Currency requirements

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by MRSpad, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. MRSpad

    MRSpad Filing Flight Plan

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    I am a new (5/2022) instrument pilot. I know every 6mos. I need 6 approaches, some holds, some intercepts, with foggles and safety pilot or actual IMC. Do these approaches have to be a landing or would a low approach/go missed qualify? Also, since I usually file IFR, fly in VMC and ATC puts me in for Visual landing, does this trip count towards Currency requirements?
     
  2. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They do not have to be to a landing.

    And filing IFR and flying entirely visual in VMC does not count.
     
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  3. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A proper sim can count too... Red Bird MCX is an example... if you have any of those nearby.
     
  4. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a follow-up question:
    Let's say you log an approach on the first day of every month. At 6 the 6 months mark, you are current.
    Then you skip a month. Are you still current? You would not have 6 approaches in the last 6 months, you'd have 5.
    Is this correct?
     
  5. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think you're thinking too much on this. 61.57: Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight" --> you must have your 6 hits, hold, etc.

    If you have your 6 hits, hold, etc. in the preceding 6 months of the flight you're taking IFR, you're good. If not - you're not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
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  6. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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  7. Chicago Bearhawk

    Chicago Bearhawk Pre-Flight

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    Congratulations!

    One piece of advice I was given is to do 2 each month when you go to the airport to pay your hangar bill.
    If it is IMC just file and go (you will be current if you do 2 each month, because you will have had 12 in the previous 6 months...)
    if it is not IMC look for a fellow Instrument Pilot or student instrument pilot and be willing to do quid-pro-quo.

    But that does work better in theory than practice.
     
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  8. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    I misunderstood the title. I was going to say that I usually carry at least $20 or $40 at all times, in case I'm walking around and have a craving for a pepsi or a ham sandwich.

    Congrats on the IR!!
     
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  9. mandm

    mandm Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    You can also do an IPC with an instructor, which you could knock out in one short lesson. Doing 6 approaches usually takes 2 separate flights, for me at least. It’s a lot to do 6 in one flight.
     
  10. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Congrats. I got my IR last December. People told me maintaining currency would be a challenge and I have found that to be true given my schedule, my club losing our "IFR" plane, recent NOTAMs in my area and finding a safety pilot and plane available when I can fly. I try to get 3 approaches in a month to account for these limitations. A buddy recently went over the year limit and said his IPC was as hard as his check ride and advised I not to get into that situation. However, others here get IPCs even though not required. I'm guessing he needed to be current for an upcoming flight so he put a lot or pressure on himself. There's a close by Redbird I tried once but the instructor had a lot of trouble getting it going so I never went back. Some here are not fans of simulators for currency but I'm still on the fence. There is another one a little further away I intend to check out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  11. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What does he mean by “as hard as his check ride”? He wasn’t expecting to have to maintain ACS standards, or he didn’t know what was required for an IPC, or…?
     
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  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    You passed the test for an IR 5/22 and you don’t know this?
     
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  13. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I haven't spoken to him since he made that statement. I'll let you know when I do. As I indicated, I'm thinking it was more about he had an upcoming flight where he needed to be current.
     
  14. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Similar here as you had mentioned. I just got my IR this past March. So I needed my currency by the end of this month. Last month I did a quick visit with an instructor at a location that had a Red Bird MCX. Spent about 20-30 minutes with him and now I can just go back whenever and crank up the machine and use it myself. That next day I actually went back, jumped in and did my 6 hits, hold, and even performed a few night landings. There's no replacement for the real thing IMHO but it's not a bad Option B or C (if 'A' is IMC, 'B' is foggles, then 'C' could be the Sim??). The situational awareness and instrument scan/management is close, but working w/ATC, the true risk of IMC when in the plane, etc - yeah, that's not the same.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
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  15. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Maybe he was that out of proficiency.
     
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  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That’s been my experience with people who dread proficiency checks…they’re not proficient in the things that are being checked.
     
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  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You might recheck the reg…I don’t know of any Part 142 training centers that use Redbird sims.
     
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  18. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good catch! I just re-read 61.57(b)(2) and see what you're saying. (Corrected my post)
     
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  19. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    An IPC on a regular is a great idea. It keeps you "honest" with your skills having a CFII watch you regularly.

    However, it's only an "easy" way to stay current if you're already flying enough to stay proficient anyway. Almost a Catch-22.

    More often, someone coming to me for an IPC needs it because they are way beyond not being current, and likely haven't even flown instruments that recently either.

    So the IPC really becomes a multi-day training event with an IPC at the end. Remember, the IPC is essentially an instrument checkride. You should be able to do all the tasks, approaches, holding, unusual attitudes without any instructor involvement, hinting, or prompting. If you can't, we'll just call it "training", count the approaches and go from there.

