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Logging PIC time with a safety pilot

Asked by: 12122 views FAA Regulations

I am Currently working on my MEI as well as my friend. We are both commercial pilots with both single and multi engine privileges, instrument airplane. We have both our CFI & CFII and both of us currently flight instruct. I did my multi engine checkride last February while he did his about two years ago. We both did a checkout flight within the past month. He did 3 take offs and landings with the instructor While we only had time to do one.  So technically I'm not current with the required 3 take off and landings  in the preceding 90 days to Carry a passenger. We are wanting to time build together, so the pilot flying would be under the hood while the other is acting as a safety pilot. so my question is  can I log the time as a PIC since I have sole  manipulation of the controls while he acts as PIC while acting as safety pilot Since he is current? Or since he is current, if he is the pilot flying while under the hood, can I log PIC time  acting as safety pilot although im not current?  I've asked other flight instructors and this seems to be a grey area considering is the safety pilot considered a passenger. since my friend is current, could I then technically log the landings if I have the sole manipulation of the flight controls even though I would technically be the passenger at that point so I can get current? Hope this wasn't to confusing. 

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2 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Mar 23, 2014

    Why don’t you just do 3 takeoffs and landings while your friend acts as PIC and you will then be current?

    The safety pilot is not a passenger. He is a required crewmember, hence the requirement to have at least a private pilot certificate.

    Also, the safety pilot may not log the total flight time, only the time that the other pilot is under the hood. Further, only one pilot may log cross country time.

    See the following legal interpretations:

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2009/louis%20glenn%20-%20%282009%29%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2009/gebhart%20-%20%282009%29%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

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  2. Mark Kolber on Mar 27, 2014

    Hope this wasn’t to confusing.
    LOL. Let’s break your questions up:

    We are wanting to time build together, so the pilot flying would be under the hood while the other is acting as a safety pilot. so my question is can I log the time as a PIC since I have sole manipulation of the controls while he acts as PIC while acting as safety pilot Since he is current?

    Yes, 61.51’s authority for a pilot to log PIC time when acting as sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft the pilot is rated for is not dependent on landing currency, time of day, whether the flight is IFR, medical status, flight review currency, who is “acting” as PIC or anything else.

    Or since he is current, if he is the pilot flying while under the hood, can I log PIC time acting as safety pilot although im not current? I’ve asked other flight instructors and this seems to be a grey area considering is the safety pilot considered a passenger.

    Nothing grey about it. There is no requirement that a pilot be current to act as a safety pilot – only a private certificate with appropriate category and class ratings and a current medical.

    But – and here is where the “grey people” confuse themselves – A safety pilot may log PIC time but only when acting as PIC. And in order to act as PIC you need to meet all requirements for acting as PIC.

    So with non-current and your current friend, your friend needs to be acting as PIC on the flight, no matter which of you is under the hood. (while a safety pilot is a required crewmember, that’s only when the flying pilot is under the hood)

    If it helps, see the safety pilot entry in my logging flight time FAQ http://midlifeflight.com/flying-faq/faq/

    Of course, Kris’ solution – get current – avoids the need for these mental gymnastics.

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