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4 Answers

In which of the following scenarios can I log PIC ?

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Student Pilot

Hi, Here are a few situations I can't figure out if they should be logged as PIC or not... : 1. I'm a student pilot, no PPL, with an instructor on board. I'm the one flying the aircraft. PIC ? (does the fact to be rated or not on the aircraft changes anything ?) 2. I'm a student pilot, no PPL, doing solo flight. PIC ? 3. I'm a private pilot, with an instructor on board because I haven't flown for a long time and I preferred to have someone to assist me in case I forgot something (but legally, I could have flown alone...) PIC ? 4. I'm a private Pilot, with an instructor on board to get rated on a new aircraft. PIC ? 5. I'm taking the PPL exam with a Flight Examinator. PIC ? I think that's all !

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4 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Paul on Aug 12, 2010

    We’ll take these one-by-one

    1) No, you cannot log these flights as PIC. As a student pilot, you cannot log PIC with an instructor on board. These flights will be logged as dual received and then under the appropriate flight column as appropriate (Single Engine, Total)

    2) Yes, as a student pilot you can log your solo time as PIC and Solo.

    3) “Haven’t flown in a long time” needs to be defined. If greater than 24 months, then you cannot log this time as PIC because you are most likely flying without a current flight review. If less than 24 months, then most likely you can log it as PIC.

    4) “Get rated on a new aircraft” also needs to be defined. If the new aircraft is in the same category and class of your pilot certificate, then most likely you could log the time as PIC. For instance, let’s say you have a PPL that say’s “Private Pilot – Airplane Single Engine Land and you have been flying 172s and now you want to start flying a Cessna 177 (Cardinal). Then you could log your checkout time as PIC because it is the same category and class as your certificate allows. However, if you start flying a Twin Engine Piper Seminole (Airplane Multi-Engine Land), then you cannot log that time as PIC because you do not hold the appropriate class rating on your certificate. You would have to take a multi-engine checkride to be able to log PIC time in the Seminole.

    5) Good question! My sources say yes, because my understanding is the designated pilot examiner for logging purposes on a private pilot checkride is an non entity. He is neither a passenger or an instructor, he is a FAA designated pilot examiner. Yes, you can log your Private Pilot checkride as PIC.

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  2. Matthew Waugh on Aug 12, 2010

    3) In the answer to 3 the status of your flight review is not relevant. If you are the sole manipulator of the controls for an aircraft for which you are rated you may log PIC. You don’t actually need a medical to log PIC (strange as that may seem) and you certainly don’t need to meet any of the currency, flight review etc. requirements.

    Now SOMEBODY has to ACT as PIC, and they need all the relevant documents, but in the case of scenario 3 we’ll assume the instructor meets that requirement.

    As for 5) – I agree, I’ve always seen it logged as PIC, I’ve heard DE’s refer to themselves as “your first passenger” etc. I’m not sure it’s supported in the regulations (and don’t tell me that just because the DE isn’t ACTING as PIC that makes it so) but I’m not sure it’s prevented in the regulations. It’s 1.5 hours – I’m not sure anybody is going to make a fuss.

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  3. Fredovsky on Aug 12, 2010

    Thanks to both of you !

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  4. Christopher Ian on Aug 31, 2010

    Yes on # 5 I just took and passed my first “check ride” better labeled as a flight test for private pilot with a glider rating. For All ‘check rides’ the applicant is the PIC. Including when you are still a student pilot. This seems odd ~ but in fact is quite correct. The DPE – designated pilot examiner or FAA Inspector (who works for the FAA) is there to go along on the flight and observe your flying skills and decide if you have met the requirements for a pilot certificate. The examiner is not there as a PIC where he/ she would be legally responsible for the outcome of the flight.
    More importantly, if the examiner asks you to do something you can politely refuse to do it ~ such as on my last flight (glider) on my flight test it was suggested, “lets land in the other direction so we do not have to walk as far” – I coud have reasonably refused if I deemed it to be unwise, unsafe or contrary to FAR. The winds were light so I did a downwind, no-spoilers landing with the airspeed and altimeter gauges covered. I did – in jest- ask him if I had a choice and his reply was, “I don’t think so”. He could not command me to do it. But he also might have asked me to do some more manuevers if he thought he wanted to test my flying skills more.

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