CFII and logging actual and approaches


Well-Known Member
Hey Folks:
I am a CFI out here in the San Joaquin Valley. You may know about the fires we have had here this summer. Earlier in the summer we were having days where the visibility was 3 miles due to smoke/haze. Well on a couple of days the reported vis was like 1 -2 miles, I cannot remember the exact number, but not legally VFR. As I had to conduct a part 141 instrument stage check on one of these days, my choices were to either cancel or file. We filed and did the 3 approaches and some other stuff required on the check. Here is my question:
I know that as a CFII I can log 'actual' and the approaches if I am teaching in actual instrument conditions. On that particular day I could see the ground but I could not see the horizon in front of me at all. I felt I was not in actual because I was not 'in the clouds.' But some colleagues told me that they would have logged actual and the approaches. So I am not sure what to do.


Well-Known Member
Same answer as in the other thread you startred. If you needed the instruments to keep the shiny side up, it's actual. If you didn't, it's not.

"Actual" instrument flight conditions occur when some outside conditions make it necessary for the pilot to use the aircraft instruments in order to maintain adequate control over the aircraft. (1984 FAA Legal opinion)

"Not legally VFR" is not the test. Flying above 10,000' msl 900' below a cloud deck with 100 miles visibility is "not legally VFR" either.