I'm CFI and one of my student haven't flown after he got his private pilot license in 1990's and he wanted to fly again. The thing is his medical is expired already and he doesn't fit medical standards anymore so we're aiming for sport pilot privilege(He isn't qualify for BasicMed also he got his medical before 2006). Can he fly as a sport pilot with his private pilot license with driver's license?

  • $\begingroup$ So it was just expired, not cancelled? $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Jun 13, 2021 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


If his last medical expired valid before July 2006, it’s now like he has never had one at all. (A denial or revocation would be different.)

However, if he does not believe he could pass a medical exam today, I would point out that FARs 61.53(b), 61.23(c)(2)(iv) and 61.303(b)(4) still prohibit sport pilots from flying if they are aware of any condition that would make them unfit to fly.

This rule is widely ignored in practice, but it is your responsibility as a CFI to point it out—and it would be wise to have proof that you did so in the event he ignores you and then has a health-related accident.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I might add, that if you as a CFI, or actually any person for that matter, is aware that someone not fit to fly is about to do so, you are obligated (by not only aviation law), to prevent that from happening... $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Jun 13, 2021 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ I think a lot of CFIs are too worried about liability from their student crashing. If the guy has a heart attack and crashes, the FAA isn't going to go after the CFI unless there's paperwork missing or something. It's on the PIC (the pilot) to make sure they are fit to fly, not the CFI. $\endgroup$
    – PilotDan
    Jun 14, 2021 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @PilotDan When the pilot tells a CFI they have health problems that may make them unfit to fly, things change—at least morally. I’ll leave liability to someone more qualified, but since the CYA is just mentioning it in your logbook entry, why not? $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 14, 2021 at 20:14

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