Current IFR rating?

Group opinion recorded by the community.

Moderators: Rick, Lance Murray

Current IFR rating

Yes
64
86%
No
10
14%
 
Total votes: 74
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dmloftus
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by dmloftus »

Interesting poll results with 83% IFR.

In US:
314K instrument rated / 665K active certificated pilots = 47%

Probably not surprising as most on this forum own their aircraft (or at least a piece of one), providing greater opportunity and motivation to be instrument rated.

FYI - Overall numbers in US from Wikipedia:

As of the end of 2019, in the US, there were an estimated 664,565 active certificated pilots.[32] This number has been declining gradually over the past several decades, down from a high of over 827,000 pilots in 1980. There were 702,659 in 1990 and 625,581 in 2000. The numbers include:

197,665 student pilots (128,663 in 1990 and 93,064 in 2000)
127 recreational pilots (87 in 1990 and 340 in 2000)
6,467 sport pilots (did not exist until 2005)
161,105 private pilots (299,111 in 1990 and 251,561 in 2000)
100,863 commercial pilots (149,666 in 1990 and 121,858 in 2000)
164,947 airline transport pilots (107,732 in 1990 and 141,596 in 2000)
19,143 glider-only pilots (9,567 in 1990 and 7,775 in 2000)
15,511 rotorcraft-(helicopter)-only pilots (7,833 in 1990 and 9,387 in 2000)
611,825 male pilots end of 2019
52,740 female pilots end of 2019
These numbers are based on the highest certifications held by individual pilots.

The numbers also include:

113,445 certificated flight instructors (CFIs) (63,775 in 1990 and 80,931 in 2000)
314,168 pilots overall who held instrument ratings (297,073 in 1990 and 311,944 in 2000)
160,302 remote pilots (certification began to be offered in 2016, and does not need an active medical certificate to be considered active, but must take a re-training every 2 years)
An active pilot is defined as one who holds both a pilot certificate and a valid medical certificate, for certifications that require a medical certificate.
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Johnrschaefer
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by Johnrschaefer »

dmloftus wrote: Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:19 am How many of you actually fly 6 legal procedures and holds every 6 months for currency? And how many pilots go to the effort of still flying under the hood with a safety pilot?
I try to fly a couple of legal procedures/holds every month to say current. Mostly under the hood with a safety pilot, but in actual when able. I'll be flying a couple of approaches tomorrow ...
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Boatguy
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by Boatguy »

I was surprised at the high percentage who are instrument current as I was originally testing the hypothesis that the lack of DA40 WAAS upgrades was due to a lack of IR pilots, but that is clearly not the case. If you remove the ATPs from the pilot numbers, the GA percentage with IR drops to just 30%.

The "marine layer" along the coast of California provides an easier way to accumulate approaches. But the FAA definition is pretty strict requiring IMC after the FAF. I've been vectored, intercepted and flown an approach more than once when the IMC cleared before the FAF, ATC can't see the clouds. A few weeks ago I vectored all over, was told to intercept the approach, then had radar services cancelled, but not "IFR cancelled" (I was on an IFR plan) and handed to the tower. It was actually clear just after I intercepted the approach; ATC must have gotten a PIREP from the commercial jet in front of me. So I guess that counted towards "tracking", but not an approach.

In any case, I supplement real approaches with an FAA certified Redbird TD at home. Like others, I use it to fly approaches at airports I'm planning to visit, or just out of the state.
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mhoran
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by mhoran »

Boatguy wrote: Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:44 pm I was surprised at the high percentage who are instrument current as I was originally testing the hypothesis that the lack of DA40 WAAS upgrades was due to a lack of IR pilots, but that is clearly not the case. If you remove the ATPs from the pilot numbers, the GA percentage with IR drops to just 30%.
For the first five years of ownership neither my co-owner nor i were instrument rated. We never felt the need to get the WAAS upgrade (for $25k+) at that point, since we weren't shooting approaches and, as I've said on the forum in the past, there are plenty of ILS approaches around our home base (or so I thought...) When we both got our instrument ratings, all was fine for the first year or so. While our home base has a rather useless GPS approach, Morristown is nearby and I've flown in there when I can't land at Linden. Other places we fly have ILS approaches, and it worked out nicely.

This year was another story. I had multiple trips where the ILS was down and an LPV was available, but I couldn't fly it. It was super frustrating. Of course at this point I didn't have WAAS and it was questionable as to whether or not we could get it. I was contemplating selling the plane, and when Diamond indicated that they had no upgrades available, it looked like my decision was made. However, we lucked out, and the upgrade was very much worth it.

I've done a complete 180 on my opinion of WAAS, and now wouldn't dream of buying another plane without it. While I don't plan on regularly flying down to LPV minimums single pilot IFR, more than once I've ended up at a destination with the ILS out and the weather worse than forecast, with only an LNAV approach to get me on the ground. Also, having LNAV+V available to me at unfamiliar airports during my recent trip to the Bahamas made things a lot easier.
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p3dave
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by p3dave »

Diamond DA40, 2004 with G1000 and KAP140. Instrument rated for holy mackerel, 25 years now. After flying for myself for many years, giving a little flight instruction and retiring about 6 years ago I felt I could afford to be a professional pilot. Doing that and the flying that comes with it has made me a much better pilot than I ever was before. I highly recommend it!
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dant
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by dant »

While I don't plan on regularly flying down to LPV minimums single pilot IFR
Is that distinct from flying down to ILS minimums, or were you just saying you're not excited about 200ft mins in general?
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mhoran
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by mhoran »

200ft minimums in general. In the recent cases that I've wanted LPV when the ILS was out, the forecast was ~700ft+ with actual ceilings at ~500ft and an LNAV that got me down just below the clouds. That is to say I'd probably scrub a trip with forecast ceilings at 200ft, but with WAAS now I'd be much more comfortable launching with forecast ceilings at 400ft, having many more options to get me down.
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Rich
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by Rich »

I have done approached with reported 100-1/4 and yes, had to go missed. The lowest breakout I've had was at 300 AGL. In any case like this you need to be briefed and spring-loaded for the missed.
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Scottsware
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by Scottsware »

DA40 XLS G1000
Current Instrument rating
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midlifeflyer
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Re: Current IFR rating?

Post by midlifeflyer »

CFIDave wrote: Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:48 pm

So to maintain instrument currency, most GA pilots have to rely on periodic flying with a safety pilot and view-limiting device, or (even better) get with their CFI for an IPC.

For maintaining currency I'm fortunate to be married to a safety pilot (and so is she :) ). But our DA62 insurance requires each of us to participate in an IPC with a CFI at least annually.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have an approved training device available.
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