Logging an approach

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by mulligan, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. mulligan

    mulligan Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have been doing a lot of night flying lately and for some reason the C airports I have been flying to have been having me do an RNAV or ILS approach when it is VFR conditions. If approach tells you to expect RNAV and gives you vectors and you fly it in VFR conditions, do you log it as an approach?

    I’m thinking they have been doing it for spacing and a better setup but who knows.
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can always request a visual approach you know that right? I don't see a reason they 'd turn you down, unless you're flying into Tuscaloosa. ;)

    Not IMC so can't log it as long as you're the PIC and only pilot (no safety pilot).
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Without even getting into some of the minutiae, what does the FAR Instrument currency rule say about when you may log an approach for currency?
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAR says you must do it by reference to instruments under instrument conditions. Note that instrument conditions means conditions where you have to fly by instruments. This can even be IMC or in legal "VMC" but poor enough that you need the instruments, or by simulated instrument conditions (hood). There's another opionion that lays down the rules for how much of the approach you have to fly. The FAA is pretty gracious, but you do have to be doing it in "instrument conditions". Logging approaches in good VMC won't cut it.
     
  5. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    To log an approach in actual for currency, you must have some IMC (ceiling or visibility) between the FAF and the airport. To log an simulated approach towards currency, you have to have a qualified safety pilot (PPL w/Medical) and fly the approach down to the appropriate published minimums (Straight-in to DA/MDA, circling to the circling MDA).
     
  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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  7. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Being a bit technical, that's not quite accurate. You need to be in conditions requiring use of the instruments to keep the shiny side up ("actual instrument conditions"). Consider that 400' below a 4,000' ceiling with unlimited visibility is "IMC." And, hopefully, most visual pilots wouldn't have any trouble maintaining control of the airplane with 1 miles visibility even though anything below 3 is "IMC" in Class C, D or E airspace below 10,000 msl. Without getting into the "moonless night" issue, let's just say, you need to be in the clouds at some point between the FAF and the airport.
     
  8. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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  9. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    A lot of times approach won't have the ceiling (MVA+500) to vector you for the visual but will have the weather (VFR) to clear you for the visual. In that case, they tell you to expect the IAP and vector you for it but will offer the visual when you report the field and request it.

    On a CAVU day, really can't see any benefit in offering IAPs over visuals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  10. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This. You can actually go up on a moonless night over an unpopulated area and log it without actually being in a cloud.
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had dropped off a friend in Siler City and was headed home to CJR. It was a dark and hazy night. Figuring that I was on instruments anyhow, I called up approach and arranged for approaches at a bunch of airports between there and home. The guy at PCT even googled my N-number to see what the plane looked like while I was doing stuff in his airspace.
     
  12. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    If you want the visual you generally don't even need to ask for it. Reporting airfield in sight is all they need for a hint.
     
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  13. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    “File what you want, fly what you get, log what you need.” :goofy:
     
  14. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    "...and, if it gets noticed, lose your certificates." :idea:
     
  15. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not another logging question,seems everyone wants to log an approach ,when no IMC exists.
     
  16. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    So, I can maintain IR currency by shooting approaches, by myself, on moonless nights, in VMC? Even if I'm flying over a populated area with lots of lights below? So, if I did this on a regular basis, I'd be current? (Current, not proficient.)
     
  17. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Note, I said unpopulated.

    The key to logging it is when you are in conditions that require you to fly by instruments rather than external visual cues.

    Flying over a bunch of city lights provides a visual cue whether there is a moon or not. But out over the water or an empty desert...you have nothing but the panel to keep the blue side up.
     
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  18. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Not been my experience. I often run into "...XX Approach In Use..." on ATIS and IFR will get vectored for that by default.

    I learned real quick that if I just wanna get somewhere and it is VMC at the field to always just request the visual...no need to get vectored for miles out of the way when I can just be pointed to the airport and join the pattern like a big boy pilot and get in quicker!

    Now you still may get vectors for spacing, but should still make the process quicker.

    ...and no, you can't log it in VMC unless you have a safety pilot and foggles on.
     
  19. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Okay. Depending on exaclly where you are the specifics may change. That said, report airport in sight when you see it and they know.... they may ask you to report a previous aircraft in sight.

    What is the question???
     
  20. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Common sense can prevail; if I'm on the gauges 'cause I think I need to be, then I log it. And I bet if I stick to the spirit and intent of the rule, there won't be many logged approaches that could be an issue. I doubt the FAA is pouring over logbooks and old weather forecasts, unless they have a biiger fish to fry.
     
  21. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    If I need to do an approach to get to the runway legally, I log it. If it wasn't necessary, it was just good practice
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep, as I said, I was on a legally VMC night over southern Virginia and it was hazy. There was no discernable horizon or much ground lighting. To me that was practical instrument conditions. Even if I hadn't been logging approaches, I'd be full up IFR.

    Even leaving RIC at night gets dark in a hurry when you turn west. I remember departing there VFR one night and quickly changing my mind and asking for a clearance.
     
  23. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    So, it's legal to fly in IMC without an instrument rating? As far as I know it's legal to fly on a moonless night over an unpopulated area with only a PPC.
     
  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    No, it's not. It's the old difference between operating privilege and logging flight time.

    "IMC" is cloud clearance and visibility less that thay required for VFR flight in accordance with the rules of that airspace. And, of course, one cant' operate as PIC in those conditions without an instrument rating.

    OTOH, for logging instrument flight time, here's what the FAA Chief Counsel said in 1984:

    "Actual" instrument flight conditions occur when some outside conditions make it necessary for the pilot to use the aircraft instruments in order to maintain adequate control over the aircraft. Typically, these conditions involve adverse weather conditions.

    ...actual instrument conditions may occur in the case you described, a moonless night over the ocean with no discernible horizon, if use of the instruments is necessary to maintain adequate control over the aircraft. ​

    That "moonless night over the ocean with no discernible horizon" can easily occur with a 12,000' ceiling (or no ceiling at all) and 100 miles visibility. There are also multiple visual illusions we are susceptible to as pilots which, IFR or VFR, can lead to severe spatial disorientation.

     
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  25. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I guess I read the post as logging IMC, but in reality you are logging instrument time, not IMC.

    But then that begs the question, can I log it as instrument time if I don't have an instrument rating?
     
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Why not? Only my personal opinion, but I don't see anything in the rules saying no. The overriding concept is exactly the same as when we discuss the rules of logging PIC - the rules of "acting" (or operating) are different than the rules of logging. Period.

    It's clear, for example, if you fly with an instrument pilot acting as PIC and are the sole manipulator of the controls, you may log both PIC and actual instrument time while on an instrument flight plan and in the clouds without an instrument rating, so why not in VMC. Assuming the continued viability of that 1984 Moonless Night letter, what in the rules says you can't log instrument time? Arguably (but a little silly), you are required to if you log the flight:

    61.51 (b) Logbook entries. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, each person must enter the following information for each flight or lesson logged (my emphasis):
    ***
    (3) Conditions of flight -
    (i) Day or night.
    (ii) Actual instrument.
    (iii) Simulated instrument conditions in flight, a flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.
    (iv) Use of night vision goggles in an aircraft in flight, in a flight simulator, or in a flight training device.​

    There is, btw, a "gotcha" in the Moonless Night letter:

    The log should include the reasons for determining that the flight was under actual instrument conditions in case the pilot later would be called on to prove that the actual instrument flight time logged was legitimate.​
     
  27. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    But to log an actual approach to published minimums you don't need a safety pilot.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2015/info15012.pdf

    Bob
     
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