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When flying an airplane that requires more than one crew member, does the SIC need to be landing current and instrument current, or is this a requirement only for the PIC?

Does it matter which regulations that you are operating under (Part 91, 121, or 135)?

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FAA

This is a compilation of what I could find relevant to the question. Feel free to come up with corrections if I missed anything (I'm an EASA FCL guy)

Co-pilot Landing Currency:

  • Part 61: 3 takeoff/landings in previous 12 months (61.55)
  • Part 135: no requirements other than those in part 61 (above)
  • Part 121: 3 takeoff/landings in previous 90 days (121.439)

Co-pilot Instrument Currency:

  • Part 61: no requirements for SIC
  • Part 135: 135.245 requires that SIC's must meet part 61 PIC instrument currency requirements in 61.57(c) (see below)
  • Part 121: recurrent flight training every 12 months, including at least 1 ILS approach to minimums

Following is the list of relevant FARs :

§ 61.55 Second-in-command qualifications

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, no person may serve as a second in command of an aircraft type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or in operations requiring a second in command unless that person has within the previous 12 calendar months:
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, performed and logged pilot time in the type of aircraft or in a flight simulator that represents the type of aircraft for which second-in-command privileges are requested, which includes --
(i) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop as the sole manipulator of the flight controls;

(d) This section does not apply to a person who is:[...operating part 121,125,135...]

(e) The holder of a commercial or airline transport pilot certificate with the appropriate category and class rating is not required to meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section, provided the pilot: [... is not carrying paying passengers...]

§ 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.

(a) General experience.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crewmember unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days, [...]

(c) Instrument experience.

Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR, unless within the preceding 6 calendar months, that person has: [...6 approaches, holdings, intercepting &tracking course...]

§ 135.245 Second in command qualifications

(a) [...] no certificate holder may use any person, nor may any person serve, as second in command of an aircraft unless that person holds at least a commercial pilot certificate with appropriate category and class ratings and an instrument rating. For flight under IFR, that person must meet the recent instrument experience requirements of part 61 of this chapter.

This is an excerpt from an FAA Legal Interpretation concerning 135.245:

Next, unlike a PIC, an SIC's qualification to operate an aircraft under IFR in part 135 service is not dependent on compliance with § 135.297. Rather, § 135.245 sets the qualifications for pilots serving as SIC in part 135 operations. It states that a pilot must meet the instrument experience requirements of part 61 to serve as SIC in flight under IFR. Section 61.57(c) sets out the recent instrument flight experience requirements which include, among other things, six instrument approaches within the previous six months. See Legal Interpretation to Gerald Naekel, from Donald P. Byrne, Assistant Chief Counsel Regulations and Enforcement Division (June 18, 1991) (noting that although the section title refers to pilots in command, the instrument recency requirements of that section apply to SICs).

§ 135.247 Pilot qualifications: Recent experience.

(a) No certificate holder may use any person, nor may any person serve, as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers unless, within the preceding 90 days, that person has—

(1) Made three takeoffs and three landings as the sole manipulator of the flight controls in an aircraft of the same category and class and, if a type rating is required, of the same type in which that person is to serve; or [...]

§ Part 121.433 Training required

(c)Recurrent training. (1) No certificate holder may use any person nor may any person serve as a required crewmember on an airplane unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months -- (i) For flight crewmembers, he has satisfactorily completed recurrent ground and flight training for that airplane and crewmember position and a flight check as applicable;

§ Part 121.439 Pilot qualifications: Recent experience.

(a) No certificate holder may use any person nor may any person serve as a required pilot flight crewmember, unless within the preceding 90 days, that person has made at least three takeoffs and landings in the type airplane in which that person is to serve.

EASA

FCL is very clear about it: PIC and co-pilot both need to be landing current. If holding an IR rating then specific night currency is not required. No instrument currency is required as long as the IR is valid.

FCL.060 Recent experience

(b) Aeroplanes, helicopters, powered-lift, airships and sailplanes. A pilot shall not operate an aircraft in commercial air transport or carrying passengers:

(1) as PIC or co-pilot unless he/she has carried out, in the preceding 90 days, at least 3 take-offs, approaches and landings in an aircraft of the same type or class or an FFS representing that type or class. The 3 take-offs and landings shall be performed in either multi-pilot or single-pilot operations, depending on the privileges held by the pilot; and

(2) as PIC at night unless he/she:

(i) has carried out in the preceding 90 days at least 1 take-off, approach and landing at night as a pilot flying in an aircraft of the same type or class or an FFS representing that type or class; or

(ii) holds an IR;

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    $\begingroup$ ok, I've been buzzing my head for the last hour, but Part 135 still does not seem to impose and landing currency on SIC. Part 61.55(d) specifically exempts operations under 135. Then Part 135.245 only requires the INSTRUMENT experience from Part 61, which is only specified for PIC and not for SIC. What am I missing ? Is Part 61 more restrictive than part 135? $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Jan 21 '14 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ Well, Part 61 applies all of the time, unless superseded by another regulation. I went ahead and updated those parts for you. Thanks for pulling all of this together into one place! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 21 '14 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ ah! ok, that legal interpretation ties things nicely! $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Jan 22 '14 at 0:12
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14 CFR 135.329 (e)(1) states that crew members are to be:

... adequately trained and currently proficient for each aircraft, crewmember position, and type of operation in which the crewmember serves

Which would indicate to me that the S.I.C. also needs a 135.293 ride in left seat which would also include an ILS to minimum as well as a non-precision approach.

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  • $\begingroup$ They do indeed need a 293 ride (not necessarily from the left seat though), but that is a requirement of 135.293 which is not specific to PIC's, and not 135.329. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 30 '15 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ The requirement of 135.329 (e)(1) only calls for training and proficiency, not checking in each position in which the crewmember serves. This means that an SIC could do a 293 ride from the right seat, and subsequently receive adequate training and be currently proficient for flight from the left seat as an SIC. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 26 '16 at 1:24

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