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Safety pilot

Asked by: 1501 views Instrument Rating

I am working on getting my instrument rating. Can I log as instrument time, toward the 40 hour requirement, left seat while being sole operator of controls in actual IMC if safety pilot is instrument rated (But not a CFII)?

2 Answers

  1. Brent on Apr 22, 2013

    Yes. 61.65(d)(2) lays out that only 15 of the 40 hours actual or simulated instrument has to be dual instruction from a CFII. That leaves up to 25 hours of instrument time you can earn with a safety pilot. Your safety pilot would have to be current, in every relevant sense (day/night, instrument, FR, medical…), in order to be the acting pilot command in instrument conditions.

    You didn’t ask, but if you are rated for the aircraft and the sole manipulator of the controls, you could also *log* PIC time and XC time (if applicable).

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  2. Mark Kolber on Apr 22, 2013


    Just a definitional fyi: In the regs, a “safety pilot” is a pilot who acts as the flying pilot’s eyes when the flying pilot is under the hood. If you’re in actual you’re probably not also under the hood, so the other pilot, technically speaking, isn’t a “safety pilot.”

    That piece of clarification aside, one may log instrument time under 61.51(g) whenever that person “operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions.” Period. No further restriction in the reg in terms of who is or who is not there. In fact, the only two places I can recall where a CFI is required in order to log something are flight training (in 61.51) and 61.57 currency when a simulator or device is used.

    As was discussed in response to another question, that flight time is also logable by you as PIC.

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