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6 Answers

What can be logged as Pilot in Command time when currency has lasped resulting in a BFR?

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Flight Instructor

Due to circumstances I went for 4.5 years without flying.  I hold a Private Pilot Airplane Single Engine Land instrument certificate and a private glider certficate.  I started back flying with my first course of action to get a BFR.  This was accomplished yesterday.  I am now working towards my Commercial certificate.

My CFI said that the time flying the BFR entered into my log book could not be counted as PIC time for me as the time could not be both dual and PIC. Since he was the instructor doing the BFR he was responsible for the flight ( he gets to log it as PIC I quess).  Is this true?

I have other BFR entries from previous instructors in which they entered the time flown as both dual and PIC for me.  One difference in the previous BFR's is they were all conducted before the 2 years ran out so technically I had not lost my flying privileges yet.  If my current instructor is correct is this because I actually lost my pilot privileges due to the BFR not being current?

I want my log book to reflect all flight time correctly and now I am concerned that if my current instructor is right without respect to actually loosing my pilot privileges I have many other BFR entries that are incorrect. 



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6 Answers

  1. Ron Klutts on Feb 19, 2013

    Since your a rated pilot you get to log all time that you are the sole manipulator of the controls. Yes the CFI logs PIC time as well, but your not logging if you can be the legal PIC meaning you have valid medical and flight review. Your logging your time flying.

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  2. Gary Moore on Feb 19, 2013

    And remember – you can put anything you want in your log book. The question is really about what time is valid to meet regulatory requirements.

    You are free to log whatever you want……

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  3. Wes Beard on Feb 19, 2013

    The latest instructor is wrong. You can and should log this time as PIC time or as much as you were the sole manipulator of the controls.

    Reference 61.51. It does not mention anything about having to have a current or valid license. Reference 61.2

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  4. Best Answer

    John D. Collins on Feb 20, 2013

    This is a very common theme in logging questions. There is a distinction in the regulations for the requirements to ACT as pilot in command and to log pilot in command time. Each flight must have a pilot who is qualified to ACT as pilot in command in order for the flight to take place, but generally one doesn’t log this fact. The person who ACT’s as PIC is responsible for the safety of the flight.

    If you are rated in the category and class of airplane and are the sole manipulator of the controls, you are permitted to log that time PIC, regardless if you are acting as PIC even if you are not permitted to act as PIC. If you don’t meet the flight review requirements at the time of the flight, you may not act as pilot in command and usually the Instructor must act as the pilot in command for the flight. In order to act as PIC, there are several other regulations that must be complied with (61.23 – medical, 61.31 endorsements, 61.53 medical, 61.56 – flight review, 61.57 currency), some depending on the nature of the flight.

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  5. Mark Kolber on Feb 20, 2013

    Frank, as others said, your CFI is wrong. Under 61.51’s rules on logging PIC time, a private (or higher) pilot may log in the PIC column all flight time where he is the sole manipulator of the controls and is rated for the aircraft (“rated” should not be confused with “endorsed” – aircraft “ratings” are printed on the reverse side of your pilot certificate; “endorsements” are in a logbook).

    Language 61.51 also allows a CFI who is giving instruction to log it in the PIC column. So, on a typical instructional flight, both instructor and trainee get to log PIC.

    This question has been the subject of numerous opinions by the FAA’s Chief regulatory counsel. All with the same answer (the earliest I know of of from around 1980).

    Nevertheless, the FAA’s perhaps unfortunatey, chose to “PIC” to refer to two completely different things. The person “acting as PIC” has duty and authority. The person “logging PIC” is looking only to checking off the boxes of certain types of experience to count towar certificate, rating and currency. The two are not related.

    It’s not the most intuitive of set-ups so there are a good number of pilots and CFIs completely confused about it.

    I have a FAQ discussing this on my website of you’re interested: http://www.midlifeflight.com/faq/faq.php?s=1#2

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  6. Matthew Waugh on Feb 20, 2013

    To defend the CFI’s confusion a little bit – but not much – if he/she came from a professional pilot mill they may have been indoctrinated that you do not log dual received at the same time as you log PIC BECAUSE – most airlines won’t count that time as PIC, they want as PIC time the time where you “signed for the airplane”, which is airline term, but basically means you ACTED as PIC.

    I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that’s why young, impressionable CFI’s get ideas in their head and then consider them a truth.

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