Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

5 Answers

“DME required” on plate but not actually used?

Asked by: 838 views Instrument Rating

howdy all...ive been trying to find an airport where I can do my Instrument checkride. My plane does not have DME or IFR gps so options are limited.  kYKM has 2 ILS procedures that have "DME required" in the notes, but, depending on which IAF you use, you don't appear to use DME for any part of the procedure or miss. Can you legally fly that approach without a DME then?

second question would be if I can't find an airport with a non DME ILS close enough for my checkride can we do what I do in training which is shoot the approach in VFR conditions and use my gps as if it were a DME...would that work for a checkride?



5 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Aug 07, 2017

    The Chart notes state: ADF or DME required. If you have an ADF, then you are good to go, but if not, then a DME is required. The IAF at DONNY requires ADF. The IAFs at the two end of the two DME arcs require DME to fly the arc (WIKIK and CIDOG). The remaining two IAF at MARRK and SUNED require a DME to determine the IF at OPISE.

    The use of a non IFR GPS to simulate an IFR GPS or DME is not authorized if you make an approach when operating under IFR, but could be used if you were operating under VFR with a safety pilot. This may work for an instructional flight, but not for a checkride.

    The Instrument ACS however states:

    Consistent with section 61.45(b) and (d), the aircraft must have the flight instruments necessary for controlling the aircraft without outside references and the radio equipment required for ATC communications and for performimg instrument approach procedures. GPS equipment must be instrument-certified and must contain the current database.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Max Trescott on Aug 07, 2017

    Your first question asks “Can you legally fly that approach without a DME.” The answer is 1) Yes, you can fly it anytime as a VFR practice approach, even if you don’t have a ADF, DME, or IFR-capable GPS and 2) No, you cannot fly it in IMC unless you have either a ADF, DME, or IFR-capable GPS.

    Regarding your second question, most DPEs won’t give instrument checkrides in actual IMC conditions. So almost certainly on the checkride, you’ll be able to fly either the ILS Y RWY 27 or ILS Z RWY 27 at KYKM without an ADF, DME, or IFR-capable GPS, if you do it in VMC and not on an IFR clearance. Make sure you know the difference between the two approaches, and the special requirement you need to be able to meet in order to fly the ILS Z RWY 27, as that would be an obvious question for a DPE to ask on an instrument checkride.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Russ Roslewski on Aug 08, 2017

    Can you get vectors to final at this airport? If so, neither ADF nor DME would be required for any part of the approach and you could fly it just fine.

    0 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

  4. danshaw on Aug 08, 2017

    Wow thanks all! Glad I found this resource!

    So, diving a little deeper….it sounds like there is some conflicting opinions on whether it would be acceptable for an DPE to allow this approach to fill the precision approach requirement for the checkride because it wouldn’t be done on an actual instrument clearance. If there are no other airports with a non DME ILS within round trip range of my plane from my flight school, would I be able to point to published guidance anywhere that would say “this is acceptable for a check ride”, or is it up to the DPE?

    The other half of this is where I’ll practice….I could fly my plane to a non DME ILS airport, fill up, then do the approaches, and fly home. However that would make for some long lessons just to get there and back and my CFI is not wanting to spend that much time to fly 2 or 3 approaches. But i’d like to practice the same approaches as I’ll be doing on the checkride…

    should I just contact the DPE and ask them?

    On a slightly different topic….Would I expect the DPE to make me demostrate a DME arc in a plane without DME? Would it be reasonable for the DPE to ask me to take the check ride in another plane just to demonstrate DME? The ACS says the DPE “may” not ask for DME arcs if a plane is not equipped…

    any thoughts?
    Thanks again!

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  5. John D Collins on Aug 08, 2017


    91.205 (d)(2) Specifies equipment required for IFR (rules) flight, independent of conditions. So IFR flight in VMC would not be authorized without meeting this requirement. Practice approaches conducted under VFR (rules), like you said would be legal, but if you were operating under IFR (rules), they would not be, even if the conditions were solid VMC.


    I don’t believe that if you are operating under IFR (rules) that even obtaining radar vectors would avoid a 91.205 (d)(2) violation if you did not have equipment that satisfied the chart requirements.

    I would suggest reading the NTSB Appeal case of FAA vs Louis Fusak, SERVED: May 24, 1994 NTSB Order No. EA-4167

    It deals with a 91.205(d)(2) case for an approach which required DME. The aircraft was not equipped with a DME and the pilot claimed it was VMC at the time and that if it wasn’t, he would go to his alternate. A partial quote of the summary is:

    Respondent accepted an IFR clearance when he did not have the proper equipment to land IFR at his destination. Moreover, he accepted radar vectors from ATC and actually operated IFR on the VOR approach for 28 minutes, before he canceled his IFR flight plan.

    Note 9 applies to the last sentence and reads as: “The fact that the weather may have been VFR at the time is irrelevant.”

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.