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14 CFR 91.109(c) states, "No person may operate a civil aircraft in simulated instrument flight unless the other control seat is occupied by a safety pilot who possesses at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the airplane being flown"

I am a private pilot with a complex endorsement. My father's airplane is complex and high performance. Can I act as a safety pilot for him in his airplane as he shoots instrument approaches under foggles? And can I log this as PIC time? I have a certificate with category and class ratings (ASEL) appropriate to the airplane being flown, so why couldn't I?

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You can act as a safety pilot, as long as you are rated in class and category. You can not log PIC time.

The usual way for a safety pilot to log PIC time is via 14 CFR § 61.51(e)(1)(iii):

When the pilot, except for a holder of a sport or recreational pilot certificate, acts as pilot in command of an aircraft for which more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is conducted

Because you do not have an high performance endorsement, you cannot act as PIC and thus cannot log PIC time this way.

Instead, you can log SIC time per 14 CFR § 61.51(f)(2):

Holds the appropriate category, class, and instrument rating (if an instrument rating is required for the flight) for the aircraft being flown, and more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is being conducted

You can log PIC any time you are sole manipulator of the controls. If you are under the foggles while manipulating the controls, both you and your father can log PIC- you as sole manipulator under 61.51(e)(1)(i) and him as acting PIC under 61.51(e)(1)(iii).

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You can act as a safety pilot but you cannot log PIC time.

Acting as the legal pilot in command and logging PIC time are two completely separate things.

You cannot act as the legal pilot in command without a high performance endorsement.

§61.31(f) Additional training required for operating high-performance airplanes.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a high-performance airplane (an airplane with an engine of more than 200 horsepower), unless the person has -


The rules for logging PIC time are found in §61.51(e).

Logging pilot-in-command flight time.

(1) A sport, recreational, private, commercial, or airline transport pilot may log pilot in command flight time for flights-

(i) Except when logging flight time under § 61.159(c), when the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated, or has sport pilot privileges for that category and class of aircraft, if the aircraft class rating is appropriate;

...

[iii] When the pilot, except for a holder of a sport or recreational pilot certificate, acts as pilot in command of an aircraft for which more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is conducted; or


When you are acting as a safety pilot, you are a required crew member and can log the time in furtherance of higher grade certificates. When you are the safety pilot and are logging that time as PIC you are using the stipulation in 61.51(e)(iii) and are saying you are legally responsible for the flight. If there is an accident or incident, there will be precedent from your logbook (previous flight as safety pilot logging PIC) that you are legally responsible.

In this case, I would much prefer to log the time as SIC. Since you do not have a high-performance endorsement, you cannot log PIC time as you do not qualify to act as the legal pilot in command per 61.31(f) and 61.51(e)(iii) and I would advise against logging PIC this way anyways.

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