The Elite AATD is approved for both instrument currency (six approaches plus holding) and most of an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). The rules governing instrument currency state that a pilot needs to have done six approaches plus holding during the previous six months in order to maintain currency for filing and flying in the IFR system. If that is not accomplished, then specific steps must be taken to regain instrument currency.

Time Period Required Comments
During previous six months Six approaches plus holding IMC or hood with safety pilot
First six months grace period Six approaches plus holding Hood with safety pilot, cannot file IFR
Second six months grace period Instrument Proficiency Check Must be done with CFII

The Elite AATD can be used for both currency and most of an IPC. Unlike an airplane however, accomplishing the needed approaches for currency in the sim must be done with a CFII. Because the sim is so cost effective, it will be less expensive than doing it in a plane, even with the added requirement of doing it under the guidance of an instructor. We estimated the cost differences in the instrument cost comparison page. But beyond the obvious cost benefits, the sim has the added advantage of exposing you to scenarios that are not possible in an airplane.

Some pilots elect to do an IPC every six months, just to keep their skills sharp and to see what new tricks and tips the instructor can give them. A complete IPC cannot be done in the sim. In accordance with the latest Instrument PTS (FAA-S-8081-4E, effective January 2010), the following tasks must be done in an airplane.

  • Circling approach
  • Landing from a straight in or circling approach
  • One engine inoperative instrument approach (multi-engine)

If you are considering ways of keeping your hard-earned skills sharp, check out our proficiency packages. They can definitely help the serious pilot polish his or her skills.


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