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logging instrument time

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Giggity giggity goo!!!
Oct 20, 2004
i'm working on my instrument right now (almost done, actually) and i got to thinking: when it comes time to log time, how do i do it? here's an example. let's say that i file an IFR plan on a day that is severe clear, not a cloud in the sky. if i do not encounter any actual IMC, is this all simulated instrument time? or am i not allowed to count it at all? i know that if i encounter clouds or IMC, i can count that time as 'actual', but what about other times when no clouds are to be had?
I think Im reading your post right but you can't log instrument time just because you're on an IFR flight plan. If its severe clear then you dont log anything other than the normal. Obviously if you go into the soup its actual but otherwise simulated can only be logged if your under the hood with an instructor/safety pilot. Then theres that whole "navigating soley by reference to instruments" thing that Im not even gonna touch.
right, that's what i thought. thanks for your help! that's what i was looking for.
subtract .2 or so from the hobbs (taxi time) and log it as simulated instrument (if you're under the hood). If you're IFR by yourself after you're rated, if there's no clouds, then don't log any instrument time.
Just FYI, but the FAA has ruled that international guys flying at night over the water with no moon and "no discernable horizon" can log it as actual.
Usually by time you are flying international over the water at night you've probably stopped caring about logging actual instrument time.
Are you working on your instrument rating and don't have a copy of the regulation to study?

What you can and cannot log is very clearly spelled out in 14 CFR 61.51.

Being on an instrument flight plan has nothing to do with logging anything, instrument, or otherwise.

If you're in instrument conditions, be that clouds, night with no discernable horizon, between cloud layers, or any other conditions in which you must maintain control of the aircraft by reference to instruments (including simulated conditions), then you may log instrument time.

§ 61.51 Pilot logbooks.

(g) Logging instrument flight time.

(1) A person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions.

(2) An authorized instructor may log instrument time when conducting instrument flight instruction in actual instrument flight conditions.

(3) For the purposes of logging instrument time to meet the recent instrument experience requirements of § 61.57(c) of this part, the following information must be recorded in the person's logbook -
(i) The location and type of each instrument approach accomplished; and
(ii) The name of the safety pilot, if required.

(4) A flight simulator or approved flight training device may be used by a person to log instrument time, provided an authorized instructor is present during the simulated flight.

I don't, but I log my instrument time to reflect my experience. I feel the best representation of my instrument experience is to only log when I'm flying the airplane in actual instrument conditions. Don't get to hung up on logging anything you can. The time will come quick enough and that 1.0 of instrument time that seems so important now will mean very little in just a year or 2.
DAS at 10/250 said:
Just FYI, but the FAA has ruled that international guys flying at night over the water with no moon and "no discernable horizon" can log it as actual.

Mostly right. You may log instrument time anytime you are controlling the airplne solely by refernce to instruments. This includes over water at night and over unpopulated areas with no lights, like Alaska and parts of the west. This isn't some exemption which applies only to internatinal flights, it's the regulation and it applies to anyone operating in such conditions

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