Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

#1809169
Hi all,
With the lack of flying at the moment I have been looking at other ways to fill my time and have revisited the possibility of doing my IR(R). However, while I understand that it can be a life saver and can help you fly when the conditions are less than CAVOK - the more basic questions I have are:

Does anyone know or can give an opinion on the validity of the rating in 2021 - I did read that it may by superseded ?

Does the current syllabus still use NDB's and is this likely to change as these nav aids become rarer ? This is partly prompted by the Shoreham NDB question in the General thread and may be a silly question due to the treacle like pace at which things change in UK aviation.

As always thanks in advance
Mark
#1809227
>Does anyone know or can give an opinion on the validity of the rating in 2021 - I did read that it may by superseded ?

Who knows. Maybe the BIR will replace the IMCR but as the BIR can’t be taught at your local flying school. I have a feeling it will be dead in the water.

>Does the current syllabus still use NDB's and is this likely to change as these nav aids become rarer ?

This is were the IMCR scores highly. The minimum equipment required is an NDB or VOR and this gives tremendous flexibility.

I know of people who have done their whole IMC course using just an ADF and if that is all that is fitted to your aircraft or your home base has just NDB approaches then to me that seems sensible.

I would expect if you were based at Shoreham then it would be perfectly reasonable to use their GPS approach as part of the training and test.

So back to your question. No you don't have to use the ADF for an IMC rating and in fact you have never had to.
#1809249
I’m glad my thread provoked this one :)

I’m doing my IR(R) using a Cessna with only VOR and ADF. seems a nice plan to do it old school as GNS can only be easier.

My understanding is that the IR(R) dies in April and my be replaced by the new RIR in September. Details seem sketchy.
MarkOlding liked this
#1809251
I take a different view.

The only pressure to drop the IR(R) was coming from EASA. We cease to be a member on 1 Jan, so I anticipate that it will remain. There is no indication from the CAA that they will cease issuing the IMCR for non-EASA UK PPLs, so why would they choose to cease being able to issue it as an IR[R] on a Part FCL licence?

The BIR does not come into EU law until after we leave, so there will be no compulsion to adopt it in the UK.
AndyR liked this
#1809260
1. There is NO plan to end the IR(R) in 2021. The EASA derogation moved to 8 Sep 2021 in any case, but since it won't apply to the UK after the end of the year, there is no point in the CAA reissuing the exemption.

2. From CAP804:
Departure and En Route
Aircraft equipment checks, radio aid selection and identification appropriate to the planned departure, ATC liaison and compliance with RT procedures, use of lower airspace radar services, operation of radio aids for the establishment of planned track, track keeping by interception and maintenance of pre-selected bearings/radials to and from a facility, use of bearing information from off-track radio aids for position finding, en route holding procedures. The applicant to be trained in the use of at least 2 from VOR, VDF, ADF or GPS (VOR or ADF must be included) to carry out these procedures.
Approach and Let-Down
Use of approach charts, Decision Height/Minimum Descent Height calculations using the recommended minima for the IMC Rated pilot given in the UK AIP forming a mental picture of the approach, initial homing, achieving the overhead/approach fix, holding procedures, achieving the horizontal and vertical patterns, calculation of rate of descent, go-around, missed approach procedure.
Applicants are to be trained in at least 2 instrument approach procedures using VOR, ADF, ILS, GPS, radar or VDF of which at least one must be pilot interpreted.
Completion of a notified recognised civil or military instrument approach procedure during training, is to be certified in the applicant’s flying book. Note that GPS approaches are defined as those notified by the Authority in the AIP and flown using equipment certified for the conduct of such approaches in the aeroplane’s Pilots Operating Handbook or Flight Manual; overlay approaches or privately designed approaches are not acceptable.


3. For those interested, AMC & GM for FCL.835 (the Basic IR) were published on the EASA website on 12th November. There is no indication yet from the UK CAA as to whether the UK will bother with the BIR.
T67M, ArthurG liked this
#1809433
MarkOlding wrote:Hi all,
With the lack of flying at the moment I have been looking at other ways to fill my time and have revisited the possibility of doing my IR(R). However, while I understand that it can be a life saver and can help you fly when the conditions are less than CAVOK - the more basic questions I have are:



Nick has given the legal answer, but can I come in with a practical answer (as somebody who has had an IMCR/IR(R) for 10 years, and IR for 2).

Keeping it in your back pocket as a lifesaver is actually a really dangerous strategy. Inadvertent flight into IMC, even if you are thus rated, is spectacularly stressful and very difficult to handle. Flight in IMC if you aren't current is also extremely demanding.

The reason to have an IMC rating, is to use it, and to plan to use it. Planning an IFR/IMC trip, where the conditions turn out to be VMC, so you switch to VFR is a doddle. Planning a VFR/VMC trip then being forced to go IMC is horrible.

The cornerstone of all instrument qualifications is to be able to fly an instrument approach. Currency is incredibly important to that particular skill, more so than for pretty much anything else you'll ever do in charge of an aeroplane. The test every 25 months is nowhere near enough to keep *that* skillset current - the FAA's "6 approaches every 6 months" is much more sensible, and better still if you space them out a bit.

A lot of IMCR holders never really use it beyond the occasional cut through 10 minutes of cloud - and yet they are nonetheless statistically much safer than pilots without one. Why? My opinion is that it's because they are required to demonstrate better than PPL skill test flying standards every 25 months to keep it current, and that means that on average they're generally rather better pilots.

So it WILL make you a better safer pilot, but the ability to fly, even to the relatively high minima recommended for an IMCR holder on approaches, will only be there if you maintain the skillset through practice, and it's only a lifesaver if you plan to use it, not wait until you've no choice.

Basically, go for it, let the legalities sort themselves out later.

G
Kittyhawk, David Wood, Gas Guzzler and 5 others liked this
#1809454
Agree with G 100%.

The IMCR is not and never was a life-vest. It's a whole new set of skills and abilities which, if kept current, will provide you with an enormous pay-back in broadened horizons in relation to its modest cost in term of time/money. It's a fantastic rating in and of itself, or as a stepping stone to a 'full' IR or the BIR when it comes in.

I wouldn't worry about its longevity either. There was a time when a few ill-advised people sought to kill it off - assisted by those who promoted the life vest myth. But they have been overcome by the weight of evidence and it (or some future version of it) is here to stay.
#1810370
Another voice agreeing with G and DW.

The idea that the IMCr / IR(R) should not be used intentionally and is for emergency use only is one of the more damaging myths going round UK flying clubs. If you don't use it then you won't be in current practice - that much is obvious - and instrument flying is all about practice, regardless of what qualification you hold.

There is a legitimate debate to be had about to what extent SEP pilots should be deliberately flying into IMC of the 'harder' variety, but this is more a question of aircraft suitability rather than anything to do with qualifications.

The part of the myth that irks me most is when you hear it said, often from people in positions of responsibility, that "the IMCr was only ever intended as a safety net". I've never read anything from official sources that suggests this was the case.
#1810375
I used my IMCR in anger constantly from the day I got it which was a serious IMC day itself.
I went for an IR so I could fly airways and into the channel islands IFR when they were in a Class A zone. Long distance airways travel is a breeze, much easier than long distance VFR and you'll be surprised how often 10,000ft is above the weather.

@Genghis the Engineer is absolutely spot on.
A le Ron, David Wood liked this
#1810436
Another vote for using it. In fact virtually all my trips are planned as though IFR and I can then decide (OCAS) what to do when I get there. And the skills are fun to use, in my view, though some may prefer other kinds of fun (such as aeros which just make me hurl...)
johnm liked this