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instrument currency and simulator

Asked by: 1573 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating

The regs say one can use simulator time supervised by an authorized instructor for instrument currency. I was asked to supervise simulator time as a cfi. If an instrument rated student shoots approaches on an approved sim while I am supervising, not a cfii, can they count toward instrument currency?

4 Answers



  1. flyingv on Dec 08, 2015

    I am currently just working on my CFII, so I do not claim to be an authority on this. My personal opinion is that it sounds a little fishy. That said, I have heard arguments that as long as the student does not count those hours towards their 15 hours of flight training with a flight instructor required towards the rating, it might be OK. In other words, the argument was, as long as they got 15 hours of dual instruction from a CFII, it doesn’t matter where the rest of the time comes from.

    In FAR 61.65 it only mentions “an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-airplane rating” when talking about the required 15 hours of dual. Everywhere else in that section it just says “authorized instructor.”

    I have no other information to offer at this time. I always try to err on the side of caution. But from what I have heard, this has been done before.

    Hope this helps!

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  2. flyingv on Dec 08, 2015

    Hello again, my apologies on my last comment, I realized a little too late that I had read your question completely wrong and was not able to delete or edit my post so here I am posting again.

    I spoke to a fellow CFI and he pointed out an article in the December 2015 issue of “IFR” magazine. The article was titled “Need a sim instructor?” The article went on about how there has been a lot of confusion on the topic of if a sign-off is even needed when someone is trying to maintain currency in a simulator.

    In short, according to the article, you would need to be a CFII to observe the sim session and sign-off the pilot’s logbook entry for them to be able to count it towards currency.

    Again, sorry about that first post and hopefully this was a little more conclusive.

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  3. Nibake on Dec 08, 2015

    That is what I was asking, it would be good to have some regs to clarify it. I will try to find that article. Thanks.

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  4. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 27, 2015

    If the article contains references, check them out.

    The pertinent regulations are 61.51(g)(4), which deals with logging instrument time and 61.57(c) which deals with instrument currency requirements.

    You are probably using an ATD and not a simulator or FTD. If so, look at 61.57(c)(3). The requirements are different and must be completed in the preceding 2 months, not 6 months.

    Here are three legal interpretations that deal with this subject.

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2010/keller-1%20-%20%282010%29%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2012/beard%20-%20%282012%29%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2014/stewart%20-%20%282014%29%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

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