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IFR approaches in a VFR flight?


Josh Stewart 1275628
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Hey guys,

I read online that an IFR approach could be done even if I take off as VFR. When I was in the air, I was going to request IFR to the airport for the approach and I noted in my REMARKS that I was going to be practicing IFR appraches. The controller private messaged me after I took off saying it was illegal to do unfortunately , So I wouldnt be able to perform this. It might have been just misunderstanding between the controller and I. He might have thought I wasnt going to request IFR because I told him I was VFR on the ground. It was in the ZLA area.

 

Or is this an "illegal" thing to preform? Could someone shed some light on this?

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It's not illegal by any means, but there are caveats. You must, and will be instructed to maintain VFR at all times, meaning VFR meteorologic conditions and see and avoid (even if ATC is performing separation services). Nothing is [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umed when you are practicing the approaches, and everything must be requested or instructed. AIM 4.3.21 is your reference on this. Here is an old reference, as I couldn't find a new one online at quick search:

 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/virtual_disk_library/index.cgi/4300833/FID2415/ATPUBS/aim/p0403021.htm

 

There may have been other complexities to your request that would have changed things, but that is the down and dirty.

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Definitely not "illegal". It's done by students learning and guys wanting to get currency without having to fly IFR (which tends to make for a longer flight). I'd recommend filing feedback with ZLA so they can clarify it with the controller and/or explain more specifics to you. Maybe there was a miscommunication in the request? We, in the US, tend to just call them instrument approach procedures, or "practice approaches" when doing them for practice (IE, when VFR), rather than IFR approaches.

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I'd recommend filing feedback with ZLA so they can clarify it with the controller and/or explain more specifics to you.

+1, especially since it was a student controller not yet fully certified for the position.

 

And just to clarify, there are two different paths you could have taken:

 

  1. Fly IFR - either from the start (e.g. departing IFR) or requesting an IFR clearance after you've departed VFR (commonly known as a "pop-up IFR" clearance). Explain that you'll be executing IAPs but intentionally going missed (or even request alternate missed approach instructions if you don't want to practice the published missed approaches) for the purposes of executing additional approaches for practice. These aren't "practice instrument approaches" - they're real instrument approaches that get intentionally terminated and repeated.
     
  2. Fly VFR. You never request IFR, but instead you request practice instrument approaches. As noted above, this means you're responsible for maintaining appropriate VFR weather minima at all times.

 

I mention this because the title of the topic makes it sound like you were planning to do #2, but your post then talks about requesting IFR (and I also see that your flight plan was changed to IFR by the controller).

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Thanks for the Reply Guys!

 

@Nick Warren, I'll definitely red up on that reference when i get the chance, thank you!

 

I guess the confusion was that I said "Ifr practice approaches", and i didnt know that meant I would be going on a missed approach when I got close enough. I was planning on doing a full-stop so i guess I shouldnt have used the word "practice" lol.

 

A friend of mine told me that the airport I was conducting this at had remark in the airport info that said, "PRACTICE APPROACHES AND TGL PROHIBITED." So this could very well be the issue that I failed to comply with haha.

 

Thanks again for the reply guys

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Thanks for the Reply Guys!

 

@Nick Warren, I'll definitely red up on that reference when i get the chance, thank you!

 

I guess the confusion was that I said "Ifr practice approaches", and i didnt know that meant I would be going on a missed approach when I got close enough. I was planning on doing a full-stop so i guess I shouldnt have used the word "practice" lol.

 

No.. landing full stop would have still been acceptable. The controller should have asked you how your approach will terminate, as they can not [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume how you want to operate after completion of your approach. They would need to know that so that the airspace can be protected for the duration of your procedure.

 

A friend of mine told me that the airport I was conducting this at had remark in the airport info that said, "PRACTICE APPROACHES AND TGL PROHIBITED." So this could very well be the issue that I failed to comply with haha.

 

Thanks again for the reply guys

 

Would you mind mentioning the airport in question? We have a lot of airports in such a tiny sector that to think of which this would be off of memory would be hard.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

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