FAA COVID-19 Extensions

May 12, 2020

aircraftThe FAA released a SFAR (Special Federal Aviation Regulation) to provide relief to various FARs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Of the FARs affected, they're more or less extending anything due or expiring between March and June, until the end of June (2020). Of course, there is more to it than that, so here's the 25 page FAA document encompassing everything. Assuming you don't want to read it, here's a summary of the topics most applicable to CFIs, and GA flyers:



Medical Certificates

  • Medical certificates that expire from March 31 to May 31 are extended to June 30, 2020

CFI Renewal

  • The FAA recommends CFIs renew by completing an online FIRC in accordance with 61.197a2iii (definitely not mandatory to do it this way)
  • Otherwise, flight instructors with certificates expiring between March 31 and May 31, are extended until June 30
  • An instructor whose certificate expires in April, May or June may submit a signed application with the FAA showing completion of one of the requirements in 61.197a2i-iv until June 30
  • A pilot who renews during the grace period will retain the original expiration month on the CFI certificate
  • After June 30, a flight instructor who holds an expired flight instructor certificate must reinstate that certificate in accordance with FAR 61.199

Flight Reviews

  • Extends the 24 calendar month requirement of FAR 61.56c by up to 3 calendar months
  • Applies to pilots who were current to act as PIC in March 2020, and whose flight review was due March 2020 through June 2020
  • The pilot must have logged at least 10 hours of PIC within the 12 calendar months preceding the month the flight review was due
  • Eligible pilots will also need to complete the FAA Safety Team online courses totaling at least 3 WINGS credit. Courses must have been completed in Jan 2020 or later to meet the requirement

Instrument PIC Recent Flight Experience

  • Extends the 6 calendar month requirement of 61.57c1 by an additional 3 calendar months. Allows the pilot to continue exercising instrument privileges provided he/she has performed the required tasks within the preceding 9 calendar months
  • To be eligible, a pilot will need to have logged, in the preceding 6 calendar months, 3 instrument approaches (actual or sim instrument)
  • Relief can be exercised through June 30, 2020
  • If the pilot doesn’t meet the instrument experience requirements before June 30, the pilot can reestablish through 61.57d, however, pilots will no longer have 6 months to reestablish recency. Instead, the number of months available to attain the instrument experience prior to requiring an IPC will depend on when the person last established instrument recency in accordance with 61.57c
  • The FAA only gave relief for instrument recency requirements, nothing for day/night flying with passengers

Knowledge Tests

  • Applicable to tests expiring March through June 2020
  • Extends validity of knowledge tests by three calendar months



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