Can a pilot (other than an ATP) who is not certificated and current as a CFI give instruction in aircraft required for the issuance of a pilot certificate, e.g. a private pilot certificate?

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    $\begingroup$ Anyone can give instruction, however someone like you describe may not give instruction which may be logged towards the issuance of a pilot certificate. You still need to receive the required instruction from an authorized instructor, no matter how much another pilot may have already taught you. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    May 28, 2017 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ As I remember it (1970's) ground instruction did not have to be given by a pilot but the FAA did have a certification as "ground instructor". A quick look at 61.211-217 appears to have not changed. So, even a non-pilot can take the "ground instruction" test and log ground school. $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Apr 3, 2018 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ There are quite a few instructors in a Part 142 training center that are not CFIs. I don't know of any training centers though that would train private pilot candidates. These centers usually train pilots for aircraft type ratings and ATP certificates. I mention it because it is different than privileges an ATP pilot would have. $\endgroup$
    – wbeard52
    Oct 28, 2020 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


I'm assuming that you're asking about FAA regulations. Anyone can train anyone else - how effective and safe that training is is a different question! - but only an instructor can issue endorsements, including signing off on training time, endorsing solo flight, and accepting a student pilot application (see 14 CFR 61.193 and 61.215).

This is from 14 CFR 61.51:

(h) Logging training time. (1) A person may log training time when that person receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device.

(2) The training time must be logged in a logbook and must:

(i) Be endorsed in a legible manner by the authorized instructor; and

(ii) Include a description of the training given, the length of the training lesson, and the authorized instructor's signature, certificate number, and certificate expiration date.

In theory, a non-CFI could train a student to perform as required by the ACS. But, a non-CFI couldn't authorize the student to fly solo, and he couldn't endorse the student's training time in his logbook. The student would end up able to fly but unable to get a certificate because he'd have no official training time and no solo time. So it wouldn't really be helping the student much: he'd have to go and do the required hours over again with a CFI anyway.

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    $\begingroup$ I can see how it might help a student who has the REQUIRED hours but isn't yet comfortable with all the procedures needed to pass the exams. A family member or close friend who has the experience can then give some extra training sessions that while they can't be logged as training time can help increase confidence and skill level. Combined with more official lessons to get the endorsements this may speed up the learning process at reduced cost. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    May 29, 2017 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ @jwenting That's true, but you have to weigh those benefits of a non-CFI against him creating, tolerating or not even noticing bad habits on the part of the student. I'm sure there are some cases where it works out, though. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 29, 2017 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ I would also be concerned if the non-CFI would be opening himself up to legal consequences if there was an accident. "So, Bill, why did you do X?" "Because that's what Joe taught me to do." So Joe ends up being sued for Bill's accident $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    May 29, 2017 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ @TomMcW I doubt it. The PIC is always responsible, that's the law. And if he picked up a bad habit, the person handling his examination would fail massively if he didn't catch it. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    May 30, 2017 at 5:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Someone-OnStrike most of Europe, and probably elsewhere. Only government licensed driving instructors are allowed to give driving instruction. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Jul 10, 2023 at 8:12

A person who holds a Ground Instructor certificate can. Persons who hold a Basic Ground Instructor certificate may provide ground instruction, knowledge test endorsements, and ground portions of a flight review required for Sport, Recreational, or Private Pilot certificates. Persons who hold Advanced Ground Instructor certificates can perform ground training and the required endorsements to take a knowledge tests for any airman certificate or rating, except instrument ratings. They may also perform and sign off any airman for the ground portion of a flight review. Instrument Ground Instructors may provide ground training, knowledge test recommendations and training and sign off for the ground portions of an instrument proficiency check. The person who only holds a Ground Instructor certificate cannot, however, provide any flight instruction, including instruction in a ground based flight simulator or flight training device.

Airmen who hold an ATPL may give ground and flight instruction, but this is limited to air transport operations as prescribed in §61.167, unless said individual also holds as Flight Instructor certificate.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I guess the relevance of this answer to the question, depends on how literally we are to take the meaning of the word "in" -- "Can a pilot (other than an ATP) who is not certificated and current as a CFI give instruction in aircraft required for the issuance of a pilot certificate, e.g. a private pilot certificate?" $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2020 at 12:03

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