Instrument Currency During Coronavirus Outbreak
Votes
Joined 03/31/2020 - 2 Posts
Open
Would the AOPA consider asking the FAA for relief from the requirements of 61.57(c)(1), specifically the requirement that a view limiting device must be used to simulate instrument conditions while performing approaches, holds, and intercepts?

Relief from that requirement would allow pilots to practice instrument procedures solo, without a safety pilot, in a manner that allows them to stay legally current without violating social distancing.  I understand that this might not provide the same level of proficiency as simulated instrument conditions, but in my experience flying instrument procedures in VFR still provides significantly enhanced proficiency.  
3 Replies
Votes
Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
I doubt it.  You still have the option of using a flight simulation device to maintain instrument currency, and that doesn't require anyone else in the room.  You can also go fly in actual instrument conditions by yourself (assuming you're still current and proficient).  It's also an issue of regulatory requirements.  The plain language of the regulation requires that you be in actual or simulated instrument conditions to log events for IFR currency.  Since there is no provision in the regulations to waive those requirements, the FAA can't just say, "OK, for the next three months, you can log instrument events without being in instrument conditions."  They'd have to either change the regulation itself or issue a temporary exemption, and both of those take months or more to do.
Votes
Joined 03/31/2020 - 2 Posts
We have seen a workaround for the medical requirements, which are also notably in the regs.  Also, I have access to a plane, but not a sim, and am out of currency (so no actual), but not far enough out to need an IPC.
Votes
Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
Gregory Wichmann:
We have seen a workaround for the medical requirements, which are also notably in the regs.  Also, I have access to a plane, but not a sim, and am out of currency (so no actual), but not far enough out to need an IPC.

There is no "workaround" -- the FAA just said they won't take action if you violate that rule.  And I can see their point -- I don't think the simple passage of three months' time is likely to make you unfit to fly if you're following the rules and guidance in 61.53 and "IM-SAFE".  OTOH, you're asking them to accept flying in visual conditions as being the proficiency equivalent of flying in instrument conditions.  That's another story entirely, and my 4000 hours of instrument instruction given tells me it doesn't work.  I'd think the same about the other recent experience rules (like landings), but I can see them flexing on flight review dates because that's more like the medical exam issue.  But we'll see what the FAA says.