Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

What determines whether an aircraft is IFR certified?

Posts moved from here

I just found that the Swiss FOCA has also got a quite good summary on their site for those of us who are based there.

https://www.bazl.admin.ch/nco

The one bit which struck me immediately is that this apparently is the end of the document which gave the scope of utilisation for the airplane, such as VFR day, night, IFR and all the RNP classes. While this means that from here on it is the pilots job to find out if his plane is IFR capable or not and to what extent as it is done elsewhere, where a IFR certification does not exist, it also does away with this quite handy document in case of a ramp check. I guess I’ll keep a copy of mine for the forseeable future “For Information Only”. Clearly, the new rules in that regard will stop a lot of gold plating, which of course is a very nice thing. I just wonder how pilots are supposed to know what they are allowed and what not. I am not talking of basic stuff like if VFR or IFR but rather the more complex things like RNAV I or 5, PRNAV, RNP Approach LNAV/VNAV or RNP Approach LP/LPV. I’m kind of thinking the situation where in a ramp check you get confronted with “You just did an LPV approach,now prove to me that this airplane is capable to do that”.

Also the rest is quite interesting.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I just wonder how pilots are supposed to know what they are allowed and what not. I am not talking of basic stuff like if VFR or IFR but rather the more complex things like RNAV I or 5, PRNAV, RNP Approach LNAV/VNAV or RNP Approach LP/LPV.

I was wondering the same thing, but actually for basic IFR. How can I as a pilot renting a plane now judge if I can legally fly IFR with it? I asked that question on the PPL/IR forum. Nobody could answer me.

As to RNAV and PBN, this regulation is actually very well written (mostly by one of the members of PPL/IR, so if you aren’t yet a member this is the kind of things that you support). Look for the articles that start with “NCO.” for the parts relevant to us. The AMC/GM (look for GM1 NCO.IDE.A.195 Navigation equipment here) will make it relatively easy to find out what you may or may not fly with your plane in terms of PBN, by just looking for certain statements in your AFM and supplements. This can just be references to FAA regulations so it is really a pragmatic approach.

But in order to know if I can do very basic enroute IFR with a plane and what must have been done on the plane maintenance wise and how to verify this as a pilot, or what equipment must be present, I am really at a loss.

Last Edited by Rwy20 at 24 Aug 19:42

Rwy20 wrote:

How can I as a pilot renting a plane now judge if I can legally fly IFR with it?

I actually asked a similar question to my flying club’s instructors a couple of days ago. I gather from the answers I got that I can legally do IFR in France in a F-reg aircraft which:
-has the required nav and com equipment for the planned route and instrument procedures,
-has its equipment checked with the right periodicity (I was sent a document which I’m not sure I understood correctly but I thought it meant every 2 years),
-and maybe has a placard stating its IFR capability (the people I asked weren’t sure on this one).

If this is correct that means 2 things (at least in France):
-the guys who own the rental plane and pay for the maintenance should definitely be able to tell right away whether or not they are doing the correct equipement checks for IFR capability,
-interestingly enough, with careful alternate aerodrome planning ADF or DME might not be required for some IFR flights with a RNAV capable plane.

However, none of the documents which are mandatory on board an aircraft seem any different between an IFR plane and the same plane but only maintained for VFR.

LFPL, France

Mooney_Driver wrote:

While this means that from here on it is the pilots job to find out if his plane is IFR capable or not and to what extent as it is done elsewhere, where a IFR certification does not exist, it also does away with this quite handy document in case of a ramp check.

That’s what I have been saying for ages here. There are no such thing as IFR certified aircraft (It wasn’t before NCO and not after). It’s the pilot’s responsibility to determine if the instruments (and backup) are applicable for the planned route.

There are no such thing as IFR certified aircraft

There are loads of aircraft types which are explicitly prohibited (via their POH, or via airspace rules) from IFR, however.

So an aircraft can become IFR certified by the act of removing these restrictions.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

So an aircraft can become IFR certified by the act of removing these restrictions.

A play with words maybe (but not really, not from a legal certification point of view). You cannot certify an aircraft for IFR, but you can restrict it for VFR only (for instance) in the CofA. An aircraft with no such restrictions is per def legal for IFR, but only with the correct (certified) equipment, determined by the PIC. This is of course very fundamental, it’s the PIC (or operator), NOT the authority or anyone else who are to determine this. The authorities cannot set up ad hoc requirements, the requirements are set up by the airspace alone. If they set up ad hoc requirements, then this is equally or more wrong than than the French ad hoc cost sharing “rules”.

Edit: The difference is that the authorities cannot restrict a C-172 to VFR only for instance, not for any reason. A C-172 does not have any restrictions. If you have an old VFR equipped C-172, then all you have to do is to install proper instruments and avionics and you are good to go, without any sort of approval from or contact with the authorities.

Last Edited by LeSving at 25 Aug 09:10

LeSving wrote:

It’s the pilot’s responsibility to determine if the instruments (and backup) are applicable for the planned route.

Of course, you must know what you intend to do. But the equipment is prescribed (for VFR, night VFR, IFR, cloud flying, etc.).

LeSving wrote:

You cannot certify an aircraft for IFR, but you can restrict it for VFR only (for instance) in the CofA.

You’re right, it’s just a play with words. If a type doesn’t meet the requirements for IFR (like lightning protection) or the manufacturer isn’t interested in proving it, it will be restricted to (night) VFR. Period. The necessary equipment is specified as well.

I believe this certification is more like avionics check. Correct me if I got it wrong. What you can and can’t do is in the manual (POH/ AFM) anyway with which you’re supposed to be familiar.

Last Edited by Martin at 25 Aug 09:08

As usual, a lot of confusion is made between a) whether an aircraft type is (type) certified for IFR or not (pretty simple) and b) whether a specific airframe is IFR “certified” by the competent CAA (this is more obscure).

Some CAAs simply have the habit of denoting the status in some kind of required documents, and IMHO, Part-NCO will not stop them from doing so…

Last Edited by boscomantico at 25 Aug 09:40
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

I need to find the time to read Bookworm’s summary, but e.g. a TB20 POH says nothing about IFR. It just says Day VFR, and there are POH supplements for Night VFR. IMHO this is a Gallic shrug by the DGAC and Socata, and almost everybody ignores it. Accordingly, or maybe through simple stupidity, the UK CAA, 2002, demanded the KLN94 to have IFR disabled (basically no approaches etc). The dealer re-enabled it for me On a GNS box there is no such option….

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

Some CAAs simply have the habit of denoting the status in some kind of required documents, and IMHO, Part-NCO will not stop them from doing so…

This was particularly true for the Swiss FOCA. They however state now clearly in their own document, that their Technische Mitteilung where the equipment e.t.c. was prescribed is now replaced by Part NCO, so at least in one instance, the gold plating by national CAA’s has stopped. I regard that as quite good news.

Swiss FOCA guideline for Part NCO

LSZH, Switzerland
110 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top