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Flying for hire

Posted by on March 9, 2014 15 Comments Category : Commercial Pilot &Flight Instructor &Flight Instructor Blog &General Aviation Tags : , , , ,

A pilot who has lost his medical asked if I could fly for hire with him. Are there any rules about giving instruction to someone who has last his/her medical and for that matter someone who has lost his/her certificate? Could we both log the time as dual given/received?

Otherwise if it was considered flying for hire in an airplane provided by the client, would I have to log the time as PIC only? And, of course, I would need a second class medical.



  1. Jake Johnson on Mar 12, 2014

    As far as i know, there is nothing that says you can’t give instruction to someone who has lost their medical or certificate.

    The only comment that I would say though is that if you are logging time as dual given, make sure that you are actually giving instruction.

  2. Jesse on Mar 27, 2014

    If the pilot has lost his medical, then he cannot log time. Remember airworthyness is also dependant on having the proper documents on board and valid. There is no law that states in both FAA and or CARS that a person cannot recieve flight instruction without a medical however he will not be able to log the time. In this specific case the Instructor will simply be flying a passenger logging it as PIC. The upside to this is, the “passenger” will be learning thus shortening his / her learning curve when he / she does get their medical back.

  3. Cody Barringer on Mar 28, 2014

    Thanks Jesse. Do you have a reference that explains a pilot not being able to log dual, not PIC time after losing his medical?

  4. Clark Hall on Apr 02, 2014

    Cody I assume you are a CFI in so go fly the other person can log it as Dual, you log it as pic just like any student.
    If you are not a CFI you are still PIC and the other can not log it.

  5. Jane Zucker on Oct 11, 2014

    I agree in Europe is like that, if you fly as safety pilot and you are the PIC there is no problem. He is a kind of passenger who you are instructing.

  6. Mark on Oct 19, 2014

    If we are referring to FAA rules, Jesse won’t be able to give you a reference because he is incorrect.

    Logging PIC time under 61.51(e)(1)(i) (sole manipulator) requires only two conditions (leaving our sport pilots): (1) at least a recreational pilot certificate, and (2) the applicable category and class ratings. There are no other conditions. Not a one. Come up with one? No currency, no medical, no endorsements, no flight review….? hey are irrelevant.

    For references, read the rule and if you want more, go to the FAA Chief Counsel website and search for 61.51. The Chief Counsel consistent written opinions on that subject go back more than 30 years (but you’ll only find the stuff from 1992 forward there)

    For you as instructor, 61.51(e)(3) says you must (1) be and instructor and (2) be giving instruction in an aircraft you are rated for. Some would add that the rule in 61.189, that you endorse training given, is required for you to log the time as well.

  7. Gary on Oct 19, 2014

    Simply stated…suspended medical, pilot’s license is void.

    Misplaced or destroyed certificate, apply for a duplicate through channels. Any AME can tell you how. If a person is required to possess a medical, the person must carry it on his/her person when flying.

  8. Kris Kortokrax on Oct 19, 2014


    We have pilot certificates, not licenses.

    Simply stated, you are wrong. Revocation, suspension or denial of a medical certificate does not render a pilot certificate void. Pilot certificates are issued without an expiration date and their validity is not contingent on possession of a medical certificate.

    If a pilot is rated for gliders or balloons, he may continue to fly as no medical certificate is required.

  9. Mark Kolber on Oct 22, 2014

    Part of the difficulty underlying most of the incorrect “no” answers may be a lack of appreciation of the difference between the validity of a US pilot certificate on the one hand and the prohibition against exercising certain privileges of that certificate.

    For example, the lack of a current medical means a pilot may not exercise certain privileges of a private pilot certificate, namely to act as PIC or required crew in an operation that requires a medical certificate. That does not affect the validity of the certificate itself nor does it prohibit the exercise of pilot privileges that do not require a medical certificate. Kris mentioned one- acting as PIC in a glider. Another is acting as PIC in a light sport aircraft. Another is logging flight time (unless you can find a 61.51 box that includes a condition that requires a medical certificate). Of course, it might also reflect a basic lack of understanding of the difference between acting and logging under the FAA’s rules.

  10. ada on Dec 08, 2014

    Dear members . I need your help. One of of my friends is going to have air dispatcher tests. What kind things will be asked in this English tests?

    thanks for help

  11. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 26, 2015


    The English requirements are spelled out in AC 60-28A. You can view this at the following link:


    There is an ICAO website which gives examples of different levels of English proficiency.


  12. Carlos Zerino on Sep 27, 2016

    Hi guys, I saw this question and thought since i’m about to undertake CFI, might as well sign up here- discussion is always a very good learning resource. Participation can inspire competition and promote thought so I’m excited to join.

