How do the instructors in places like Arizona keep their instrument currency? I know the weather there tends to lack IMC conditions. Do they have to rent a plane on their own dime to stay Instrument current?
FAR 61.57: (2)Use of a flight simulator or flight training device for maintaining instrument experience. Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in a flight simulator or flight training device, provided the flight simulator or flight training device represents the category of aircraft for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained and involves having performed the following -
(i) Six instrument approaches.
(ii) Holding procedures and tasks.
(iii) Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems.
Simulators are wonderful things
I had read that but wasn’t fully understanding that. Do you still need another instructor to sign off that time?
In addition to using a sim to get current, an instructor can get current in
the airplane by flying simulated instrument approaches with a student as
long as the student is appropriately rated to act as a Safety Pilot (be at
least a Private Pilot or better with a valid Medical). An instructor also
gets to log approaches if a student flies an approach in actual IMC.
Further guidance on what is considered a loggable approach can be found in
a Memo/Letter of Interpretation. I have limited access to the internet
today. I’ll post a link when I can.
To answer your question, if a sim is used for currency, the Sim’s Letter of
Authorization from the FAA will dictate if an Instructor is required for
the sim time to count. I believe this rule will eventually vanish because
if a current instrument rated pilot flew 6 approaches within the previous 6
months in actual IMC, no instructor or safety pilot is required to do
that…one could argue why the sim should be any different? BUT of course
it’s a good idea to have an approapriately rated instrument instructor
monitor your approaches…especially if you have let your 6 month currency
lapse. Then I’m sure you’re aware of when an IPC is required.
Here’s the Letter. Print it out. Memorize it. It’s something every
Instrument Rated Pilot should know.