Interetation please

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Dave S., Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    (i) Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person must have performed and logged at least the following instrument currency tasks, iterations, and flight time, and the instrument currency must have been performed in actual weather conditions or under simulated weather conditions—

    today is September 24...
    I want to fly IFR today.
    September is the month of the flight.

    The 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight are M, A, M, J, J, and August. The rule says I have to complete the requirements within those months.

    I only completed 5 approaches within In those months.

    I completed 1 approach and the rest of those requirements on September 15th which is not within those 6 months preceding the month of the flight.

    Am I legal to fly? Of course I believe I am but it doesn’t seem to fit within the literal words on the page. How are we to interpret this seeming literal statement?

    tex
     
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  2. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    No, I don't believe you are. Your 9/15 flight was illegal, as well.

    You spelled it out pretty clearly.
     
  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I think you would have to know when he did those 5 flights to determine the 9/15 flights illegality. If one of them was in March, then yeah.
     
  4. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    An approach is only “illegal” if you fly it under IFR and are not current.
    You can practice with a safety pilot all you like, whether current or not, and those approaches count towards currency.
    OP says “I completed one approach”, which might have been VFR...
     
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  5. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Using your interpretation you could do 100 approaches in September and you are not current until October 1st. I don't think that is the intention.
     
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  6. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    This might be the most mentally deficient reading of a regulation I have ever stumbled upon. And I've been dealing with "can I log PIC" questions for who knows how long...

    key word is "within" (not 'only during the preceding') just like every other instance of "within" mentioned in 61.57
     
  7. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Mmm. The other uses of "within" in 61.57 is:
    "within the preceding 90 days"
    "within the preceding 6 months prior to the month of flight"
    "within the preceding 12 months prior to the month of flight"

    And then you have these two:
    "within the 4 calendar months preceding the month of the flight"
    "within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight"

    Why the distinction then? For "preceding 6 months" and "6 calendar months preceding" to mean two different things, the latter has to lead you down the OP's interpretation. I'm pretty sure the original intent of introducing the term "calendar month" is actually so that IFR requirements filled on January 15th allows you to fly until July 31st and not just until July 15th, but the wording has the side effect of not counting currency gained in the current month.
     
  8. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    My experience is, ironically, legislators and rule-makers (probably their staffers, actually) are not always the most precise writers. Some federal regulations are so badly written (or edited by too many hands without taking time to check for internal consistency) that is it hard to believe they were not intentionally written to be confusing.
     
  9. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I let foreflight track it for me. Fortunately I have access to rent a AATD simulator which I try to use at least once a month.
     
  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    If I go flying at 8pm tonight, am I not currently within (whatever time period you choose) prior to the flight?

    Whether you use preceding or prior to, I am still within that time frame.
     
  11. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are we talking a general question or the current covid relief ?

    the FAA has developed FAQs (PDF) to help explain the regulatory relief
     
  12. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    If today were September 30th, and the last time I had done any approaches or met any of the other requirements was on March 1st prior, but on that day had managed to fly six approaches and all the other requirements, based on what I've read here, I would be legal to make an IFR flight on September 30th, pretty much seven full months (of days) since completing the requirements "within the six calendar months preceding the month of flight." Sure wouldn't be smart, but it seems like it would be legal. Is that true... and is that the intent?
     
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  13. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    It doesn't say prior to the time of flight though. It says prior to the month of flight.

    If I ask "how many months have passed in this year prior to this month", are you answering 8 or 9?
     
  14. Volzalum

    Volzalum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My answer would not count September. I would count all of the months prior to September.
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Foreflight adds up this currency stuff for you. I trust the people there who coded the software did a decent job and have a reasonable interpretation of the FAR

    Also, personally I like to have at least one actual IMC approach and some IMC time in the last 30 days before an IFR flight.. currency rules aside, when you are IFR it pays to be painfully proficient so much to the point that you don't even have to worry about currency
     
  16. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I’d agree. As with most ‘currency’ regs, the minimum isn’t enough to be proficient.
     
  17. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    September 15 is within now and the preceding 6 calendar months. Is there a question?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Neither. I'm answering 8.8333333333

    Is 1 month ago Aug 24 or Aug 1?
     
  19. DogoPilot

    DogoPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    While I think the intent of the regulation is painfully obvious, it is very poorly written in my opinion. Taken literally, it does seem to deviate from what most (all?) people would consider to be the actual meaning.
     
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  20. Volzalum

    Volzalum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is a graphic. I am not saying which is correct, just what each of the 3 expressions mean:
    1) Prior 6 Months
    2) Prior 6 Calendar months
    3) Preceding 6 Calendar months prior to the Month of Flight
     

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  21. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    The wording has changed from the original. In 2003 it read, "no person may act as pilot in command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR, unless within the preceding 6 calendar months, that person has..."

    The current wording was added in 2009.
     
  22. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow. I know the rule pretty well and I'm getting confused by this thread.

    Flight in September.
    Currency based having accomplished the required tasks "Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight."

    First month preceding the month of the flight is ?
    Second month preceding the month of the flight is ?
    Third month preceding the month of the flight is ?
    Fourth month preceding the month of the flight is ?
    Fifth month preceding the month of the flight is ?
    Sixth month preceding the month of the flight is ?
     
