In the last year, I have had to undergo bypass surgery. I am fully recovered now (and past the mandatory 6-month waiting period), but have just been apprised by my AME that my 3rd class medical deferral is likely to take a month or two for the FAA to process.

I am also in a partnership, and our insurance requires annual recurring training. Normally, all four of us (partners) take the recurring training at the same time, and get a discounted rate as a result.

As fate would have it, this year's recurring training will fall into the time I am waiting to hear back from the FAA. Since the flight portion of the recurring training (essentially an IPC) is conducted under the supervision of a CFII, can I complete it without a current medical certificate?

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    $\begingroup$ Without knowing the nature of the recurring training this boils down to whether you need to be PIC during the flights. If the CFII can be PIC and you arent acting or logging PIC then you shouldnt need a medical. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Mar 14, 2014 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that your medical is currently invalid (because you had bypass surgery and need to get your medical reinstated), so you currently cannot exercise the privileges of your certificate - i.e. you can't act as pilot in command of a flight (or any other required crew member in a role for which a medical is required).

As Casey pointed out, you've got an out that allows you to still take training (and even to fly generally): Someone else with a valid medical and a certificate appropriate to the category & class of aircraft needs to act as the (legal, FAR 91.3) pilot in command while you're operating the controls.

If your CFII is willing to accept that role (and the attendant liability) while giving you your training you can go up with them and complete the recurrent training your insurance company requires, but this is something you need to discuss with your CFI prior to going up with them.

  • $\begingroup$ Not directly related to my answer, but it's worth noting that things get a little more murky in terms of logging PIC time - I'm not sure where that would fall from a regulatory standpoint. (You are rated for the aircraft which means as sole manipulator of the controls you would normally qualify for logging PIC time, but you don't have a current medical which means you can't technically act as PIC. My gut says you can't log PIC time in this situation (and to be legally-safe you definitely shouldn't) but I'm not sure what reg or counsel opinion to cite to back that gut feeling up up.) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Mar 14, 2014 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ As we discussed in chat, it is perfectly legal to log PIC time in this situation per 14 CFR 61.51(e)(i). $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Mar 14, 2014 at 3:59

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