Do you have to have an IFR rating to own and fly an IFR capable airplane that will only be used for VFR?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Since any VFR flight could--with a little bad planning and bad luck--turn into an IFR flight it's a darn good idea to have those extra instruments and radios.

    But any pilot who flies an aircraft equipped for IFR ought to spend a little time and money getting instrument rated, or at least get enough training to be comfortable and safe flying on instruments.

    John F. Kennedy, Jr., lost his life and took his wife with him on a VFR flight that had the conditions which caused him to lose the horizon. Trying to fly visually in such circumstances led to disorientation and a fatal crash.

    In order for a pilot to truly be instrument rated he or she must have recent experience with instrument landings and flight, so having the rating may not be enough. Nevertheless, the instrument competency is something that could save your life, and I would highly recommend it.

  • Kevin
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    No. Ask Dr Dingo's info correct for areas other than the US, but was a bit misleading for US pilots since every other country requires a special night flight add on to a private certificate, while in the US a private pilot can fly at night without special training. Nothing prohibits you from flying an IFR cert a/c. Actually its great to have the extra instruments on board. I'm sure you know how to use an ADF or VOR, but if the aircraft in question has a GPS, LORAN or DME equipped (to a much lesser extent), make sure you know how to use it properly before relying on it for navigation though. Granted it is a slim chance that not knowing DME slant distance or how a LORAN functions will cause a serious issue, but its always best to err on the sider of caution when flying. Also don't think that just because an aircraft is IFR equipped, it means flying through scud is no big deal without an IFR rating because of the fancy instrumentation. A non IRF pilot in the soup has about a 2 minute life span unless they execute a standard rate 180 regardless of the fancy gadgets onboard. Most poeple know better than that, but people still take off in C-337's with one engine non functional, so you never know.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, but not having your ticket severely limits you when it comes to night flight and adverse weather. Getting your ticket is a matter of knuckling down and working with a highly qualified instructor. To my way of thinking, why own an aircraft if you can only take it around the block in good weather, when all you have to do is get your ticket and you're ready to go anywhere, anytime.*

    *Although even with a ticket you still need plenty of basic common sense and extreme caution.

    (Now, my own personal comment on what the other answerer said about JFK Jr. ---- I do not feel that even a rating would have saved this overconfident fledging pilot. He did not have the hours and the hard experience to fly that route solo, and definitely not at that time of day. Why did he not go to autopilot?)

    Source(s): LCDR USNR and proud of it.
  • 1 decade ago

    When you start flying lessons, you start with VFR under supervision of a flying instructor. As you acquire more & more experience you graduate to PPL & the CPL & then to ATPL. When you acquire CPL flying under IFR is a part of it, as without it you cannot command the aircraft. Now the question is if the instruments fail, what would you do. You have to fly VFR after getting the permission from the ATC. So generally speaking, if the aircraft is to be flown only in daylight within a close visinity of the landing strip (within 50 Kms) you don't need it (IFR), otherwsie you cannot fly the aircraft in any condition.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, the ifr capable only ALLOWS you to exercise your instrument rating privileges.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, you only need an "instument" rating to fly into IFR conditions...

    Source(s): Regional Airline Pilot
  • isis
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    No.... but it would be helpful to get IFR least you could get a special if the wx went below min's.

    Source(s): 17 yrs with the FAA
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nope, nope, nope. I'm not current with my instruments right now, and that's as good as not having the rating from an FAR point of view. My plane's still got all the goodies, though.

  • 1 decade ago

    i agree with Warren d you can get very ease in ifr weather and in trouble..

  • 1 decade ago


    Source(s): Federal Aviation Regulations
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