Hi PilotBrad. My guess is that he probably isn't right now. I'm predicating that on the belief that he hasn't flown a single in a while.
And your "guess" would be wrong.
Safety Pilot regulations start at 91.109:
91.109 (b): No person may operate a civil aircraft in simulated instrument flight unless -- (1) The other control seat is occupied by a safety pilot who possesses at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown.
I'm sure your friend qualifies here - provided he has an ASEL Private rating or higher. Who knows, he could have skipped it and got his private in a multi and can't even legally fly singles.
91.109 makes a safety pilot a "required pilot flight crewmember". Now on to 61.3 which tells us what is required to be a "pilot in command" or "required pilot flight crewmember":
61.3: Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations.
(a) Pilot certificate. A person may not act as pilot in command or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember of a civil aircraft of U.S. registry, unless that person--
(1) Has a valid pilot certificate or special purpose pilot authorization issued under this part in that person's physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization. ...
(c) Medical certificate. (1) Except as provided for in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a person may not act as pilot in command or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember of an aircraft, under a certificate issued to that person under this part, unless that person has a current and appropriate medical certificate that has been issued under part 67 of this chapter, or other documentation acceptable to the Administrator, which is in that person's physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft.
So, valid flight certificate and medical - he'll have these covered too as long as he's ASEL. Now for the fun part - does he need "recent flight experience"? On to 61.57.
You were fine up until this point. So far you have quoted the regs that are required for a safety pilot. Notice that there are no currency requirements contained in the above regulations. That is because none are necessary.
Where you fell down, so to say is in the following regulation:
61.57: Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
(a) General experience. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crewmember unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days, and--
(i) The person acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls; and
(ii) The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required), and, if the aircraft to be flown is an airplane with a tailwheel, the takeoffs and landings must have been made to a full stop in an airplane with a tailwheel.
(2) For the purpose of meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft under day VFR or day IFR, provided no persons or property are carried on board the aircraft, other than those necessary for the conduct of the flight.
This says that in order to be PIC
Lets stop right here for now. Notice the section is titled "Recent flight experience: Pilot in command."
It does NOT apply to anyone other than the PIC. It does NOT apply to the safety pilot.
or (I'm admittedly stretching the wording a little) a required flight crewmember,
Yeah, quite a stretch because, as I said, it ONLY applies to the PIC. The rest of the paragraph is irrelevant.
What follows is getting into a whole different set of currency requirements.
Next question: can he do it with you on board? I'd say probably not, but I think this is still a bit of a gray area.
No gray at all.
You'll see that 61.57(a)(2) says that no persons may be on board other than those necessary for the conduct of the flight.
You left out a rather important point. The section says that no person may ACT AS PIC ... That is a rather important distinction.
I've heard the argument that YOU as a CURRENT single engine pilot are required simply because he's not current (and has a "passenger") until he's done his three landings.
As long as YOU are current, YOU may allow a non current pilot be "sole manipulator of the controls" to gain his landing currency. Nothing wrong, or against regulations in this.
But if you want to entirely avoid gray areas - which I'm guessing you do since you asked this question - have him go for a flight by himself or with a CFI.
Nothing wrong with that advise, but in the context of safety pilot, unnecessary.
And if he hasn't really flown a small single for a long time, he might need a CFI to help him out for the first couple of times. Big iron pilots have this nasty tendency to flare at 60 feet AGL.
Hmm. I sort of resent that remark.