulfill that role with only Basic Med. They are NOT flying for compensation or hire. They are teaching for compensation or hire. If the student were to have a heart attack and die. The pilot would be compliant with all FAR's to fly and land.


I don't think anyone here thinks otherwise. Nothing has changed except Basic Med meets the medical requirements to act as PIC. A CFI is PIC if the student is not licensed and current or becomes incapable of acting as PIC, or is flying under a hood.
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