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Unfortunately I couldn't find a definite answer to the following question:

If a private pilot is instrument-rated, can he/she file an IFR flight plan and fly IFR in IMC in a Cessna 162 (Skycatcher), assuming the C162 is equipped with the optional autopilot? (is it really a requirement to have a functioning autopilot for IFR in IMC?)

As far as I know, the Skycatcher has all the required equipment for IFR, including a "real" Continental engine (unlike most other LSA's using Rotax engines)

  • $\begingroup$ Which regulations are you interested in? FAA, EASA or something else? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Nov 13 '14 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK, there are no C162 aircraft registered outside the U.S. But I'm asking about the U.S. (FAA) $\endgroup$ – Philippe Leybaert Nov 13 '14 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ There's no requirement for an autopilot to legally fly IFR in IMC. $\endgroup$ – Fred Larson Nov 13 '14 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @FredLarson You're right. I thought I read that somewhere but that was about RVSM, not IFR in general. $\endgroup$ – Philippe Leybaert Nov 13 '14 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ The Skycatcher GPS is not IFR approved, and the plane does not have any NavRadios (so no VORs, NDBs, ILS) But the GPS system does not have any Approach Procedures in it, and I don't believe they can be loaded. So you'd be left flying GPS-only approaches with paper plates, and no vertical guidance. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Nov 14 '14 at 15:31

Not in the US. The C162's POH says:

The Model 162 Skycatcher is not equipped or certified for IFR flight

That means that under 14 CFR 91.9 it may not be operated IFR. But, FAA Order 8900.1 allows an exception for aircraft not certified for IFR to be operated under IFR in VMC only:

A. IFR Training in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). Instrument flight training may be conducted during VMC in any aircraft that meets the equipment requirements of part 91, §§ 91.109, 91.205, and, for an airplane operated in controlled airspace under the IFR system, §§ 91.411 and 91.413. An aircraft may be operated on an IFR flight plan under IFR in VMC, provided the PIC is properly certificated to operate the aircraft under IFR. However, if the aircraft is not approved for IFR operations under its type certificate, or if the appropriate instruments and equipment are not installed or are not operative, operations in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) are prohibited. The PIC of such an aircraft must cancel the IFR flight plan in use and avoid flight into IMC.

An autopilot isn't required for IFR flight in the US (see 14 CFR 91.205(d)) and the question you linked. I didn't check the full equipment list to see which required instruments are missing from the C162, but even with full IFR equipment if it isn't certified for IFR then it can't be operated in IMC per the regulations above.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that "gyros" do not have to be spinning-mass gyroscopes: Both laser gyros and MEMS systems have been certified by the FAA. (The folks at Crossbow wrote a great paper on the hoops they had to jump through which is an interesting read.) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Nov 13 '14 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ This raises the question about what the controller will think when you cancel IFR in Class B because of weather. Or does he already know from the type identifier that you're not certified for IFR flight, and that you will cancel if the weather deteriorates. $\endgroup$ – rbp Dec 8 '14 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ The section title is "IFR Training...", but the plain text suggests that an IFR pilot can fly the plane, for non-training purposes, in the IFR system, just because they choose to, and not for training. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Dec 8 '14 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @rbp Interesting scenario (worth a question?). ATC knows the equipment code, I guess /U would be correct for a C162 (or /I?). But that's just for navigation purposes, it doesn't mean that the flight can legally or practically operate in IMC. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 8 '14 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ There's a corollary question of, say, a Mooney which is type certified for IFR, but may not be IFR current, flying under Order 8900.1. $\endgroup$ – rbp Dec 8 '14 at 15:55

The 162 is approved for day/night/VFR flight only, though it can serve for IFR training in VFR conditions, it cannot be flown in IMC


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