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2 Answers

Do you have to be instrument current to file an IFR Flight Plan?

Asked by: 6297 views , , , ,
Instrument Rating

I understand that if I'm not instrument current, I can't fly IFR in IMC, but I thought I read something (from the lawyer in AOPA Pilot maybe, but I can't find it now) that I couldn't even file an IFR flight plan to be flown in VMC if I am not current (and my safety pilot is not instrument rated). If that is true, how does one get current with a safety pilot if you haven't done the required number of approaches in 6 months? I filed IFR flight plans as an instrument student, but I had a current CFII in the plane, so that isn't the same as with a safety pilot. Did I misunderstand?

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2 Answers



  1. Matthew Waugh on Jul 27, 2010

    You certainly can’t accept an IFR clearance if the PIC isn’t IFR current. Anybody can file an IFR flight plan, but the “Pilot Name” section should contain the name of the PIC (who needs to be IFR current, presumably the name of your CFII when you were training).
    You get current with a safety pilot either by flying the required approaches etc. under VFR with no flight plan or by filing a VFR flight plan.

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  2. Earl Kessler on Jan 18, 2011

    Be careful.  Ask yourself if you would be willing to let your family members fly with a pilot who hasn’t flown any instruments for 5 months and 29 days and then did his or her 6 minimum approaches with holding and tracking on the last day of his currency.  IFR flight requires much more exercise to stay competent.  If you are at the edge of your currency (much less, competency), for goodness sakes, spend the money for a CFII to help trouble shoot your gaps.  A safety pilot is not trained to evaluate your weaknesses and make corrections, you can bet your life on it.

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