We know that all pilots are required to go through a Flight Review each 24 calendar months as required by 14 CFR 61.56 . The paragraph (d) of this regulation states:

“A person who has, within the period specified in paragraph (c) of this section, 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 need not accomplish the flight review required by this section.”

So, whenever in the past you have taken any checkride, for instance, Instrument Rating add-on checkride, or Commercial Pilot checkride, or Multi add-on and so forth, each time your 24 month Flight Review clock was reset. Because the paragraph (d) above says so.

The question now is that whether the same will happen when you take your CFI checkride (or any flight instructor add-on rating checkride) or not. The answer is NO. It is no because:

  • the regulation says, “….passed a pilot proficiency check….”, and the flight instructor certificate is NOT a pilot certificate.
  • the regulation also says, “….for a pilot certificate, rating, or operating privilege…”, and once again, flight instructor certificate is not a pilot certificate, and CFII and MEI are not pilot certificate ratings.
  • the flight instructor or CFI checkride does not measure your piloting skills or knowledge, rather, it is an evaluation of your teaching skills.

And you’d like to hear it directly from the FAA, click here and read it for yourself. This is copy of the FAA interpretation of the 14 CFR 61.56(d), by their legal department. And here is the excerpt for a quick read:

“The answer is that a successful completion of a flight instructor practical test within the preceding 24 calendar months does not automatically relieve a pilot of the requirement to complete §61.56 flight review. A flight instructor practical test is not a pilot proficiency check for a pilot certificate, rating or an operating privilege, or any other acceptable substitute for a flight review specifically listed in § 61.56(d). A flight instructor practical test is not primarily focused on piloting skills but rather on one’s instructional skills. Thus, prima facie, it does not constitute a pilot proficiency check adequate to substitute for a flight review, as specified under § 61.56(d).”

However, if you request the DPE or the FAA inspector taking your CFI, CFII or MEI checkride, and specifically come to an agreement before the start of your checkride, in that case, with a logbook endorsement you may still get your Flight Review (or as was known as BFR) requirement taken care of.