IPC – Instrument Proficiency Check

The  Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) is one of the most important steps an  Instrument Rated pilot performs.  No doubt you worked exceptionally hard for your the instrument rating and maybe you just have not had the time or opportunity to  exercise the privileges of the rating.  While the need for an IPC is determined  by regulation, perhaps you have decided that an IPC will be part of maintaining confidence, knowledge and proficiency in the  instrument environment.

Upon completion of the IPC, you will regain  confidence or enhance your existing skills when operating in the instrument  environment.

General

As mentioned earlier, there are  regulatory requirements to be met when performing an Instrument Proficiency  Check.  One should consider these are only the minimums and, depending on your proficiency, are often not sufficient to develop a high level of confidence in the instrument  environment.

Perhaps you are in need of  assistance in matters of weather, or understanding new approaches, or maybe you  have recently purchased a new aircraft and need assistance transitioning to  operating in instrument conditions.

Expectations

Regulations for the flight review (14 CFR 61.56) require a minimum of one hour of ground training and one hour of flight training. While 14 CFR 61.57(d) does not stipulate a minimum time requirement for the IPC, a good rule of thumb is to plan at least 90 minutes of ground time and at least two hours of flight time for a solid evaluation of the pilot’s instrument flying knowledge and skills. Depending on the pilot’s level of instrument experience and currency, you may want to plan on two or more separate sessions to complete an IPC.

Summary

The Instrument Proficiency Check  is a vitally important step in regaining instrument currency and should be  approached with the goal of training that not only meets, but exceeds, the  minimums required to be a legal IFR pilot.  It is also an option for those  pilots who simply want to have their instrument skills challenged and improved.   You owe it to yourself, your passengers and fellow pilots to be the absolute  best you can be.