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Recent instrument flight experience??

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Dec 2, 2001
61.57(c) discusses the recency of instrument experience requirements under actual or simulated conditions. Two questions: (1) Am I correct that to qualify as "simulated" conditions, the pilot must wear a vision-restricting device (i.e. can't just execute the approach/maneuvers unrestricted in VFR conditions); (2) What are the qualifications the safety pilot must possess in terms of pilot certificate, currency in aircraft, etc. Flight would be in a C-172 for example.
To answer your first question, yes you will need a view limiting device. I couldn't find a reference for this in the FARs though.

For your second question, see 91.109(b). The safety pilot will need to be at least a private pilot in the category and class aircraft that you're flying. Since that person will be able to log the time as PIC, I would also recommend that they be current. They will need a third class medical, a BFR within the last 24 calendar months, and three landings for a day flight, or three landings full stop for a night flight.
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Don't forget the poor pilot's instrument recent flight experience. That is an approved FTD or simulator. That will save you about half the money if there is one in your area.

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Approaches logged for meeting the recency of experience requirements of FAR 61.57(c) must be performed under actual instrument conditions, simulated instrument conditions, or in a simulator of approved flight training device. Simulated conditions means conditions which simulate instrument flight, and must at a minimum require flight by reference to instruments without outside aid. This may be a mechanic view limiting device, the brim of a ball cap, a full hood over the cockpit area, or a hand held over the eyes; something that simulates instrument conditions.

A safety pilot is required during simulated instrument flight, by FAR 91.109(b)(1). This pilot must posses at a minimum a private pilot certificate, with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being used.

The safety pilot need not act as pilot in command, however, is a required crew member. FAR 61.3(a) requires that a required crewmember have physical possession of a valid pilot certificate for the privileges being exercised. 61.3(c) requires that a required crewmember have a valid medical certificate in their physical possession.

A safety pilot who is not acting as pilot-in-command need not be current for landings (day or night), flight review requirements of FAR 61.56, or instrument experience.

Note that a safety pilot is only entitled to log pilot-in-command time under specific conditions. The safety pilot must be designated the acting pilot-in-command, and in such a case must be current and capable of acting as PIC.

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