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5 Answers

Starting Instrument rating training without medical

Asked by: 717 views General Aviation

A friend of mine will be having a heart operation that will make his medical invalid for a minimum of 6 months. He is considering starting training for his instrument rating during the down time. Is this a reasonable plan? I know he won't be able to take the practical test until the medical is valid, but will all the dual-instruction time count?

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5 Answers

  1. Jordan - CFI on Sep 14, 2016


    Although there is nothing explicitly prohibiting the logging of dual-received time without a medical, I would advise taking the 6 months off of flying. Your friend will not be permitted to log pilot-in-command time nor act as pilot-in-command without a medical certificate appropriate for the operation that is being conducted. (ref: CFR 61.23)

    Keep in mind the instrument rating requires at least 50 hours of PIC-XC. If your friend already has that time, I would suggest moving ahead with the ground-work (which makes up a lot of the instrument training). Get the written done as well. Also, if your flight school has an FTD or ATD, take advantage of that. Some of that time can be used towards the instrument rating.

    Wishing your friend a speedy recovery!

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  2. Best Answer

    Kris Kortokrax on Sep 14, 2016

    As long as he is not required to act as Pilot in Command, he does not need to possess a valid medical certificate.

    He can log training time (dual), he can log PIC time if he is manipulating the controls of an aircraft for which he is rated, he can log instrument time if he is controlling the aircraft solely by reference to the instruments and he can log cross country time if he fulfills the requirements of 61.1 (b) Cross country (ii), which he will.

    He actually could take the practical test without a medical certificate if he can find an examiner willing to act as PIC for the test.

    Now, the question he needs to ask himself is “Should I invest all this money and time before I know for certain that I will be able to get a medical certificate after the heart surgery?”

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  3. sr22captain on Sep 15, 2016

    He will need to verify if he has met the 50hrs of cross country as PIC required by 61.65.d.1.
    He is a pretty new pilot so he may not have all the PIC time yet.

    Thanks for the response and good point about the potential of not gaining medical renewal afterwards. He is very healthy otherwise but has a defective valve that needs replaced so I think the chances are very good.

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  4. John D Collins on Sep 15, 2016

    Kris already covered the aspect of logging PIC time. He may not act as PIC, but he may log PIC including cross country as long as he is the sole manipulator of the controls for an aircraft which he is rated. So the cross country PIC time earned under those conditions count towards meeting the 50 hour requirement.

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  5. sr22captain on Sep 15, 2016

    This is good news then considering the situation. To build his XC time I can fly with him and allow him to log PIC as sole manipulator of the controls. If I put him under the hood (which would be good for instrument practice) then I could also log the time, correct?
    Now the mission becomes to find a DPE that would act as PIC if he’s ready for the test prior to having his medical restored.

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