[ QUOTE ]
I challenge you to present me a DE or inspector that will give a CFI ticket to someone who isn't proficient. I bet you can't do it.
[/ QUOTE ]That's irrelevant. What happens for all practical purposes doesn't affect the regulatory interpretation. (BTW, I don't necessary agree with the policy. An initial CFI or the addition of a CFI rating =should= count for exactly the reasons you say)
From a pure regulation standpoint, the FAR treats instructor certificates separately from pilot certificates. Staring with
§ 61.1 Applicability and definitions.
(a) This part prescribes:
(1) The requirements for issuing =pilot, flight instructor, and ground instructor certificates= and ratings; the conditions under which those certificates and ratings are necessary; and the privileges and limitations of those certificates and ratings.
(2) The requirements for issuing =pilot, flight instructor, and ground instructor= authorizations; the conditions under which those authorizations are necessary; and the privileges and limitations of those authorizations.
(3) The requirements for issuing =pilot, flight instructor, and ground instructor= certificates and ratings for persons who have taken courses approved by the Administrator under other parts of this chapter.
The differentiation continues throughout the FAR and general FAA policy with amazing consistency, from medical certificate requirements (a CFI doesn't need one unless he's also acting as PIC) to the requirement to have each certificate available when exercising that certificate's privileges to the requirement that, in order to teach in an aircraft, a CFI must have both "A pilot certificate =and= flight instructor certificate with the applicable category and class rating" (61.195(b)(1).
One may exist, but it would be hard to find an FAR that =does= treat the flight instructor certificate as a pilot certificate. (can you?)
On the other hand, I'm not surprised that your FSDO says that it counts. Lynch really screwed up the FAQ on this one. It ends up saying, yes it counts, so long as it covers the tasks and you get the FR endorsement., which can be said for complex transition training also or a simple checkout also. A lot of people read the "yes it counts" part and stop.
It would be nice to have a final, solid, official answer to this one. I'd rather see everyone do it the same way, even if it's "wrong" than get have an incident or accident and have my currency determined by which part of the US it happened in.
For now, all we have is the FAQ, an FAA Eastern Region legal counsel opinion, and FSDOs going every which way.
FYI, here are the FAQ and the legal opinion:
QUESTION: The particular question is whether a flight instructor who passes a flight instructor practical test (for initial issuance or a CFI rating addition or for a reinstatement) is or is not exempt from needing a § 61.56 Flight Review for the next two years, since the reg. specifically says PILOT proficiency check.” § 6l.56 d - allows this exemption for a person who has"... passed a PILOT proficiency check.." not needing to accomplish a flight review for the next 2 years.
ANSWER: Ref. § 61.56(d); If the examiner also evaluates the applicant's piloting skills then YES, “. . . a flight instructor practical test (for initial issuance or a CFI rating addition or for a reinstatement) . . .” would meet the requirements of a § 61.56 Flight Review. However, to make sure the applicant gets credit for successful completion of the Flight Review, the examiner should record that the § 61.56 Flight Review was satisfactorily completed in the applicant's logbook.
1 Aviation Plaza
Jamaica, NY 11434
RE: Interpretation of FAR 61.56(d)
Dear Mr. Dennstaedt:
This is in response to your letter dated August 25, 2001, wherein you ask whether an airman can satisfy the flight review requirement under 14 C.F.R. (Federal Aviation Regulation [FAR]) 61.56 by passing a practical test to become a certified flight instructor (CFI), as required by FAR 61.183.
Under FAR 61.56(c)(1), one may not act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft unless, within the preceding 24 calendar months, he has "accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor." Under FAR 61.56(c)(2), the airman must receive a logbook endorsement from the authorized instructor certifying that he has satisfactorily completed the review. Under FAR 61.56(a), a flight review must include: (1) a review of the current general operating and flight rules of Part 91; and (2) a review of those maneuvers and procedures that, at the discretion of the person giving the review, are necessary for the pilot to demonstrate the safe exercise of the privileges of the pilot certificate.
Under FAR 61.56(d), however, the flight review requirement of FAR 61.56(c)(1) does not apply to one who has "passed a pilot proficiency check conducted by an examiner, an approved pilot check airman, or a U.S. Armed Force, for a pilot certificate rating, or operating privilege."
The issue you raise is whether passing a practical test to become a CFI can fall within the exception to the flight review requirement that is provided by FAR 61.56(d). Under FAR 183(h), to be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating, the applicant must "pass the required practical test that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought." The FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the airplane flight instructor examiner (sic) requires that the examiner ensure that the flight instructor applicant has the "ability to perform the procedures and maneuvers included in the standards to at least the commercial pilot skill level."
Thus, the instructor has broad discretion in conducting a flight review. A CFI practical test encompasses the demonstration of various basic maneuvers that an instructor is likely to cover in a flight review. Incorporating a flight review into the CFI practical test could be accomplished, therefore, with little, if any difficulty.
Accordingly, a CFI practical test will not per se fulfill the flight review requirement. A practical test for a CFI rating under FAR 61.183, taken within 24 months of a prior flight review, can readily meet the flight review requirement of FAR 61.56(d), however, if the examiner is satisfied that a flight review endorsement can be given. To ensure that the CFI applicant gets credit for successful completion of the flight review, however, he or she should ask the examiner to conduct the CFI oral and practical test so as to satisfy the flight review requirements as well, and to make a logbook endorsement for the flight review upon completion of the examination.
If you have additional inquiries, please contact Zachary M. Berman of this office at (718) 553-3258.
Loretta E. Alkalay
(FAA Regional Counsel, Eastern Region)