Assume you maintain VFR at all times and you have a qualified safety pilot on board. Can an IFR rated pilot fly practice approaches under the hood (view-limiting device) using an aircraft that is not IFR certified, and log these approaches for purposes of meeting his/her IFR currency?

Assume the aircraft has the required equipment for the approach (i.e. VOR for VOR approach, ILS for ILS, etc.).


As long as you remain VFR then the equipment requirements for the airplane and the flight are VFR.

§61.57 says “Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device…”.

It doesn’t say anything about having an IFR certified airplane or having a current pitot/static and altimeter check. If you are maintaining SEL IFR currency, then all you need is a SEL airplane. MEL IFR, then a multi-engine plane, etc. And if you are missing some of the 6-pack instruments, all the better for practicing partial panel.

  • $\begingroup$ Thats good to know. So you can take the little C152 up with a single VOR/ILS, at half the price, to shoot some VOR and ILS approaches instead of the complex IFR aircraft, with all the glass, and save a couple hundred dollars. $\endgroup$
    – Devil07
    Jul 3 '17 at 23:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Devil07 Sure. But the C152 is probably IFR capable—although not necessarily current. There aren’t that many legacy airplanes that are not able to fly IFR. Some of the newer sport planes have a certificate that is VFR only. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jul 4 '17 at 0:24

I suppose one could assert that, if the airplane is type-certificated for IFR and IFR certified in terms of the transponder, then that would be fine. Assume a qualified safety pilot of all answer scenarios.

If the aircraft is not type-certificated for IFR flight, but has the appropriate equipment and operated in VMC, then that would also be fine.

If the aircraft does not have the appropriate equipment (Say you are trying to fly LNAV approaches using a VFR-only or portable GPS, or using such equipment as a non-legal substitute for appropriate equipment) then that would not be OK.

BLUF: If you're using the proper equipment in the proper conditions with a proper safety pilot, it should be OK. remember that all practice approaches flown for currency must also be flown to the appropriate minimums.


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