Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

IMC for student pilots?

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Well-known member
Apr 4, 2002
Can a CFI-I take a student pilot into IMC to accomplish the required three hrs of instrument flight training? If so, does it have to be a CFI-I or can a CFI do the same?

The only references I can find are 61.89 -- student pilot may not act as PIC in less than 3 SM vis.


61.193 -- flight instructor authorized within the limitations of his certificates and ratings to give training...is a CFI without the II limited to VFR conditions?
IMC for student pilots? I've never done that before, yeah right :) But anyways on a more serious note, I think it would confuse the heck out of a student pilot operating in an IFR environment, aka dealing with ATC. So I don't think it would be beneficial at all! That's my 2 cents
I think it would confuse the heck out of a student pilot operating in an IFR environment, aka dealing with ATC. So I don't think it would be beneficial at all!

It very well may be confusing but it is required. Almost everything is confusing to a student pilot unless briefed properly before the flight and handled well by the CFI. 61.109(a)(3) specifically requires private pilot applicants to have aeronautical experience including radio communications and use of radar services appropriate to instrument flight. Maybe take them to a sector of airspace that is a little more quiet...

However, my question is whether or not it is legal for a CFI or a CFI-I to give private instruction in IMC.
Very Interesting question.

Very interesting question. I have never thought about this one.

Ok. Lets look at CFR 61.89 (a)(6)&(7):

(6) Which states that no student pilot may operate an aircraft as the pilot in command with daytime surface visibility of less then 3 statute miles and less than 5 statute miles after the sun heads for cover.

(7) No student pilot may.......... When the flight cannot be conducted with visual refferences to the ground.

Well judging by this CFR, I don't find there to be any problem with that at all, because the student wouldn't be getting PIC time anyway. It would be all "Dual given".

However there is always CFR 61.3 (e) that states that no person may operate an aircraft in weather conditions less then the prescribed minimums for VFR flight. On the other hand a student pilot doing an instrument cross country with a CFII in IMC is not instrument rated. so...?

Case and point. I don't a clue. That is one tricky question to answer. I would recommend calling AOPA, if you are member, and see what their people have to say about it.

Fly safe,
I don't see why it shouldn't be legal for a CFI to give a student pilot flight instruction in IMC conditions as long as the CFI and the airplane are both current for IFR. He wouldn't have to be a CFII because the dual given is not for the purpose of obtaining an instrument rating.

That being said, I don't think it would benefit the student to be immersed in an IFR environment for more than an a hour or so as an "introduction" to IFR, nor would it be safe to practice unusual attitude recovery in IMC.:eek:
Last edited:
Well, 61.109 states that a private pilot applicant should have " 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane soley by reference to instruments..." Does anything state that it has to be simulated??

61.193 states that if you hold a CFI ticket you can give instruction within the limitations of your certificate.

In other words if you are a certified FI, than giving instrument instruction in actual conditions to a student pilot should not be illegal because nothing states that it has to be simulated. Smart?? Well, in some cases yes because they will learn what it is really like. It can also have a negative effect, by giving the student pilot a false sense of security, then they believe they can handle it and too many accidents have proved otherwise.
CFI's are required to have an instrument rating, you need the II to teach and sign off instrument applicants ;however, the CFI is there to keep the student safe and and knowledgable. Use your best judgement..... YODA
Nearly all of my instrument time as a student was in IMC. My instructor caught me trying to peek so he obtained a local IFR clearance and up into the clouds we went. I made unkind remarks about his mother at the time but I thank him now. If we had a 500' ceiling without any significant weather, I received a call to meet him at the airport. I realize now that he was building his instrument time on my dime but I'm not complaining. It all counted towards my instrument rating anyway.

Not only is putting a student in IMC legal, It might save his hiney someday. Of course the instructor must be proficient and the airplane certified for IFR. Remember current and proficient are not the same thing. I know a few airline guys I wouldn't want to fly with if "Otto" croaked.

Fly Happy
Yoda and Happy Flying are both correct. There is absolutely no reason, legally, why a CFI can't do the 3 hours in actual. The CFI does not need the "second I" either, because it's NOT "instrument training" it's "flight by reference to instruments" which the FAA does not consider to be the same as the training received in preparation for an instrument rating.
A flight into IMC, on an instrument flight plan (not a lot of class G in my neck of the woods) would be a good introduction to a private pilot applicant of what can happenn if he "inadvertently" flys into IMC.

A little straight and level, a couple of turns, and give him a hand if he gets the "leans". That's where I'd leave it. I'd finish up the rest of the 3.0 as simulated, and tell him you want him on the schedule for instrument training the day after his private checkride.

He should be "inspired".
Last edited:
Totally agree! Every pilot I've ever talked to who was taken into IMC conditions as a student walked away with a clear understanding that the 3 hours does nothing to prepare you for flight into the soup.

I know when I was a student, I had my instructor take me up into the clouds on a day too dreary for regular practice. It took about a minute to become totally disoriented! He had me flying via my instruments, and then told me I could look out and enjoy the "view". I had us in a 45 degree bank in nothing flat and would have sworn we were straight and level!

Latest resources