My understanding of dual instruction training with a flight instructor and a student in a cockpit is, that certain maneuvers, that else would be not permitted, are okay, e.g. simulated engine failure and forced landing on some field (until doing a go-around from 100ft AGL). Is that correct?

For a trained and licensed pilot who currently isn't in training for a new license and just wants to train those things for him-/herself to stay trained, is there a way to do those maneuvers as well without a flight instructor in the cockpit? If that's not possible, does it change, if the single pilot is a flight instructor themselves? Or do they also need to have another flight instructor in the cockpit to train that?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know about EASA, but in FAA-land there are no regulations that prohibit certain maneuvers to the supervision of a CFI, even engine-out simulations and forced landings. The only thing you need to abide by are regulations like acrobatic maneuvers and aircraft limitations... of course there is the catch-all "careless or reckless operation", but that is for the NTSB to decide. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 28 '18 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ far more likely the aircraft rental agency (usually the flight school) would restrict things they deem too likely to damage the aircraft if performed by people without extensive training (which should apply to CFIs). $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Jun 28 '18 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ Under FARS (so not EASA) an other exception is spins without a parachute. See 91.307 (d)2. $\endgroup$
    – Adam
    Jun 28 '18 at 19:12

Per the regs, no. That’s the purpose of solo flying - to allow a student pilot to practice their skills on their own within a limited and safe environment. However if you are renting the airplane, there may be prohibitions on certain maneuvers or operations eg spins, landing on unpaved runways, etc, so you will have to abide by those agreements. Your CFI may place limitations on your solo endorsement at their discretion prohibiting certain flying for safety reasons which a student pilot must abide by. As to any maneuvers required for a practical examination for a pilot certificate or rating, no there are no restrictions against flying them solo, provided they don’t conflict with other regulations eg operating an aircraft in controlled airspace on instruments without an instrument rating, etc.

Some schools also have limits as to what a student pilot can do solo. I worked for a part 141 flight school once which forbade doing virtually every maneuver ie slow flight, stalls, steep turns, ground reference maneuvers, etc. This just left the four fundamentals and changing heading, altitude and airspeed during flight. They were training foreign students for the airlines and were pretty stringent. I always though excessive. But I’m sure they have plenty of bad memories where “you give ‘em an inch, they’ll take a mile”

  • $\begingroup$ What about e.g. the simulated forced landing vs. minimum safe altitude? Is it in the regulations that FIs are excempted from the minimum safe altitude for those maneuvers? Or is it okay for everyone to do that for training purposes? $\endgroup$
    – Florian
    Jun 28 '18 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ Usually, unless you are near an airport, you will terminate a simulated forced landing no lower than 500 ft AGL in a rural area and 1000’ AGL in a populated area. Again unless the maneuver conflicts with other regulations, there are no legal restrictions against it. $\endgroup$ Jun 28 '18 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that being legal doesn't meant that something is safe or reasonable. FBOs and CFIs put restrictions on low-time pilots, beyond what the regs require, to keep them safe while they gain the experience needed to make their own risk assessments. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Feb 18 '19 at 18:35

The only thing I can think of that requires someone else in the cockpit would be practicing simulated instrument flight in VFR conditions. In that case it doesn't need to be an instructor but just a qualified pilot.


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