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IFR flight in non-IFR-certified aircraft

Asked by: 2764 views Aircraft Systems, FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

What are the conditions that must be met in order to fly a non-instrument certified aircraft on an IFR flight plan? Are there any besides: 

1) instrument certified pilot 2) maintain VMC (VFR cloud clearances must be maintained too?) 3) meet equipment requirements of 91.205 d  

Also, regarding equipment, does non-IFR-cert GPS meet RNAV capability for IFR in VMC? If not, would VOR be required instead for navigation equipment (per 91.205 d 2)? And if that's the case, it would have to have been tested within the previous 30-days, right?

To make this more concrete, think non-IFR aircraft requesting pop up IFR and clearance into, eg, Class A, but with VFR-only GPS nav. 

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2 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 25, 2013

    Small point, but the pilot must be current in addition to having an instrument rating.
    Inspections required by 91.411 and 91.413 would need to be done.

    If the aircraft is a certified aircraft, I believe the RNAV equipment will need to be built under the appropriate TSO. RNAV for experimental aircraft needs to meet the performance requirements of the TSO, but doen’t need to be built under the TSO.

    Table 1-1-6 in the AIM discusses the requiements for RNAV equipment for different types of operation.

    It appears that a VFR only RNAV unit would not suffice for IFR operations.

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  2. Heather McNevin on Dec 31, 2013

    A controller is expecting that if you are filing IFR, you are equipped and qualified in a qualified aircraft. If you are in a VFR only aircraft, you can still file IFR, however if you are issued a clearance you cannot comply with based on cloud clearance requirements (controllers radar doesnt see clouds) you must cancel IFR. This came up as a question with my local FSDO since we had a VFR only helicopter filing IFR on a somewhat regular basis. The problem originated when he couldnt be given exactly what he wanted when he wanted it due to traffic, he would cause ATC major trouble trying to accommodate his needs. For example, he was issued a hold for traffic because another aircraft was on approach at his destination. He refused the hold, he refused heading and altitude changes as well. He should have cancelled IFR and proceeded VFR. Because of the expectation that if you were given a clearance you could not comply with and remain VFR and may need to cancel IFR at any given moment, I would not let you into class A airspace because you couldnt cancel IFR there.
    To be considered a /G to file as having an IFR GPS, that GPS needs to be hardwired into the aircraft. Handheld GPS do not count as /G.

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