    One story I have about this was a local club member came to me for an IPC. I described what it was, he said he hadn't been flying IFR much lately. So I offered to make it "training" instead of an IPC, but he still wanted to try for an IPC. Okay, no problem. We take off, I give him vectors for the first approach, and as we're getting close to intercepting final, I know right away he's not going to pass. Why? He hadn't even brought up the approach on his ipad and hadn't briefed it at all. He had loaded it into the GPS though. So I just watch, and he proceeds to fly right through final, never turning to intercept.

    At that point I told him "let's just make this a training flight", did some more training, and called it a day with maybe 3 or 4 approaches flown. I told him to call me when he wanted to finish up, but never heard back.

    That's either a case of "not knowing yourself" or a case of "I wanted a pencil-whipped IPC but this CFII wouldn't play along", I'm not sure which.
     
  20. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @RussR question for you. Are there things you'd recommend for IR pilots to do to stay as proficient as possible during their regular every day flights? As an example, I got my IR in March. I file pretty much every flight I go on with only a few exceptions. I fly periodic IMC (enroute). Seems about 50-50 whether I'm requesting a specific approach vs taking the visual (both under VMC). Regardless, I'm always loading in an approach, have it on my iPad, and brief the approach/miss prior to getting vectored/or directed to an IAF. Sometimes I let the AP fly the approach so I stay proficient on that end (buttonology), sometimes I hand fly it (keep my scan descent). I also do my own "what-ifs" on my GTN 650 trainer at home quite a bit just so I'm confident on how the GPS will talk to the AP in various instances so that I don't go screwing something up while on approach with a stupid button push (I've done that a few times). I just did some sim time for my 6 hits on a Red Bird MCX and those went fine. Since it's summer here in Florida, IMC at an airport usually means T-storms, so I don't usually have opportunity to truly fly an instrument approach in IMC (past the FAF). This winter I anticipate there'll be more nonconvective IMC type days for some approaches. Are there other things aside from the normal currency stuff you'd recommend?
     
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  21. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    @1000RR , you are already doing FAR more than most instrument-rated "hobby" pilots do. Keep doing what you're doing, and you will be fine!

    I might add to that to not shy away from IMC when presented with the opportunity, and if a day comes with perfect practice IMC, like 500 OVC, go up and practice for an hour. Take a CFII along if you wish, but if you're otherwise feeling proficient, there's no need to - often the best learning is when we put ourselves in a position to learn without assistance. Obviously be safe, but nothing beats single-pilot IMC for reinforcing skills.
     
  22. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Awesome Russ, thanks for the insight. That's the plan for sure... shoot some approaches in some Florida wintertime IMC (non-convective). I haven't shy'd away per se, but the opportunity just hasn't present itself this summer. About the closet 2 times I got was once flying into a non-controlled airport that ATC asked me what I wanted to do as he just had a guy divert 30 minutes prior due to ceilings. I responded I wanted to overfly the airport (wanted to look to see how solid the layer was over top) and then turn out for the RNAV and give it an attempt. It magically broke up right as I was descending and was a beautiful VMC approach. The other was going into Tallahassee and I was in and out of IMC descending and then requested to be vectored a slightly different way to avoid some lightning off our nose. But again, was below the deck when established.
     
  23. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Got my IR in Jan. I fly 2 approaches each month with a SP, but for last 3 sessions using a CFII. Why? Because just like after getting a PPL, you’re legal and good enough to fly but not really that good. IFR flying skills also get stale rather quickly.

    I’m learning new tricks and “helps” even now that are very helpful but weren’t on the test or in regular training. The rules and procedures I thought I understood now make so much more sense. I’m even scheduling an on line ground school session with CFII on arrivals - something not on test and not in training.

    Net - net: Having just gotten your IR ticket, don’t think about now it as 6 in 6 to keep current. Think about it as “extended training” while it still fresh to make it all solidify.
     
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  24. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In some ways, I was a better pilot the day after each of my checkrides than I have been ever since. :eek2:
     
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  25. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I hear the "best on the checkride" often, especially when it comes to IFR. But I don't think it's true and I really hope it's not. Yeah, your basic attitude fight is probably great but it probably still hasn't become as natural as it will with experience. Procedures? Heck, you're staying local on the checkride - it involves procedures you probably flew 100 times during your training. If you can't do those well, you are in serious trouble. And there are probably few DPEs out there who can come up with the twists ATC comes up with for real. And even if you had the new avionics you are flying with now for your checkride, chances are there are real life tasks you were never tested on during a checkride.
     
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  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree. That's why I said "in some ways."

    Also, I said the day after the checkride, because then I didn't have to contend with checkride nerves!
     
