Plane is IFR Certified....or not?


Well-Known Member
How can you tell? Does it simply have to have all the equipment/instruments listed in 91.205 or is their more to it.

I have a guy who owns an older C182 and wants to get his instrument ticket. I am meeting with him tomorrow and would like to know if we can even use his airplane. What should I be looking for?


Look in the limitations section of the POH, it should tell you if the airplane is approved for IFR. It may also list the equipment that needs to be installed in order for that approval to be valid. If it does not, then refer to 91.205 for the list.

Additionally, the transponder, altimeter and pitot-static system must have been certified within the preceding 24 calendar months, and the VOR must have been checked within the last 30 days.

Easiest place to look (other then in the AFM) is at the big placard thats always supposed to be in the pilots view. I don't know if this placard has a name, but on the cessna's, it's usually just above the pilots. It states the general limitations for that specific aircraft (eg- "Flight into known icing conditions prohibited"). At the bottom, it should read "VFR-IFR-DAY-NIGHT". Of course if the IFR portion is ommited, it ain't approved for IFR flight, regardless of how impressive the instrument panel looks.

Probably a little too late with this reply, but hope it helps.
Not too little, nor too late.

I met with the guy and it's a decent plane. As far as 91.205 goes he needs to install a clock and he is going to get DME installed as well.

I checked his POH and it said it's certified for VFR day/night and if equipped, certified for IFR. I don't know what that means exactly. I'll check for that placard.


the "if equipped" just means that it has the required 91.205 instruments on board. I don't know if the POH has a Kinds of Operation Equipment list, that might shed some light too. If it does, I'd go by that list instead of 91.205.

I am not 100% sure on this but I dont think that the clock has to be "installed" on the aircraft. I think that you can(like I did) get a radio shack clock/timer with seconds and then put it on a yoke clip.
Most yoke clips that I have seen already have the velcrow for this. Also, when looking for the clock/timer it is helpful if the timer will count down and not just count up.
Yeah, but if he could get one of those great little digital jobs like the new Cessnas are comming with, that would be great. those things are SO less cumbersome than one of those radio shack, clip-ons. Plus, it frees up the yoke for approach plates and other such charts.
I was told by a DPE that the clock had to be installed in the aircraft, and that a handheld timer didn't satisfy the FAR requirement for IFR minimum equipment.
Keep in mind that if you buy one of those "aviation" timers you see everywhere and you are going to put it anywhere near the panel (yoke, panel, glaresield, etc) make sure you REMOVE THE MAGNET form the back!!! It can cause some havock with needles and compasses
Yeah, I've been told my a DE and the Chief Pilot of a 141 school that the clock has to be installed in the panel, not velcroed on or on a yoke clip.

The regs say "instruments and equipment are required...", not installed in the panel. Normally, VOR, and other such insturments will be installed in a panel (hmm, wonder if you can get one of those handhelds with a VOR indication certified
) but you can 'install' a wrist watch by wrapping it around the yoke. Or velcro it to the panel.

14 CFR 91.205 (d) Insturment flight rules. For IFR flight, the following instruments and equipment are required:

14 CFR 91.205 (d)(6) A clock displaying hours, minutes, and seconds with a sweep-second pointer or digital presentation.

I think it is pretty easy to see that the clock in this case is equipment, and not an instrument. As such, it is not installed. Or not required to be. So if you wear a watch, you are set. For me, I wear a watch, and adjust it when getting clearance. Usually, I'll get a "clearance void if not off by xxxx, current time is xxyy" and I fix the clock then if more than a minute different from their time.

So if you are in the aircraft, wearing the watch, then the aircraft does "contain" that required piece of equipment, as specified in 14 CFR 91.205 (a)

Anybody check Part 23 (Certification of airplanes)? That is probably where you would find the correct answer....
Keep in mind that if you buy one of those "aviation" timers you see everywhere and you are going to put it anywhere near the panel (yoke, panel, glaresield, etc) make sure you REMOVE THE MAGNET form the back!!! It can cause some havock with needles and compasses

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man, i didnt even think of that. on my ifr checkride i couldnt get the 360 degree timed turn to come out even within 10 degrees. it was way off and the de said the compass must be screwed up. Well, i looked at my clock and there is a little magnet in the back. learn something new everyday...although i feel like an idiot. good thing i didnt get failed for that......
If you really want to have some fun call your cell phone (while you are on the ground) and see what it does! Or place it next to any speaker or TV.....
91.205 aside, the key issue is the aircraft logbook. There must be current 91.411 and 91.413 signoffs. Each requires a separate entry. Other good things to check are the ELT battery (date)and current wt and balance.
I have been wrong before, but I do not belive that a wrist watch or timer stuck to the instrument panel qualifies as a clock under 91.205. If something is not listed on an aircraft's equipment list, it is not 'installed'.

By your reasoning I could buy a one of those fancy wristwatches that has an altimeter and fly around VFR even if no altimeter is installed in the aircraft, since the airplane 'contains' a working altimeter.

I think the best answer is to check the POH and placards in the aircraft. There are some aircraft that are well equipped with all required instruments and equipment that are still not certified for instrument flight. The Diamond Katana/DA-20 come to mind. They are composite and do not meet lightning strike criteria.

If you know the aircraft is certified and equipped for instrument flight, then check the maintenance records for the required inspections and signoffs. If these have been performed then the aircraft is ok for IFR.
Well, the regs dont say you need an IFR certified aircraft to teach instrument in it. You can teach in one certified VFR, as long as you have enough equipment in the cockpit to teach with.
but you would have to cancel and IFR lesson due to weather? Kinda weird huh?

You would never get any actual and that is not a good way to become an instrument pilot.