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Suppose you are acting as Safety Pilot and PIC on a flight in IMC. Further suppose that the pilot at the controls is instrument rated but his or her IFR currency has expired. If the other pilot acts as sole manipulator of the controls during an approach, can you, as the PIC, log that approach as well? Assume the approach is loggable given weather conditions, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ When asking about regulations, always specify the relevant jurisdiction, either in the question text or using an appropriate tag. You can Edit your question. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 21 '17 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ If you aren't current then you probably can't log the time at all, the safety pilot is PIC. $\endgroup$ – GdD Dec 21 '17 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! $\endgroup$ – mike Dec 21 '17 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! Can you clarify a couple of details? First, are you asking about US/FAA regulations? Second, at least in the US there's no such thing as a safety pilot in IMC; did you mean that the flight is in VMC but under IFR? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 21 '17 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 21 '17 at 14:50
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No, a pilot may not log an approach that he or she did not perform as the sole manipulator of the controls.

According to the FAA, in order for a pilot to have performed a loggable approach, that pilot must have performed that approach as the sole manipulator of the controls. A required SIC may not log an approach that the PIC flew, nor may a PIC log an approach that was flown by the SIC. Likewise, a safety pilot, though he or she may be a required crewmember for a flight, may not log an approach that was performed by the other pilot.

This hinges on the FAA considering the word "performed" in 14 CFR 61.57 (c) to mean fly the approach as the sole manipulator of the controls. See the FAA's leter of interpretation Carpenter (1999) which addresses this issue:

As the SIC you have not "performed" the approach as contemplated by FAR 61.57(c) because you were not the sole manipulator of the controls during the approach.

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  • $\begingroup$ But, can the SMOTC log it either if he's not current? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Dec 21 '17 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, a non-current pilot can log an approach flown under simulated instrument conditions or under actual conditions with an appropriately rated and current PIC. For example, a pilot who's currency lapsed 4 months prior may fly with a current PIC, perform and log the appropriate number of approaches, and thereby return to currency. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 21 '17 at 18:44

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