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14 CFR 61.57 (c)(1) says that "within the 6 months PRECEDING the month of flight, that person has performed the following tasks..." (6 instrument approaches and the rest). To keep things simple, let's imagine that I take an instrument checkride or an IPC on December 31st. I don't fly for a few months, and then I shoot 5 instrument approaches and perform a hold in June. On July 1st, I shoot an instrument approach (with a safety pilot as I am no longer current). Am I now able to act as PIC for an IFR flight on July 2nd? Because in the six calender months preceding the month of the flight (January-June, the six moths preceding July) I don't have 6 instrument approaches. Even my instructor was a bit perplexed, and he couldn't give me a clear answer.

Thank you

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  • $\begingroup$ Seems odd that you'd be ineligible for the rest of July, but it seems you'd definitely become eligible on August 1. Curious to see how this gets answered. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 3:25

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It depends on how you interpret "within." I think in context "within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight" can reasonably be construed to mean "more recently than six calendar months before the flight."

It doesn't make any sense that in the situation you've described you could perform as many approaches and the like as you like in July and not be able to restore your currency until August. When one interpretation of a word leads to a nonsensical law it is reasonable to interpret it another way.

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Short answer: Once you have completed the instrument approach with a safety pilot on July 1, you would be instrument current for six calendar months from June. Therefore you are considered instrument until December 31 of that year, as, within the past six calendar months, you have accomplished at least six instrument approaches, holding patterns, and navigation by electronic instruments per §61.57.

That currency simply applies to any time period, within six calendar months from a proposed flight, that you have meet the requirements of §61.57.

Some additional examples: suppose you complete another two instrument approaches in July, one in September, flying the published missed and hold, and then two approaches in October, you would be instrument current all the way until January 31.

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