    Now I’ll add my two cents-

    The reason I disagree with part of what someone said above is because the question at hand is not exclusive to 61.51. Yes, in the section of “logging flight time” It will outline conditions that must be met to log TYPES of flight time.

    Yet one also has to look at §61.23 “Medical certificates: Requirement and duration” to see if there is any disqualifying factors in there related to when you must have a medical.

    1) On the subject of the PIC they must be a CFI to give DUAL, and you actually only need a minimum of a 3rd class medical certificate to act as PIC during that time, since he can not.

    2) On the subject of (him): If you call and ask this question to a FSDO- and before they tell you to write a letter to headquarters to get a final ruling, probably the FIRST question they’re gonna ask is why does the certificated pilot want to log dual time? If he is a pilot >not seeking< an additional rating, the action of logging time in the DUAL section lacks all purpose.

    Anyone else, correct me if I am wrong but for example- when part 61 outlines "aeronautical experience requirements" for a rating when it says "xx hours of flight training from an authorized instructor" that THIS flight time is the time that is logged in the DUAL received section of a logbook.

    If one is to then make the argument that this dual time 'may' be used to satisfy training requirements of a new rating at a later date when the individual is medically qualified,
    then the verbiage in this regulation seems particularly pertinent:

    §61.23 Medical certificates: Requirement and duration.

    (a) Operations requiring a medical certificate. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a person—

    (3) Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate—

    (iii) When exercising the privileges of a student pilot certificate;

    And if you're going to look at the exemptions in (b) and (c) NONE of the exemptions apply to the airplane category. Please read them for yourself.

    So, sound reasoning would be that if the PURPOSE of logging dual flight time is to satisfy aeronautical experience requirements under part 61, then it is always the case that you must then be qualified by having at least a 3rd class medical certificate when exercising the privileges of a student pilot certificate when flying the airplane category.

    If you do not qualify as a student pilot without that medical, why should you qualify as a student pilot because you hold some pilot certificate, and and specifically claim to be a student/undertaking training?

    A good "ground decision making" is to not undertake such an operation, or incur the risk of penalty for both individuals involved. If you still think there is a "gray area" then you write HQ and get an express authorization to do it.

  13. Carlos Zerino on Sep 28, 2016

    Well, I eat my words. It’s clear that logging flight training time is not exclusively a privilege of a student pilot’s certificate, so 61.23 does not limit the action of logging training time contingent upon being or acting as a student, unless that student intends to exercise the full privileges of a student pilot certificate, which right now seems limited to solo flight if they have an endorsement.

    The reason I determine this is because 61.51(h) outlines training time and places no conditions of needing to be a student pilot, or any other conditions beside who, what, and how it’s entered in the logbook. If I had seen item (h) on this list the first time (and I looked for such a subject). It would completely have changed my outlook on my earlier comment .

    61.51(h) Logging training time. (1) A person may log training time when that person receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device.

    (2) The training time must be logged in a logbook and must:

    (i) Be endorsed in a legible manner by the authorized instructor; and

    (ii) Include a description of the training given, the length of the training lesson, and the authorized instructor’s signature, certificate number, and certificate expiration date.

    HOWEVER, clearly my earlier stands that the person must be a CFI.

    If this “training time” is not being used to satisfy a flight review or training for a new certificate though, it would be abusing this “loophole” for the sole purpose of logging total time… if sharing of expenses is a factor, the FAA will again be interested about the nature of the flight -which was my concern from the get go.

  14. Taylor Green on Apr 14, 2017

    Nobody considered to flying for hire without medical certificate. As per rules and regulations, all documents should be required.

  15. Mohammad Faruqui - Aviation Lawyer on Jun 21, 2017

    I agree with Taylor. The call of the question was, “A pilot who has lost his medical asked if I could fly for hire with him.” That sentence controls how I read the rest of the story.

    A pilot who lost his medical is flying someone else’s aircraft for hire, under Part 91. Put another way, he will fly an aircraft, for hire, carrying a passenger (presumably the aircraft owner), without a medical. That is the first red flag.

    The pilot tries to get a workaround by asking another pilot, presumably a CFI, to fly with him as an instructor. That way, on paper the instructor is flying for hire, not him. But in actuality, it is the pilot who lost his medical receiving compensation. That is the second red flag.

    The pilot asks if he can log time. Under the best case scenario, the pilot does not know or understand Part 61’s nuances about logging dual time, and that is why he is asking. However, under the worst case scenario, the pilot knows he does not need to log time unless he wants to establish currency or earn hours for a new rating. Otherwise, as Carlos Zerino said, logging dual time lacks all purpose absent an intent to get a new rating. That could be an indication for a third red flag.


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