Can I log an IFR approach if I exit IFR conditions prior to landing?
Answered By AOPA
You just came back from an IFR cross country flight where you were in instrument conditions for a majority of the flight. You and your instructor sit down to debrief the flight and fill out your logbook. You only log one approach for the entire flight (the one at your destination and not the one back into your home airport). Your instructor looks over the entry and then asks you why you didn’t log the second approach. You state that you didn’t think you could because you exited instrument conditions prior to the Final Approach Fix (FAF). He states that you should be able to log it because you were in instrument conditions when you were cleared for the approach. Who is right?
1 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
You are correct that the second approach into your home airport could not be logged for instrument currency or training. Since you were not on the final approach segment of the approach when you exited instrument conditions the approach cannot be counted. The reference for this information is in Information for Operators (InFO), #15012, published by the FAA ( Here is the section of that document that covers this scenario;
“A pilot may log an IAP for currency or training when the pilot accomplishes the IAP in accordance with the following conditions: ….
5. When conducted in an aircraft maneuvering in IMC, and the aircraft transitions from IMC to visual flight conditions on the final approach segment of the IAP prior to or upon reaching MDA or DA/DH. “

This document is good to review and presents several scenarios that will help you in determining what counts for currency and training and what does not.