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 Post subject: IFR cert
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:45 am 
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Someone must know,

Can either a amateur(homebuilt) airplane with a full EFIS panel or an OM airplane be certified for IFR ops.

Mapleflt



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Location: Part of the "me, me, me" crowd, and loving every second of it.
I don't believe there's any such thing as "IFR certification" for an airplane. Your static system need to be certified for flight in controlled airspace per CAR 571, but that's required for VFR too.

As I understand it, if you want to use a GPS for IFR enroute or approaches, you have to install an approved GPS unit, along with annunciators and indicators, in the same positions and to the same standard as is required in a certified aircraft, but you may do the installation work and sign the release.

EDIT: I see there is a restriction for homebuilts but you can apply to have it lifted:

549.115 Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

[(a) Upon receipt of a Special Certificate of Airworthiness with modified operating conditions issued pursuant to Chapter 507 of this Manual, the owner of an amateur-built aircraft may apply for the removal of the "Visual Flight Rules only" restriction.

[(b) The application shall contain a declaration by the owner that the aircraft is equipped in accordance with Air Navigation Order (ANO), Series V, No. 22.

[(c) The aeroplane and the installed equipment shall be maintained according to the applicable maintenance requirements of Chapter 571.


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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:59 am 
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Yes. I have had the VFR Only restriction removed from several homebuilts with all EFIS instruments. Usually isn't easy though because builders never build their panels with the IFR requirements in mind. I've seen several $60 000 panels need to be completely redone and equipment added due to the strict Canadian backup equipment rules.

As for OM, the same rules as for certified aircraft apply. The only change is who can do the work.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:38 am 
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I would love to get some input from experienced pilots on this topic because I am looking at the same kind of thing.

I am looking to purchase a homebuilt Zenair 650B. It is well equipped avionics wise with 2 Dynon EFIS screens, non certified GPS, etc. I know I would need to add a VOR/ILS and/or a certified GPS. And I know I need another ADHRS module for back up. Not sure exactly what else to properly equip it.

Now I have talked to people that said they would NEVER fly this type of plane into IMC, EVER, regardless of equipment. Keep in mind, I do not have an IFR rating and am completely new to this realm. Why not? I assume turbulence or icing? If the plane is properly equipped, and I mean not just legal, but actually properly equipped, and I am properly trained, then why not?

If I upgrade the panel for lets say 15K, maybe more... down the road, and get my IFR rating, would it be a problem flying IFR with a plane like this. My main goal for buying this airplane would be for recreational flying. But I would also like to upgrade my skills. And if I am IFR rated and I want to do an XC somewhere and the weather isn't bad (IE no storms) but the ceilings are low either at my destination, or at my home base or both, I would like to be able to go. Of if the weather deteriorates en route I can switch to IFR instead of descending or turning around and cancelling.

Keep in mind, if any of this doesn't make sense, I know very little about IFR flying.

I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:54 pm 
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If a Zenair met TC's requirements to fly IFR, I'd have no hesitation flying it IFR. I wouldn't pay any attention to doom and gloom prophets.

After spending all that money though, you're going to find the number of days you can fly IFR will be very limited. In winter the freezing level is going to ground you most to all of the time depending on where you are in the country. In summer if there are any thunderstorms active or forecast for your area you're going VFR or not at all.

Having said that, there could be a few days a year where it comes in very handy. The biggest problem is how are you going to get the experience necessary to tell the ok days from the bad if you're only flying 40 hours a year, .5 of which is IMC.

Very topical question though. I had plans to go camping this weekend but there's no way I'm going anywhere VFR. I'd have no problem flying a small single IFR today though (except that my wife isn't going camping in the rain obviously).



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:17 pm 
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Thanks very much ahramin.

You have actually cleared up quite a bit for me with a fairly simple comment. It seems as a recreational pilot, opportunities for IFR flying will likely be uncommon. If I am not flying regularly in IFR like I would be as say a corporate pilot, or bush pilot or whatever as my job, in my private life I probably won't even feel comfortable doing it. And like you said, the part about knowing which situations are OK will be tough with so little experience. Part of it for me is the learning aspect of it. I may do the training just for that part which would make me a better pilot overall.

