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.
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.
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.
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.