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Does flying IFR in VFR conditions doing an instrument approach count as the currency requirements?

Asked by: 2916 views Instrument Rating

Does flying IFR and performing an instrument approach in VFR conditions count towards the IFR currency requirements?

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2 Answers



  1. Eric Gideon on Apr 21, 2012

    Yes, per 61.57(c), but only if you are wearing a view-limiting device and accompanied by a safety pilot. Simply flying the approach in VFR while on an IFR flight plan will not be enough for currency. 

    See: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFar.nsf/FARSBySectLookup/61.57

    1. Use of an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship for maintaining instrument experience. Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device that involves having performed the following–
      1. Six instrument approaches.
      2. Holding procedures and tasks. 
      3. Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems.

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  2. Bob Watson on Apr 26, 2012

    Where I live (Pacific NW), that question is a little more nuanced. We get days where there are 500′-thick cloud layers floating at 1500 AGL. VFR above and below, but to get from above to below you’re in IMC for about a minute.
    So, does that approach count? Does it count if you enter in IMC but come out into VMC well above the DH?
    Around here, the onofficial consensus is that both would count towards currency, but they probably don’t offer much help towards improving proficiency.
    I suppose that if you followed the letter of the law, you’d have to fly the approach from IAF to MDA/DH in IMC, but which MDA? (e.g. ILS? LOC? or the MDA that is several thousand feet AGL?)  So, even the letter of the law has some room in it.

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