Instrument Rating Requirements Clarifications
Getting ready to finally make a run at finishing my instrument rating after a layoff.  Been Reading FAR 61.65 and need a few clarifications.

1.  61.65(d)(2) requires 40 hours under the hood or actual (of which 15 hrs must be with a CFII).  Does this mean I can log hood time with a qualified safety pilot who is not a CFII to get some of those 40 hours?

2.  Do the required cross country flights, including the 250NM XC for (d)(2)(ii) have to be under the hood?

Thanks
25 Replies
Ronald Levy
1516 Posts

Richard Campbell:
Getting ready to finally mae a run at finishing my instrument rating after a layoff.  Been Reading FAR 61.65 and need a few clarifications.

1.  61.65(d)(2) requires 40 hours under the hood or actual (of which 15 hrs must be with a CFII).  Does this mean I can log hood time with a qualified safety pilot who is not a CFII to get some of those 40 hours?

Yes.  However, as one who makes a living giving instrument training, I very strongly suggest you don't try to teach yourself instrument flying before working with an instrument instructor.  You're much better off getting a lesson with an instrument instructor and then practicing what you've learned with a safety pilot before you go back for the next lesson.  It's even better if you can team up with a "study buddy" who's also working on the rating, taking your lessons together (one in the left seat, the other in the back, with the instructor giving training from the right seat, then swapping seats for the second hour of training) and then practicing together swapping seats and hood time, which is how I did it back in 1971.

2.  Do the required cross country flights, including the 250NM XC for (d)(2)(ii) have to be under the hood?

The 250nm long IFR XC must be under the hood with an instrument instructor.  All the other flying for the total of 50 hours of PIC XC time may be VFR with no instructor, although if you have a study buddy, you can get some of that XC PIC time together swapping seats and hood time towards the 40 hours of instrument time.  Just remember that to log it as PIC XC time, one person has to fly each leg completely from takeoff to landing -- no swapping in the middle of a leg, although you can do one flies out while the other flies back.

Thanks

You're welcome.

Fly safe,
Ron
Ronald Levy
1516 Posts
BTW, if you plan it right, you can use the 61.65(d)(ii)(2) long IFR XC to also cover the day and night dual XC's required by 61.129(a)(3)(iii/iv) for Commercial.  For example, take off in the day time, fly out for an hour, shoot an approach somewhere, then fly another one hour leg to another airport at least 100nm from where you started, shoot an approach there and land.  Have dinner while waiting for it to get dark, and then reverse the process home.
Thanks for the response and the good suggestions.  I already have all the other times I need, plus some old and recent hood time.  I had a military special crew instrument rating, so I have all the ground school met.  Just need the hood time and the IFR XC.
Caleb Park
52 Posts
You are correct. 
If you will be flying under the hood then the safety pilot must be at least a Private Pilot and must be rated in the airplane. 
If flying in actual conditions then the safety pilot must be a Private Pilot with an instrument rating. 

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My 2cents;
I have been a private for 40 years, Sept of 2017 I took my Instrument check ride, not easy at 60 y/o,
Here is something to consider with a private pilot rated safety pilot;
BE SURE HE KNOWS WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG,
I grabbed a friend who IS a instrument rated pilot,Acutally Aeronautical college student working on all his ratings, we flew one evening after I got off from my high stressed job, borrowed a C-150 with one VOR with G/S so I can practice ILS landings,
He noticed RIGHT AWAY I was behind the plane( a C-150 for God sake!)
ANy way, during the approach I was focused on the two needles, then a transmission from the tower distracted me and I lost focus and was drifting off the localizer, ( but the damn G/S was centered by GOD )
He knew I was in trouble and kept asking what I am doing, finally he took over,
I asked a non rated pilot if he would have caught that and he said " caught what? " So educate your safety pilot on what he needs to be seeing !
Good luck, its tough but very rewarding!
Ronald Levy
1516 Posts
Be very careful about trying to fly IFR in weather with a non-instructor safety pilot in the right seat acting as PIC.  Only a CFI with instrument instructor rating has been trained, tested, and certified as being able to evaluate the performance of a non-IR pilot flying in the left seat, determine when intervention is necessary, and then intervene effectively and safely when necessary.  There have been fatal accidents involving two PP's trying to do that.  There's nothing wrong with having a non-IR safety pilot riding shotgun while you practice under VFR in VFR conditions what an instrument instructor has already taught you, but never expect a safety pilot who is not an instrument instructor to be able to do anything more than look outside for other aircraft and/or the ground -- especially not to give you any sort of critique or determine whether you're doing it right or wrong.