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3 Answers

Is a CFI conducting an operation requiring a Commercial Certificate?

Asked by: 2258 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor

So it has been quite some time since I've flown (8+ years) and I'm looking to get back into the game! I heard the duration of 1st and 3rd class medicals have changed so I decided to look it up to see the specifics.

When reading through the FARs it says for a 2nd class medical that if you are conducting an operation requiring a commercial pilot certificate your medical is good for 12 months. However, reading down some it says that if you are conducting an operation requiring a flight instructor certificate then it's good for 60 months.

Isn't the instructor performing a commercial operation? Or is this just for the off chance that he is not being compensated for the flight?


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3 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Jul 26, 2012

    A flight instructor doesn’t need a medical anytime that the pilot receiving instruction can act as the PIC. The flight instructor needs at least a third class medical if they are required to act as PIC or if the CFI is a required crew member. In all cases, instruction is not considered commercial activity and the CFI can be paid for their services.

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  2. MAC on Jul 27, 2012

    The difference is in “Being paid” 1) for the flight 2) for instruction.

    The FAA has repeatedly stated that a training flight the instructor is charging for (2) but not for (1).

    There maybe other considerations. For instance, Instructor and Student fly from A to B, but the student is dropped off and only Instructor fly’s the return leg. Was the first leg flight instruction? Sure. Was it delivering a passenger? Perhaps. Which was the instructor charging for? I’d argue that it depends on if the instructor is charging for the return flight.

    Say the plane is 75$/hr and the instructor is 25$/hr and A is exactly 1hr from B. If the student is charged $100 then the A-B flight is instruction. If the Student was charged $175 – $200, (i.e. charged for the return flight) then the flight was both passenger delivery and instruction.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Jul 27, 2012

    MAC is very confused, and confuses the question.

    If you’re providing transportation that requires a Part 135 certificate you can’t conduct instruction while providing that charter. You have to decide what you’re doing, providing transportation for hire or flight instruction – but you can’t do both.

    Lot’s of people DO provide transportation for hire under the guise of flight instruction – doesn’t make it legal.

    If the “student” owns the plane then it’s different, but when the plane is a rental it’s not.

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