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Can you get an instrument rating without a valid medical?

Asked by: 5071 views ,
Instrument Rating

Since there is no solo requirement for instrument flight training other than previous experience and since you can likely find an examiner willing to act as pilot in commend, is it possible?

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2 Answers

  1. Matthew Waugh on Aug 10, 2010

    Got me – the solo requirement issue is a red herring, the question really is do you need a medical to take any practical test. If the pre-requisite for the practical test requires you to exercise privileges for which a medical is required then you would have to meet those requirements with a current medical. but having met the requirement you could let your medical lapse.

    So the question is does 61.39(a)(4) “if a medical certificate is required” mean required so we can fly the checkride or required to exercise the privileges being applied for. I have seen man on the street opinions that a medical is not needed, but in a swift look I couldn’t find an FAA counsel opinion to back that up.

    You might be able to find a DE willing to act as PIC, but if he/she is not based at your field how you going to get to them? 🙂

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  2. Matthew Hammer on Aug 17, 2010

    The language of CFR 14 § 61.39 would seem to indicate that a practical test applicant must be in possession of a valid medical certificate at the time of that practical test. In effect, it reads that “[in order] to be eligible for a practical test for a certificate or rating […], an applicant must have at least a current third class medical certificate, if a medical certificate is required [for the certificate or rating sought]. In order to exercise the privileges of an instrument rating you must be in possession of (at the very least) a private pilot certificate (CFR 14 § 61.65). Further, in order to exercise the privileges of a private pilot certificate you must have, at the very least, a third class medical certificate. So there is no doubt that a valid medical is required in order to exercise the privileges of an instrument rating.

    This would seem to be further evidenced by a question on the FAA CFI knowledge exam. The question reads as follows: “What class medical certificate, if any, is required for a person adding a rating or pilot certificate.” The correct answer to this question, according to the FAA, is a “Third-Class” medical certificate.

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