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Staying Instrument Current

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by RAJPINDERJIT SINGH, Sep 7, 2012.



    Jun 25, 2012
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    I'm a private pilot and I'm looking forward to becoming a instrument rated pilot, and one of the reasons is because I'd like to be more comfortable making long cross country flights. But of course renting an airplane can be quite heavy on the budget.

    I was reading that to stay IFR current, you have to do 6 approaches in actual or simulated IFR, and I guess I was wondering, how often do private pilots or even commercial pilots actually end up doing approaches in IFR conditions. Or pretty much all private pilots end up flying with an instructor or a safety pilot every 6 months to stay instrument current. Because I was thinking that if I do become an instrument pilot, I would of course want to shoot an approach during each landing, but I doubt I'll encounter IFR conditions each time I go flying.

    So how many private pilots pretty much take a instructor or a safety pilot all the time to stay current.
  2. Acrofox

    Acrofox All fox

    Sep 26, 2010
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    Basically that. You either fly instruments (in IMC) regularly, or you go up with a safety pilot or CFI every six months.

    The confounding issue is that while you can shoot approaches all you like, they don't count unless you're under the hood or in IMC ... and you can't go under the hood without a safety pilot.

    So ... yeah.

  3. web265

    web265 Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2011
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    FWIW, I don't do this every six months as you are eluding to, I go up and do two or three at least once a month with a buddy who can act as safety pilot. It's best if I can find someone who wants to fly a few approaches as well you can knock it out in say 1.5 hrs and share expenses if you plan it correctly.

    The other thing I like to do is actually file for very short trips when the weather is IMC from simply low vis or low ceiling and file multiple approaches at the destination.

    I've found that this works much better for me than say not flying any approaches in actual or simulated conditions for 6 months then going out and doing them on one flight. come that 3rd or 4th month you might be legal but are you proficient?

    One other tip, I don't get in a plane without a view limiting device (foggles). You never know when you might find yourself with a pilot who will be more than happy to safety pilot for you. End any trip like that with a simulated condition instrument approach.

    Good luck and enjoy your instrument training!
  4. fholbert

    fholbert Mod's - Please don't edit my posts!

    Feb 13, 2010
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    I wait for the SoCal mornings when the marine layer rolls in, 700 and 2 miles +/-. Get up early shoot approaches without a safety pilot.

    Having your local private pilot as safety pilot in VFR rarely works out well. My personal favorite was when my safety pilot raised the gear and flaps at DH. He saw me do it 5 times and thought he was helping out. It was my last approach, I was landing. That could have turned out bad.

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