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Thread: Can I fly IFR in VMC if my instrument rating is not current?

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    N404CX's Avatar
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    Can I fly IFR in VMC if my instrument rating is not current?

    This question was posed on another forum and I disagreed with the answer. Can I file and fly an IFR flight plan in VMC if my instrument rating is not current? The emphasis is on "in VMC." Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N404CX View Post
    This question was posed on another forum and I disagreed with the answer. Can I file and fly an IFR flight plan in VMC if my instrument rating is not current? The emphasis is on "in VMC." Thanks.
    No. Per FAR 61.57(c):"(c) Instrument experience. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR only if:". Since there's an "or" in there (Under IFR OR weather...), you can only file IFR if you're current, weather conditions not withstanding. Annnddd, I don't know why this stupid editor won't let me format this in a more readable fashion...
    Last edited by Marc Zeitlin; 05-22-2016 at 03:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    No. Per FAR 61.57(c):"(c) Instrument experience. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR only if:". Since there's an "or" in there (Under IFR OR weather...), you can only file IFR if you're current, weather conditions not withstanding. Annnddd, I don't know why this stupid editor won't let me format this in a more readable fashion...
    Just a small nit. Anyone can file (did it on every IFR training flight when I was working on my IR), but you have to be rated and current to accept the clearance.
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    N404CX's Avatar
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    Mark, my question was about VMC; your quote said less than VMC.

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    You can not operate under instrument flight rules unless you meet the requirements: rated, current, equipped, inspected.
    There is a small dispensation for training in aircraft that isn't certified provided you do it in VMC, but that is not a total abdication lf the IFR rules. The PIC, even in VMC, must be legal: rated and current and possessing a medical certificate.

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    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N404CX View Post
    Mark, my question was about VMC; your quote said less than VMC.
    91.173 says to fly under IFR you have to file and receive a clearance. That's regardless of the weather conditions -- IMC or VMC. As the others have stated, to legally do that you have meet the 61.57 currency requirements.
    Todd Stovall
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    91.173 says to fly under IFR you have to file and receive a clearance.
    That's not technically true, but it is difficult to not do otherwise in practice given the lack of uncontrolled airspace in the US.
    But even when operating in less than VMC in uncontrolled airspace without a clearance, you still are operating under IFR and must follow all the IFR rules not specifically exempted.

    But the truth of the matter, "less than VMC" forces you into following the IFR rules (or the flight is illegal), but otherwise the meteorological conditions do not define instrument flight rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N404CX View Post
    Mark, my question was about VMC; your quote said less than VMC.
    Ummm, yeah. But it ALSO said: "a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions". And the first part of that statement, from the FAR's, clearly states that you cannot act as pilot in command under IFR unless you're current. Whatever the weather condition - IMC or VMC. There's no ambiguity. And yes - you can file - just can't accept the clearance :-). Again with the crappy formatting in this forum...

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    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    That's not technically true, but it is difficult to not do otherwise in practice given the lack of uncontrolled airspace in the US.But even when operating in less than VMC in uncontrolled airspace without a clearance, you still are operating under IFR and must follow all the IFR rules not specifically exempted.But the truth of the matter, "less than VMC" forces you into following the IFR rules (or the flight is illegal), but otherwise the meteorological conditions do not define instrument flight rules.
    You're right. I didn't use the exact quote that included "in controlled" airspace as I thought it was implied based upon the discussion to that point.
    Todd Stovall
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    Quote Originally Posted by N404CX View Post
    This question was posed on another forum and I disagreed with the answer. Can I file and fly an IFR flight plan in VMC if my instrument rating is not current? The emphasis is on "in VMC." Thanks.
    So what was his answer Glen?

    I'm with the consensus. One can file, one can in many cirumstances 'receive' an IFR clearance. The problem starts when said person "operates" the aircraft under the rules specific to IFR flying without complying with applicable recent experience requirements, without regard to reported weather conditions.

    I suppose if one wanted to push the envelope, they could file, get an IFR clearance and make it to the runway right up to calling for takeoff clearance. Perhaps at a non-tower field, takeoff and never call for clearance once airborne doesn't quite cross the line, lol.

    The regs use broad terms like 'person' which is not limited to pilot and 'operate' which is not necessarily limited to flying so there are a lot of variations one can come up with which is why these scenarios are always fun

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