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  27. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well done! I truly wished I had those logistics to make something similar happen - I just don't. I like your approach a lot though (pun intended). Yesterday, my wife and I flew back home and Approach had asked what I wanted into MLB so I asked for the Visual 9R. I had the RVAV 9R loaded in the GTN and up on the iPad and once cleared for the Visual 9R, I activated the approach to the IF and proceeded to oversee the autopilot do it's thing "Arming" then "Coupling" and then flying the GS and all along I was REALLY trying to get to a VERY stable approach. Granted I was visual, but that helps me see outside and align with what's going on inside the plane (and vice-a-versa). It was a super stable approach. So maybe in your context - I did a "1/2 approach" haha. Anyway, it's all I got much of the time, so I just make sure I can stay sharp on whatever it is I have and can do at the time. Every approach into any airport I fly into, I'm simulating something "instrument-wise". My next step with my wife (non-pilot, non-interested in piloting stuff at all... but likes the convenience of getting from A to B) is having her call altitudes as I'm flying an approach along with the name/sequencing of "fixes" within the procedure so it's just another set of eyes looking and reminding me of altitudes etc. I haven't tried it yet, but I've given her a heads up that I'll show her what she can do during the approach... along with being the spotter for the runway environment should we be on a true instrument approach. I've been trying to break her in slowly on how she can help.
     
  28. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A little luck and a little work. When I was still in Colorado I became close friends with a co-worker after we discovered we had aviation in common. We would go up after work about twice a month. Each did a few approaches and then we went to dinner.
     
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  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It’s amazing how much “a little” work can actually improve your skills and knowledge. I preach 15 minutes, three times a week in the AFM to my professional pilots. It’d still take 3-5 years to get through it at that rate, but like a journey of a thousand steps, or eating an elephant, it’s just something you have to start in order to accomplish. I think almost everybody can come up with a few 15-minute periods in the course of a week that they’re wasting (and no, “resting” isn’t considered wasting time in my book), but you do need to plan those times in order to do it. And we DO need to do it, regardless of the method we choose.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
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  30. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For those who may not be aware, pilotedge has free workshops they put on to assist pilots. A lot is geared toward the IFR pilot.

    The instructor is very knowledgeable and certainly has a pilot background, but also ATC, if I'm not mistaken.

    Take a look at https://www.pilotedge.net/workshops
     
  31. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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  32. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was originally told that if the airport was reporting IFR or LIFR, it could be logged as an IA (assumng this is not simulated). The FAA InFO above clarifies in such a way that the airport does not have to be IFR/LIFR, the approach just needs to be IMC somewhere beyond/past the FAF altitude. That being the case, seems the airport could be reporting MVFR and the ceiling below the FAF and then it could be logged as an IA.
     
  33. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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    My interpretation of them writing that was to contrast what counts for flying an IAP in an aircraft in actual IMC vs simulated IMC either on a sim or in the plane flying with a view liming device and safety pilot. The former being you can transition to VMC before the MDA/DH/DA and it still counts for currency as long as the transition to VMC occurred after the FAF whereas the latter you have to go all the way to MDA/DH/DA for it to count. Now I'm not sure why there's 2 standards.
     
  34. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    The difficult part of an IAP is nearing a standard DA or MDA inside clouds. Just sayin'
     
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  35. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    No, the difficult part is getting it entered into the GPS. :D Once the button pushing is done, then it's easy.
     
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  36. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    Or even VFR in some rare cases!

    BTV ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 33, the ceiling could be 3400 and it would still count as a loggable approach by the InFO. FAF/GS intercept altitude 3800, field elevation 335. It's a 9.8 nm final at 3.2 degrees.

    https://skyvector.com/files/tpp/2209/pdf/00070ILD33.PDF

    Which seems absurd, but that's the fun of finding edge cases for any rule or guideline.

    ACV ILS OR LOC RWY 32 is similar (and for similar terrain reasons).
     
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  37. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    I use a sim at home to maintain proficiency. For legal currency, it wasn't so hard to stay legally current while flying a lot for work as the approaches more or less took care of themselves. With work travel reduced, though, I found myself needing to get some approaches logged. I picked a day with a nice stratus deck at an approach-friendly facility, then banged out the approaches without even dropping the gear. This flight was 1h37m in the air and resulted in 7 logged approaches (needed one back at home) involving a flight to/from an airport 60nm away.

    currency.png

    If you go on an IMC day, it'll generally just be you and the airliners. I pick a field with perpendicular runways as I can stack the approaches up even quicker and it provides a little bit of variety (ie, I am swapping to a different approach than the one that was last flown each time).
     
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  38. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    I don't see that you did your required hold. So still not current. :D

    Hard to do anything without intercepting and tracking.
     
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  39. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    I realized that when logging the flight when I got home, sighed, and took care of it later. I ended up with one more approach than I needed, but not the hold.
     
  40. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    1000RR, the 'true risk' portion doesn't necessarily change things all that much in terms of sim effectiveness, but the ATC part certainly can. That's why services exist which ATC into simulators....the challenge is getting schools (and students) to recognize the value. We've been at it for over a decade and most flight schools still go with the "meh, we'll just have the guy in the back do it..." approach. Not...the...same.
     
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