Readback November 2019 Issue
Readback: November 2019
With that article, we thought weíd put this whole discussion and its confusion behind us. However, as soon as the magazine hit your mailboxes, we started getting a related question: What if the BasicMed safety pilot is a CFI?We discussed this with our regs guru, Mark Kolber, and tossed this back and forth a bit to come up with our best answer. Letís take it one point at a time. The FAA treats CFIs as private pilots, not engaged in a commercial endeavor. Thus, no second-class medical is required. A CFI can even teach without a medical under ß61.23(b)(5) if the CFI isnít required to be PIC (such as giving a BFR to a current pilot). However, the CFI without a medical cannot be PIC and cannot be a required crewmember. A CFI can be PIC under BasicMed per ß61.113(i). So, a CFI with BasicMed can give primary instruction where the student canít fly alone, and the CFI can give instrument instruction in actual conditions if the trainee isnít instrument rated or isnít instrument current. So far so good. If a trainee is instrument rated and current, a CFI can provide instrument instruction in actual conditions under BasicMed. However, the underlying question that weíve focused on is if a pilot (or CFI) with only BasicMed can be a safety pilot for the pilot flying wearing a hood under VFR. The answer is the same for the CFI as it is for the non-CFI since the same ß61.113(i) to be PIC under BasicMed is referenced for both as the exception for an FAA Medical. The CFI must be acting as PIC to do so. (There might be some regulatory nuance you could explore, but the path isnít sufficiently clear to safely reach any other conclusion.) Bottom line: For your BasicMed CFI to be your safety pilot s/he cannot be a required crewmember so still must be PIC and your insurance probably wants a say in that. This whole discussion brings up a peripheral point. Any time youíre flying with another certificated pilot, regardless of their certification, itís best to clarify the roles to remove any ambiguity before takeoff.