Can a CFI instruct without a medical?
This question comes from John who asks:
Can a CFI instruct without a medical? Under what circumstances?
Hi John. Thanks for taking the time to submit your question.
A CFI can flight instruct without a medical as long as he is not the PIC (pilot-in-command) or a required crewmember. To demonstrate this point, here are some examples of when a flight instructor could instruct without a current medical certificate:
- As a flight instructor during a biannual flight review (BFR)
- As a flight instructor for an instrument or commercial pilot certificate as long as no “hood” time was involved (also known as simulated instrument conditions).
- As a flight instructor in a glider.
- As an instructor during training given in a flight simulator.
- As a check airman or examiner for a test given in a flight simulator
- Ground instructing (duh)
Operations that require a flight instructor to have a current medical (at least third class):
- Private Pilot training
- Instrument training under simulated instrument conditions. The reason? The flight instructor is now a required crew member which requires a valid medical certificate
- [Edited] Instrument training in real IMC (unless the pilot-in-training meets the requirements to act as PIC in IMC: rated, current, recent and valid medical.)
- If giving required training for a expired BFR, a medical would be required because the flight instructor would be the PIC not the pilot seeking the BFR
- Multi-engine training when the student pilot did not yet have a multi-engine rating (even if the student pilot had a commercial license) because the flight instructor would be the PIC (which requires a medical)
Those are all the examples I can think of for now. If you have some more examples of when a medical is or is not required for a flight instructor be sure to add your suggestions as a comment to this post.
Thanks again for asking and as always…