Safety Pilot & IFR


Ahh! This is how I change this!
Quick Question:

I hold a PPL/ASEL and I am working on my IFR. My friend is currently IFR rated and is going to be acting as safety pilot. Can we go IFR because he is IFR rated even though he is not sitting in the left seat, acting as pilot in command, and his name is not on the insurance to act as pilot in command?

We will not be entering IMC at any time.


Well-Known Member
Well, he'd have to file the flight plan and act as PIC under IFR; it doesn't matter what seat he's sitting in as long as he's in command of the flight. Insurance-wise, yes it would be an issue. When I was working on my instrument rating, I had a similar scenario--I had a safety pilot who wasn't on my FBO's insurance but had every rating under the sun. The way we got around it was by not filing IFR since ATC is perfectly happy giving practice approaches to VFR flights most of the time.


New Member
If you file IFR, all the regs care about is that there is a current instrument rated pilot on board that can act as PIC. Sitting in the left or right seat doesn't matter, and neither does whether or not you are entering IMC.

As far as the insurance thing, no one here can really give you an answer because all insurance policies are different. If you do happen to violate the insurance conditions, the FAA isn't going to give a crap, since there is no regulation (yet) that requires insurance. If the FBO finds out, they might do something to you though... And of course if you crash, the insurance company may decide to not pay out...


New Member
Why file? If you call approach or center and get flight following, request the instrument approaches, and fly under the hood with an appropriately certificated and rated, and current pilot then you may act as PIC. You get roughly the same exposure to the ATC system on flight following (Especially in busier areas) as on a clearance, you don't have the insurance problem with your safety pilot, although he may simultaneously log PIC time as well. Win/win for everyone involved.