Read the Part I of this series by clicking here. This post is in continuation of the discussion in the previous one. One important document that I missed to mention in the previous post was an FAA Advisory Circular AC61-65E. This document provides additional information on how to reinstate or renew a Flight Instructor certificate, among all other pilot and instructor certificates. Refer to paragraph 24, on page 20. And here is what it says:

24. EXPIRED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATE. The requirements for holders of an expired flight instructor certificate to obtain new certificates are located in section 61.199. A practical test is required in the exchange of an expired flight instructor certificate. A DPE or an ASI will not reinstate expired flight instructor certificates unless the applicant passes a practical test.
a. The holder of an expired flight instructor certificate (i.e., a flight instructor certificate that conforms to section 61.5(c)) may exchange that certificate for a new certificate (except for a flight instructor certificate with a sport pilot rating) by passing one practical test, per section 61.183(h), for one of the aircraft ratings held on that person’s expired flight instructor certificate.
NOTE: If the practical test is for a flight instructor certificate with a sport pilot rating, the examiner may only issue that rating and provide endorsements for the category and class privileges tested.
b. Flight instructor ratings or limited flight instructor ratings on a pilot certificate are no longer valid. To reinstate instructor privileges, all requirements for initial issuance of a flight instructor certificate must be met.

Interpretation of the above, to remove any misconceptions:

  • If your CFI certificate (irrespective of the ratings it holds) has expired, you HAVE TO take a practical test. End of the story.
  • Since about 7-8 years now, there is no separate “oral” or “flight” test. There is only one test, and that is called the practical test. So there is NO WAY OUT of “oral” portion by taking a CFI Refresher Course (16 hours ground) or anything else.
  • UNDERSTAND – Flight Instructor Ratings are different than Aircraft Ratings. :-). Some think that if they hold a CFI certificate with instrument airplane (or CFII) they can go on a simulator and simply take the CFII checkride and get their CFI reinstated. It doesn’t work that way. You can take your CFI reinstatement practical test in “one of the aircraft ratings”, that means Airplane Single Engine or Airplane Multi Engine (could be Land or Sea, but that would be a whole different topic though). This DOES NOT mean flight instructor ratings, like CFII.
  • To reinstate instructor privileges, all requirements for initial issuance of a flight instructor certificate must be met.
  • fred jones

    Thanks for the good info. Most of the info is accurate and helpful. The last bullet point needs to be toned down a bit as only very few of the requirements of an initial certificate must be met. See the CFI PTS (reinstatement of Flight Instructor Cert's / Tasks). Also, the second to last bullet point is incorrect. One of the best ways to reinstate your cfi is to take a practical test for the cfii. (this info I believe is found in 8710e.

  • fred jones

    Thanks for the good info. Most of the info is accurate and helpful. The last bullet point needs to be toned down a bit as only very few of the requirements of an initial certificate must be met. See the CFI PTS (reinstatement of Flight Instructor Cert's / Tasks).

  • Jim

    You do not need a complex aircraft for the checkride. From the PTS:

    Renewal or Reinstatement of a Flight Instructor Certificate

    14 CFR part 61, sections 61.197(a)(1) and 61.199(a), allows an

    individual that holds a flight instructor certificate to renew or

    reinstate that certificate by passing a practical test. The examiner

    shall develop a plan of action that includes the Areas of Operation

    and at least the minimum number of Tasks prescribed in the table at

    the beginning of each section and the runway incursion avoidance

    Task. The Renewal or Reinstatement of one rating on a Flight

    Instructor Certificate renews or reinstates all privileges existing on

    the certificate.

    NOTE: Providing the initial practical test was completed in a

    complex airplane, the renewal or reinstatement of the Flight

    Instructor Certificate may be performed in a non-complex

    airplane, at the discretion of the examiner.

    • CFI

      Sure, and agreed. If you chose to take the CFII practical to reinstate, then bring in a proper instrument airplane. Same goes for MEI. However, if you chose to use CFI ASE to reinstate, and have not flown or taught in the last 10 years, then at the examiner\’s discretion, we might need to use a complex, or not.
      The best way – call up the examiner and run it by with him before we even start the training. And this is pretty much what we do here. We appreciate your contribution here Jim, and wish you all the best.