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Required crewmembers...?

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Who's on First??
Nov 28, 2001
Here's a question I was asked and was hoping for some more input.

Suppose a person's passenger carrying currency has expired for daytime, and also needs to do the required 6 approaches to maintain instrument currency. Can the person takeoff and perform the approaches under the hood while operating VFR with a safety pilot? That is, does the safety pilot count as a passenger or a crewmember (assuming a 172 where only one pilot is required under the type certificate ).

FAR 61.57 A-1 states that no other passengers may be carried on the flight. But 61.57 A-2 states that it can be performed under day VFR or day IFR "...provided no persons or property are carried on board the aircraft, other than those necessary to conduct the flight..."

Is the safety pilot considered to be a necessary crewmember in this situation? Or does he/she still count as a passenger?
That's a good question. Here's what I think. 61.51e.1.iii says that you can log PIC if you are acting as PIC in an operation that by regulation requires more then one pilot. Then if you look at 91.109b.1 it says that a safety pilot is required, so a second pilot acting as PIC would be required, but only during the part of the flight conducted under simulated instrument. Now, those three takeoffs and landings are not going to be in simulated instrument. 61.57a.2 basically says that for the purpose of meeting 61.51a, you may act a pilot-in-command as long as you carry no persons or property, other then what is needed for the flight. The first pilot is going to have to be the pilot-in-command during those takeoffs and landings since they will be sole manipulator. Since the safety pilot is not needed for the portion of the flight to become current, I would say you cannot bring them along unless the first pilot is current for takeoffs and landings.
I agree with Wiggums. Your best bet is to head up in the pattern without the safety pilot on board and take care of your landing currency first. Then, prior to the instrument currency flight, I would suggest logging those landings in your logbook, for proof of currency. That's just to cover yourself in the event something should happen during the instrument currency flight. In today's litigation-happy environment, you can't be too careful.
Wiggums and stormchasers comments are correct, so long as the uncurrent pilot intends to act as pilot in command for the duration of the flight. However, if the safety pilot is the acting pilot in command, it all becomes a mute point.

If the safety pilot acts as PIC, then the non-current pilot may still manipulate the controls to regain currency. He is not acting as pilot-in-command, and is only required to manipulate the controls during the takeoffs and landings. With this accomplished, he becomes current. The "safety pilot", who is the acting PIC, is not a passenger at all, but is the acting pilot in command, and is therefore legal. The flight may then continue to the instrument approach portion, where the manipulator of the controls who just performed the landings, performs the approaches.

If the safety pilot remains the designated and acting PIC, he or she may also log the time as PIC, while the pilot manipulating the controls remains "under the hood" for the approaches. The pilot manipulating the controls may also log the time as PIC, as he or she is sole manipulator of the controls.

It's also worth noting, though aside from the point, that the non-current pilot who makes the landings may log the time as PIC, even though he or she is not acting as PIC. This is allowable under FAR 61.51(e)(1)(i). In this case, the non-current pilot may not act as PIC, but may still log PIC. Upon completion of the requisite three takeoffs and landings, he or she may also act as PIC, upon agreement with the other pilot. (assuming current medical, flight review, etc).
Avbug, mute is when you can't speak. I believe moot is the word you were meaning to use. Not a big deal, but I thought I would help you to not be embarrassed, like I am with my spelling!
No, mute was replaced in the 1990's with "vocally challenged."

A moot is nearly extinct nocturnally feeding smooth-skin distant cousin to the wombat, and may be found on the endangered species list along with Naugas, which are just returning from near-extinction themselves during the savage and heartless naugahide rampages of the 70's and early 80's.

I'm not embarrassed. I profess ignorance and let the chips fall where they may. Considering I never went to school, I'm doing okay, though.
No, Avbug, you're wrong!

No, no, no...moot is a derivative of the term "Smoot," which is short for the Smoot-Hawley Trade Act.

As most highly heterogeneous extroverts know, this term was used in conjunction with porcine politician scrambles for budget dollars, which engendered the term "moot" as a reference to the needless movement or action.

In short, Avbug, the moot is not a hairless denzien of the forrest. It is indeed a jaded member of congress, ready to spend your tax dollars on important security upgrades at your closest airline terminal...

Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm going to go take a nap. I've halucinated enough for one day already.
There's a difference?

Does a hairless denizen **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** in the woods?

I thought Smoot played defensive back for the Redskins.

Sorry, couldn't help :D

Best to all for the holidays.

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