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  23. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Those were my thoughts exactly.
    I dealt with this very scenario because I did five approaches in March and then no more until after August 31, when the TAF seriously mis-guessed. My home airport was suddenly calling IFR when everything else nearby was VFR. Was I legal to pick up a clearance and recover at home, or did I need to divert?
     
  24. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I see what you did there...
     
  25. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    This, from Boldmethod:

    "Today, it's October 19th, 2017. Your currency needs to happen within the preceding 6 calendar months, so you start counting back from September 2017, which takes you to the beginning of your currency period, April 2017. If between April 1st and October 19th you logged 6 instrument approaches, tracking and intercepting, and holding, you're instrument current."

    -- https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to...you-need-an-ipc-instrument-proficiency-check/

    They also have a few useful "scenarios" about a fictitious pilot and his logbook, and discuss whether he'd be current or not...
    I'll admit I actually learned something.
     
  26. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Note that this article pre-dates the change to FAR61 which says you can use an ATD (CFI optional). So instead of 3 options stated in the article, there's now 4.
     
  27. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OK... what everyone is saying is...

    Suppose I am just out of IFR currency, having done six approaches and holding procedures just over six months ago (all in one day - or, better yet - just completed my IFR checkride). So, I am only one month out of currency but no approaches or holds in the preceeding six months.

    I go up with a safety pilot (or do sim) and do six approaches and a hold.

    I will not be current until the current month is over????!!!
     
  28. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would say as soon as you complete the currency requirements, you are current.
     
  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    “Within six calendar months” indicates limits of measurement rather than six separate months that can be used. The limits are the beginning of the sixth calendar month prior to the date of the flight and the date of the flight. If the date of the flight is the last day of the month, “within six calendar months preceding the month of the flight” is a span of seven months that are usable to establish currency.

    At midnight on the last night of the month, you lose up to 31 days in that usable time span, and then it grows again until the end of the new month.
     
  30. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    i got a great idea, shoot for more than the bare minimum! is it really that hard to do a couple of practice approaches a month?
     
  31. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't follow what you're saying. In my scenario, “within six calendar months preceding the month of the flight” equals 0.
     
  32. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's what I do and what I recommend.
     
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  33. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    i agree with this, but I can see how it does not match up with the language of the reg.
     
  34. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is an extreme example of an interpretation like we’re considering.

    Suppose I want to fly on the 29th but I have not flown in the last 10 months. So I go out today on the 24th and fly all of the approaches and requirements. If you take the literal interpretation I won’t be current five days later on the 29th because none of the work was done “within” the 6 months “previous” to the month of the flight.
    What is confusing is that the FAA took such great care to distinguish between the month of the flight and the 6 months preceding the month of the flight; clearly two different time periods; in the definition.

    Can it be? Is it possible that the FAA truly intends that it won’t count any experience during the early days of the month of the flight but only that experience older than that which occurs in the “previous” 6 months before the month of the flight?


    I can’t believe that. So I have always believed that any time from the first day of the sixth month previous to today counts. Surely, this is another example of poor wording. Surely. Isn’t it?

    And then, as it happens so often, an observant student in my ground class at college asked the question I had never thought carefully about.

    It’s one of those questions that makes you go, Ummmmm?

    tex
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  35. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is another issue that always concerns me having been through one of the following events with homeowner insurance.

    you go out and fly IFR using a wrong interpretation, whatever it is, even with wonderful intentions. And you kill yourself in the airplane or someone else. Will your insurance pay off or will your misinterpretation give the insurance company a way out of the payoff, under the guise “Pilot failed to meet IFR currency requirements.”?
     
  36. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    No, it doesn’t.

    You want to make an IFR flight using today’s date, Sept 25. you did your six approaches, holding, intercepting, and tracking yesterday. “within six calendar months preceding the flight” starts March 1 and ends today. Your currency flight falls within the range from six calendar months before the flight to the day of the flight.

    As others have noted, the wording is poor, but it’s meaning is well-established, if not clear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If the reg said "in" the preceding six calendar months, that would imply exclusion of the current month. "Within," to me, does not.

    Also, courts like to consider the intent of the laws, and I think it would be hard to sell the idea that the FAA intended to say that approaches flown in the current month don't count for currency.
     
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  38. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sigh.

    Regulitis. Disease which causes people of average or better intelligence to lose basic reading comprehension skills when looking at regulations. It is sometimes associated with the FAA-Anon movement whose followers believe all FARs have hidden meanings.
     
  39. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    No issues. It was never intended that the ability to meet the requirements of 14 CFR 61.57(c) be exclusive to the "months prior" to the current month.

    It's September. You can log approaches, holds, intercepting and tracking in September for the purpose of meeting the instrument experience requirement, if you need to... (of course!)

    And you can go all the way back to March 1. Any approaches, holds, and intercepting/tracking performed from that day on count towards the requirement.

    If you're one short in September, go fly one, or use an FTD, ATD, or FFS per 14 CFR 61.57(c)(2).

    That's it.
     
  40. DogoPilot

    DogoPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    I don't think anybody would disagree on that. As it is written though, it seems to say something different than that. I don't think anybody is disputing the intent or seriously believes that logging approaches this month wouldn't count towards currency for this month, but it does read that way, to me at least.