Bare minimum equipment for IFR

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by bluerooster, Feb 5, 2022.

  1. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    What is the bare minimum equipment to get an IR? IOW can I get an instrument rating in my airplane with it's out dated equipment? or do I need to spend money on upgrades, that would be better spent (IMHO) with flying under the hood. Granted my options at this point are limited to localizer/ILS approaches. No RNAV/GPS.
     
  2. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Line Up and Wait

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    You need to be able to shoot 3 different types if approaches in a check ride. You don’t need a GPS for RNAV.
     
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  3. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    VOR, DME (arc?), Localizer, ILS, LNAV VNAV RNAV, what else is there?

    How do you load an RNAV without a GPS?
     
  4. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Line Up and Wait

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    LNAV VNAV are RNAV approaches. You can’t do that without a go’s or an RNAV unit. You can do 3 of the first 4 listed. There is also a back course, which can be hard to find some places.
     
  5. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    Technically you’re correct, you can have RNAV through a DME/DME/IRU system, but that’s not likely in the OP’s case. Or you could have a KNS-80 or similar VOR/DME RNAV unit that’s still working, which would be RNAV, but since there are zero VOR/DME RNAV approaches left in the U.S., that’s not realistic for IFR flying, or for the checkride either.

    So I’m not sure what you really mean by this.
     
  6. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    You CAN get your Instrument Rating with just VOR and ILS equipment, however you may have to fly farther to find approaches you can fly (especially if you don’t have DME) and your selection of airports you can fly IFR to will be very limited. It’s just not practical for everyday IFR use anymore with the reduction in numbers of VORs and approaches.

    In fact, depending on your location, doing it with just this equipment may result in you flying the same few approaches over and over again for training, which is poor preparation for “real” IFR flying - you’ll have the local approaches memorized by the time you’re done.
     
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  7. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Line Up and Wait

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    I agree RNAV with non-GPS does not fit the OP, but it if possible with the right equipment. I’ve never flown an RNAV system, and have never worked on a panel with one in it that I didn’t remove.
    I also fully agree that true IFR flying without a GPS is complicated. Many airports will be out of the approachable list without one.
     
  8. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you read the ACS on the subject, the requirement is for one precision approach and two nonprecision approaches which "must use at least two different types of navigational aids."
    Without GPS, your precision approach will be an ILS. Unless you have an ADF and there is still an NDB approach near you, we're talking about a VOR and a LOC.

    But as @RussR suggested, unless you are looking for the rating for general proficiency, you will find the lack of GPS extremely limiting for real IFR flight. VORs beyond a "Minimum Operational Network" are being decommissioned. VOR approaches are being terminated at even a higher rate. Plus, if you do upgrade later, you will be adding training expense that could have been taken care of while getting the rating.
     
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  9. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    So to help the op out, what would be the most cost efficient way to get his plane to an ifr platform? The way plane prices are, I'm not sure selling it and buying a plane already capable is as easily done.
     
  10. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Renting. Or a flying club.

    I went through this exercise extensively trying to figure a way to upgrade my C-150 to get the rating. Even putting in old radios cost more than just renting.

    I did 10-15 hours of attitude instrument flying in my 150 then switched to a club plane with a GPS to finish the rest of the hours.
     
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  11. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's not what he asked either. You could equip for useful IFR, but still not be able to complete a checkride. (GPS only)
     
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  12. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Line Up and Wait

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    Doesn’t depend on the OP’s intention to use his IFR? If you need to be able to shoot an approach to mins any where you want to fly to, any time you want to go, yes, you need a gps. If the goal is to get through 2K’ ceiling on either end of flight, is a gps as nessary?

    Good article on this type flight - so happens I land @ H17 frequently.

    https://www.ifr-magazine.com/charts-plates/no-approach-here/
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I figured that was going to lead up to Cruise Clearances to airports without an IAP, but it didn’t. Those can get you down below the Controllers MVA/MIA without using an Approach to a nearby airport.
     
  14. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    I’ll probably rent a club plane to do my commercial checkride, easier to use the equipment and I don’t want to do too much training activities in my plane. This theory may or may not change :p
     
  15. mryan75

    mryan75 Pattern Altitude

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    Seriously not trying to be a wisebutt here, but with a GPS your precision approach will be an ILS, no? Aren’t all RNAV approaches non-precision, legally speaking?
     
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  16. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From a checkride perspective, no. A LPV can be substituted for an ILS on a checkride.
     
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  17. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Me neither, but it's really important to read the ACS to know what the ACS says.
    upload_2022-2-6_21-6-54.png

    OTOH when you are selecting IFR alternates, all RNAV approaches are treated non-precision. So "legally speaking" I guess it all about what question is being asked ;)
     
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  18. chemgeek

    chemgeek En-Route

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    You can get the IR with only a VOR/LOC/ILS receiver. That's basically what I did 30 years ago. (OK, I had ADF too, which is virtually useless now for real-life approaches in the CONUS.) But why? If you are actually going to use your IR rating, I would recommend training the way you are going to use the rating, which these days is very GPS-centric. VOR approaches are becoming rarer and rarer, and the VIctor Airway system is being rapidly pared down to a bare minimum. Many non-metro airports are now served only by GPS approaches. Don't underestimate the acclimation factor to managing a complex navigation box and maybe an autopilot in addition to tending to IFR piloting tasks. Of course, one should be able to navigate IFR using basic equipment (especially in an emergency), but 99% of the time IFR for me is getting from A to B using WAAS GPS and flying LPV approaches to non-metro airports, and ILS or LPV at metro airports. Victor Airway navigation is so 1990s now.
     
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Why do you need DME ( arc) if you have RNAV?
     
  20. RickC

    RickC Pre-Flight

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    I was asking the exact same question a couple of years ago when I started working on my IR, and ended up replacing my inop KLN 89B (which was in the plane when I bought it in 2017) with a GPS-175. It's been the single best investment I've made in the plane, and I'm betting it will pay for itself when I eventually sell it. If you intend to do any actual IFR flying beyond just getting the rating, you'll wish you had a modern GPS, and this is about as cheap as you can get.
     
  21. NotarPilot

    NotarPilot Pre-Flight

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    I think he’s asking about equipment needed.