Requirements to Fly a Practice IFR Flight in VFR Conditions When Not IFR Current
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Wanted to check if it is legal to ask and fly an IFR route as a solo pilot in VFR conditions from Airport A to Airport B when I am not IFR current (trying to shake off the rust slowly and economically).

 i.e., can I ask for an IFR clearance at Airport A saying that this is a practice IFR flight under VFR conditions? ( or do I still need a safety co-pilot or instructor)

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1433 Posts

No, you cannot ask for an IFR clearance when the PIC is not IFR current per 61.57(c).  All you can do is get VFR flight following, fly the route you want (while remaining in VFR conditions), and ask for a practice IFR approach under VFR when you reach your destination.

Also, having a “safety co-pilot" won't help.  That person would have to be fully qualified to act as PIC for the flight in that aircraft under IFR, and acting as such for the entire flight.  A “safety pilot” only helps you fly with a vision restricting device ("hood"), and that's required for such “simulated instrument” flying whether you're operating under IFR or VFR.

Thank you Ronald!

Votes

Keep in mind as well that practice approaches under VFR are similar in nature to flight following to ATC in that they are provided on a workload permitting basis. It is not guaranteed you will get a practice approach from ATC just by asking. ATC will tell you if they are unable to accommodate your request. 

If provided, you must comply with any directive, instruction, or clearance provided to you. ATC will commonly state that “traffic and separation services are not provided; maintain VFR”, so see and avoid is still your primary responsibility.