The revised language makes it clear that a pilot who has failed to maintain instrument currency for more than six calendar months may not serve as pilot in command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR until completing an instrument proficiency check. A pilot whose instrument currency has lapsed for less than six months may continue to reestablish instrument currency by performing the tasks and maneuvers required in paragraph (c).
On January 27, 2012, The FAA Safety Team issued a notice clarifying the technical amendment to the IFR currency requirements under FAR part 61.57. Notwithstanding certain exceptions, this section of the FARs describes procedures that an Airmen must follow to regain IFR proficiency when his currency has lapsed. In short, a pilot may reestablish instrument currency that has lapsed for more than 6 months by obtaining an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC).
The following timeline illustrates the correct application of part 61.57(d):
- As of January 31, 2012- a pilot is no longer instrument because they no longer meet the recent experience requirements found in 61.57(c). This pilot may no longer act as PIC of an aircraft operating under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribe for VFR.
- From February 1, 2012 to July 31, 2012- the pilot has between these dates to obtain the recent experience requirements found in 61.57(c). This experience may be obtained through instruction, the use of a safety pilot, or through a simulator/training device.
- As of August 1, 2012- If by this date, the pilot has not regained instrument currency, then the only method by which a pilot may become instrument current again is by obtaining an IPC.