An Instrument Proficiency Check, simply known as an “IPC”, is defined in 14 CFR 61.57(d).  Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a person who does not meet the instrument experience requirements of paragraph (c) of this section within the 12 calendar months preceding the month of the flight may not serve as pilot in command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR until having passed an instrument proficiency check that consists of the areas of operation and instrument tasks required in the instrument rating practical test standards.

Preflighting the Pilot

logbook.jpgPractice is essential. To ensure minimum IFR proficiency, 14 CFR 61.57 permits you to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) under IFR only if you have practiced several fundamental procedures within the past 6 calendar months.


Before flying IFR, ensure that you have logged:

  • At least six instrument approaches;
  • Holding procedures; and
  • Intercepting / tracking courses through the use of navigation systems.

If you do not meet these requirements in the prescribed time, or within 6 calendar months afterward, you will need to pass an instrument proficiency check (IPC) with a flight instructor before you can act as PIC under IFR. Because instrument flying is very demanding – especially in single pilot IFR – your preflight process should also include a review of your fitness for flight (AIM 8-1).


Preflighting the Aircraft

Altimeter.jpgTo be legal for flight under IFR, 14 CFR 91.205(d) states that the aircraft must have certain instruments and equipment, with all required inspections. One way to remember the additional items required for IFR is to think in terms of what you need to aviate, navigate, and communicate.



  • Artificial horizon (pitch and bank indicator)
  • Rate-of-turn indicator or a separate attitude indicator
  • Slip-skid indicator
  • Altimeter adjustable for barometric pressure (accurate within +/- 75 feet of field elevation)
  • Fuel (45 minute reserve for airplanes; 30 minute reserve for helicopters, per 14 CFR 91.167)
  • Direction (heading) indicator
  • Clock displaying hours, minutes, and seconds
  • VOR (checked within 30 days) 14 CFR 91.171
  • Altimeter/pitot-static system checks (14 CFR 91.411)
  • Navigational equipment for facilities to be used


IFR Environment*

The regulations (14 CFR 91.103) demand that you become familiar with “all” available Wing.jpginformation before an IFR flight. The “related media” documents below offer tips on evaluating weather in terms of personal minimums and aircraft capability.

You must also ensure compliance with rules such as the alternate requirement (Also known as the 1-2-3 Rule.) For airplanes, you do not have to file an alternate if these conditions exist at ETA ± 1 hour:

  • At least 2,000 ceiling
  • At least 3 sm visibility
If an alternate is required, weather reports/forecasts must show that the weather conditions at the ETA will be above the prescribed alternate minimums for the airport. If the airport does not have alternate minimums, then the weather must be forecast to be:
  • Ceiling 600 and visibility 2 sm for precision approach.
  • Ceiling 800 and visibility 2 sm for non-precision approach.
*Source – FAASafety.gov
Call to Schedule your IPC todayDestinations Clients have the unique advantage in having access to the latest in Flight Training Technology – the Redbird Full-Motion FMX Flight Simulator.   Your IPC will begin in the FMX simulator emphasizing procedures, checking your instrument scan, and flying different instrument approaches. Your IPC will conclude with a filed IFR flight plan in an IFR aircraft of your choice.

Flyers have a sense of adventures yet to come, instead of dimly recalling adventures of long ago as the only moments in which they truly lived. — Richard Bach, ‘A Gift of Wings,’ 1974