I have also talked to a couple people who think it's crazy to fly single engine IFR period. He mentioned a situation of an engine failing. I didn't see the problem at first thinking that ATC knows where you are, and you are trained to use the instruments, but his point is that you are going down, and you have no idea what is underneath you or when you would break out that you would have no chance of planning a forced landing in any reasonable place. He said the same thing about night flying especially in remote areas. If your engine goes down, you are done and what you think might be a field, is actually a bunch of trees.

I am actually seriously considering attaching a parachute to whichever airplane I get which could come in handy in any of these situations making them a non concern. I have been doing reading on them, and the stats are quite impressive. about 7k for a small one. Lots of piece of mind. And I certainly don't care about all the "a real pilot would have dead sticked it in" comments that could possibly occur if I ever pulled it.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:25 pm 
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Loss of Control and CFIT. These are the two things you need to worry about as a small SE private pilot and both are very common with VFR into IMC, less common IFR. I can't recall off the top of my head a single example of a fatal accident caused by a SE engine failure while IFR. Not a significant concern in my books.


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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:15 pm 
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It depends largely on what you are buying the plane for. IFR panels are expensive, IFR rating is a great tool in the box, but the skills do degrade quickly without constant practice.

If you plan on flying 500hrs a year, and frequently during fall/spring, you might find the ability to fly IFR helpful and safe. I'd rather be at 6000' in the blue skies above the layer than skud running at 500' because you "need to get there".

If you find you are flying 100hrs a year, you'll have enough fun flying VFR.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:54 pm 
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I have a couple clients flying 100 hours a year who stay current IFR.

There's also a few who fly >100 a year who basically never went beyond getting the rating.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:04 pm 
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Regarding the people who say they would never fly IFR in a single engine airplane, I've run into plenty of those too. Everyone's risk tolerance is different, and saying that, everyone has different things that they're more worried about than others. I hear from lots of people who never would want to fly further than gliding distance from a road in case they need to do a forced approach, yet there are tons of bush pilots flying around up north over trees with nowhere to set down in an emergency. Ferry pilots routinely fly singles over large stretches of open water (though of course, they check the plane out thoroughly, of course). Everything a person does can cause risk, and flying is no different.

I equipped my RV-10 for IFR flight (though I just finished construction a couple of months ago and have only had the application to remove the "VFR Only" restriction in with Transport Canada for about a week, so I can't tell you yet how easy the process is). Not because I intend to go flying in all kinds of nasty weather, but because IFR flight, with proper training and experience, can be safer than VFR. Insurance companies often provide lower rates to pilots with instrument ratings - they wouldn't do this if an instrument rating made the pilot a higher statistical risk to them. I think the danger of an IFR ticket is where it gives a pilot of a single engine, non-icing equipped aircraft a false sense of security into thinking they can launch into all kinds of conditions. Flying IFR on its own doesn't have to bear a close correlation to being willing to fly in hard IMC.

I like being "in the system" when flying so I have ATC helping to look out for me. As far as I'm concerned, there's no better way to have that accomplished than to fly IFR, even on beautiful VFR days.

When I was debating getting my single engine instrument rating, I ran into two kinds of people. Those who said they would never fly IFR in a single engine plane. They, of course, were people who either had just their VFR rating, or flew twins all the time and got used to having that level of redundancy... none were people with the experience of actually having done so. The other group of people were those who did have their single engine instrument rating, and invariably, everyone I met in that category were glad they did. Most single engine instrument rated pilots I know file IFR all the time on cross countries whether they need to or not, both to keep their experience level up, and also because they just enjoy flying that way. Sure, it can be hard to keep current and proficient, but that can just be an excuse to go flying more :-) And so long as a pilot limits him or herself to conditions they are comfortable and proficient in, I personally think that having good instrument skills makes one a better and safer pilot.

When I was planning the avionics for my plane, I decided to get my single engine instrument rating first to see if I liked it enough to justify the expense. Instrument flying may not be for everyone, so it's something you might want to consider. It's true that thunderstorm activity and icing levels can restrict a single engine, non-icing equipped plane significantly in our country, but it does open some options that would otherwise be closed.



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 Post subject: Re: IFR cert
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:01 pm 
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+1 for what Charrois said above.

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