CFI Expired? How to Reinstate it? Part II

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b. Flight instructor ratings or limited flight instructor ratings on a pilot certificate are no longer valid.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.

Author: Prince Singh

Prince has been a flight instructor for over 20 years, and has been teaching flight instructor applicants all this time. He is currently the chief flight instructor at CFI Academy. He also holds an Aircraft Mechanic's (A&P) certificate and Inspection Authorization.