By Martin Pauly ✈ April 30, 2021
How to get ready for an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC)
If your instrument currency has elapsed, an IPC is a way to regain currency. Think of it as a mini-checkride with your CFII, as opposed to an examiner. While an IPC is less formal than the instrument rating practical test, to pass you will need to demonstrate knowledge and skills equivalent to the acceptance standards for the checkride. The information on this page will help you understand what to expect, and to prepare for the IPC with Martin.
Things to bring:
- Certificate, medical, photo ID
- Hood or foggles
- An airworthy aircraft with the equipment required for flight under IFR
What to expect:
- The IPC will have a similar structure as a flight review.
- The ground review will cover a review of applicable sections of 14 CFR Parts 61 and 91 and a scenario-based discussion of a hypothetical IFR flight (flight planning, briefing, filing, weather, aircraft systems and instruments, clearances and ATC procedures, emergencies).
- The flight portion can be done in VMC or IMC. It will consist at a minimum of three instrument approaches (incl. precision, non-precision, circling, and missed), a hold, intercepting and tracking navigational systems and arcs, recovery from unusual attitudes, and partial panel.
- Other topics of interest can be added to the ground and flight portions of the IPC.
- Satisfactory performance will lead to a logbook endorsement. The expected level of performance is equivalent to the instrument rating practical test.
- If satisfactory performance is not achieved, the logbook entry will show “dual instruction given”, and we’ll discuss a plan to address identified deficiencies. There is no such thing as a “failed IPC”.
- If the flight originates from KCID or nearby, study the instrument procedures (approaches, take-off minimums, departure procedures) for KCID, KIOW, and KAWG.
- Be familiar with the regulations and AIM content listed on the next page.
- Have a list of questions ready from your prep work, which we can discuss during the ground review.
If there are specific procedure types you would like to practice during the IPC, please let me know and we will work them in if possible.
Expect the ground portion to take approximately one hour, and the flight portion two hours. Additional time may be needed depending on how well things go the first time around – if training is needed to help you regain a satisfactory level of performance, that will take additional time.
Suggested reading material (14 CFR):
§91.167 Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions
§91.169 IFR flight plan: Information required
§91.171 VOR equipment check for IFR operations
§91.173 ATC clearance and flight plan required
§91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR
§91.177 Minimum altitudes for IFR operations.
§91.179 IFR cruising altitude or flight level
§91.181 Course to be flown.
§91.183 IFR communications
§91.185 IFR operations: Two-way radio communications failure
§91.187 Operation under IFR in controlled airspace: Malfunction reports
Suggested reading material (AIM):
Chapter 1. Air Navigation
- Navigation Aids
- Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) and Area Navigation (RNAV)
Chapter 4. Air Traffic Control
- Services Available to Pilots
- Radio Communications Phraseology and Techniques
- ATC Clearances and Aircraft Separation
- Surveillance Systems
Chapter 5. Air Traffic Procedures
- Departure Procedures
- En Route Procedures
- Arrival Procedures
- Pilot/Controller Roles and Responsibilities
- National Security and Interception Procedures
Chapter 6. Emergency Procedures
- Emergency Services Available to Pilots
- Distress and Urgency Procedures
- Two-way Radio Communications Failure
Chapter 7. Safety of Flight
- Barometric Altimeter Errors and Setting Procedures
- Cold Temperature Barometric Altimeter Errors, Setting Procedures and Cold Temperature Airports (CTA)
- Wake Turbulence
You should also have a high-level understanding of how the various instruments work that we rely on for instrument flying, in particular airspeed, altimeter, vertical speed, and the basics of gyroscopic instruments.