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Maintaining your Instrument Rating

in Instrument Rating

Once you hold the instrument rating, you may not act as pilot-in-command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR, unless you meet the recent flight experience requirements outlined in 14 CFR part 61. These procedures must be accomplished within the preceding 6 months and include six instrument approaches, holding procedures, and intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigation systems. If you do not meet the experience requirements during these 6 months, you have another 6 months to meet these minimums. If the requirements are still not met, you must pass an instrument proficiency check, which is an inflight evaluation by a qualified instrument flight instructor using tasks outlined in the instrument rating practical test standards (PTS).

The instrument currency requirements must be accomplished under actual or simulated instrument conditions. You may log instrument flight time during the time for which you control the aircraft solely by reference to the instruments. This can be accomplished by wearing a view-limiting device, such as a hood, flying an approved flight-training device, or flying in actual IMC.

It takes only one harrowing experience to clarify the distinction between minimum practical knowledge and a thorough understanding of how to apply the procedures and techniques used in instrument flight. Your instrument training is never complete; it is adequate when you have absorbed every foreseeable detail of knowledge and skill to ensure a solution will be available if and when you need it.


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