instrument proficiency checks under the revised instrument p

In April, 2004, the FAA updated and revised the Practical Analysis Standards (“PTS”) for the Instrument Adjudjing. The advanced standards went into aftereffect October 1, 2004. Of particular absorption to instrument flight instructors (“CFII’s”) and pilots holding instrument ratings is a substantial chicken feed in the requirements for administering an Instrument Proficiency Check (“IPC”).

Prior to October 1, 2004, a CFII had discretion regarding what PTS tasks he or she could crave for an instrument rated aviator to authenticate instrument proficiency. That discretion allowed a CFII to be flexible in adjustment to accommodate/inscription a aviator’s strengths/weaknesses, as able-bodied as the aviator’s aircraft, instrumentation and intended missions. That is, the CFII was allowed to decide what tasks the aviator needed to accomplish in adjustment to appearance the CFII that the aviator could competently operate an aircraft solely with reference to the instruments.

Although this discretion presented the befalling for a CFII to conduct an IPC with minimal demonstration of adeptness by the aviator, most CFII’s required pilots to authenticate sufficient skills and competence to appearance that they could safely fly in instrument meteorological conditions (“IMC”). After all, no amenable CFII wanted to be the last IPC sign-off in a aviator’s logbook if the aviator was subsequent in an accident or incident: Too abounding questions to answer and abeyant liability for the CFII.

However, the revised PTS no longer accord the CFII discretion in how an IPC is to be conducted or the tasks to be performed. The current PTS any more crave completion of specific tasks including holds, abnormal attitudes, intercepting nav-aids and dme-arcs, precision, non-precision and circling approaches, limited- panel and analysis of instruments and aircraft equipment.

Unfortunately, the removal of the CFII’s discretion seems to convert what used to be a learning acquaintance tailored to a aviator and his or her needs into what is added closely akin to an actual check-ride. Under the prior PTS, a student and instructor could altercate and actuate the adapted and/or all-big tasks to arrange that the aviator could authenticate the all-big competency to pass an IPC. This allowed a aviator to statement the IPC as a learning tool by agreeing with the instructor to analysis or practice specific tasks on which the aviator may accept felt he or she needed supplementary practice.

Under the revised PTS, all of the designated tasks must any more be satisfactorily completed. Although a aviator and instructor can still outfitter the IPC to bull's eye on tasks needing supplementary assignment, the remainder of the designated tasks will still charge to be completed. This will access the age required for an IPC and may prevent pilots from spending the age and almighty dollar for supplementary practice of specific tasks.

Another affair is the requirement that an IPC candidate must any more perform a circling access. Unfortunately, this eliminates the befalling for an IPC candidate to fully all an IPC using a computer-based trainer such as an Advanced AD. Although an Advanced AD will still qualify for completion of a majority of the IPC requirements, if it does not accept a wide, wrap-around affectation, a circling access will be impossible and this portion of the IPC will charge to either be demonstrated in an aircraft or in a simulator that is equipped for such an access.

This advanced requirement again has the abeyant to access the cost of an IPC for a aviator. If the aviator does not accept access to an adapted computer based trainer, he or she will charge to perform a circling access in an aircraft.

The revised PTS are here and are the standards for conducting an IPC. Pilots should accumulate in apperception that an IPC sign-off received after October 1, 2004 that does not comply with the revised PTS will not be valid and may allowance the aviator operating without instrument currency. Both pilots and their instructors should analysis the revised PTS to fully accept what tasks are required for an IPC.

As always, fly protected and fly acute.

About the Author

Greg is an aviation attorney, author and holds a commercial aviator certificate with instrument adjudjing. His handles aviation litigation, including insurance matters and creditor’s rights, FAA certificate actions and aviation related transactional matters. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or check out his website at

Originall posted July 18, 2012