⚠️ What is IR revalidation ✈️
IR proficiency check or Instrument rating prof check is the checkride - with an EASA examiner for purpose of revalidation of Instrument rating for next 12 months. IR revalidation LPC is usually connected to specific class or type of an aircraft - e.g. MEP(land)/IR or CL65/IR. However only following EASA examiners can provide single-pilot IR revalidation LPC:
- instrument rating examiner - IRE(A)
- class rating examiner CRE with IR privileges
As mentioned when it comes to the single pilot operations in most cases the instrument rating is connected to class rating. For that reason, the instrument rating proficiency check is combined with the class rating proficiency check. So by attending one proficiency check both - instrument rating and class rating will be revalidated. An instrument rating, same like the class rating shall be revalidated within the 3 months immediately preceding its expiry date by complying with the revalidation criteria described in FCL.625.IR(b). If you choose to fulfill the instrument rating revalidation requirements earlier than 3 months before expiry date, the new validity period of instrument rating shall commence from the date of the IR proficiency check.
However in some cases stand-alone instrument rating is also endorsed in the flight crew license. In that case either cross credit from Appendix 8 can be used, or the stand-alone instrument rating can be revalidated separately. This is mostly the case in case of single-engine instrument rating due to different validity of single engine class rating and single engine instrument rating.
Revalidation of the Instrument rating ✅ in general
Instrument rating revalidation is subject of FCL.625.IR(b) and FCL.625.A(a).
To revalidate an instrument rating you shall:
- hold the relevant class or type rating, unless the Instrument Rating revalidation is combined with the renewal of the relevant class rating or type rating;
- pass a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part FCL if the IR revalidation is combined with the revalidation of a class rating or type rating;
- if the IR revalidation is not combined with the revalidation of a class rating or type rating for single-pilot aeroplanes, complete section 3b and those parts of section 1 which are relevant to the intended flight of the proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part FCL.
An FNPT II or an FFS representing the relevant class rating or type of aeroplane may be used for the revalidation, provided that at least each alternate proficiency check for the revalidation of an instrument rating is performed in an aeroplane.
How IR revalidation works in reality ✅
In order to fly as a pilot on single pilot aeroplane - e.g. SEP(land) or MEP(land) in IFR, you have to attend once a year IR revalidation proficiency check. As a matter of fact, this Instrument rating proficiency check has to be done in aeroplane. In order to save the money especially young pilots are choosing the simulator to revalidate their instrument rating. There are few advices to keep in mind when choosing simulator for revalidation.
Simulator can be used for instrument rating revalidation only (no class rating revalidation). If you revalidate your instrument rating, you class rating will be expired. Since your class rating will be expired, you will not be allowed to actually fly an aircraft IFR. Next annual instrument rating revalidation will have to be done in aircraft. For that you will have to attend class rating renewal in flight school. Most likely the flight school will prescribe additional flight training before proficiency check.
So at the end of your renewal story, you will most likely spend much more than you have saved by attendnig the IR revalidation in simulator.
Also in this case, the golden rule of EASA ratings apply! It is much cheaper to keep the class rating, type rating or instrument. rating valid than let it expire and renew later.
Validity of Instrument rating
In accordance with FCL.625.IR(a), the instrument rating is valid for 1 year (12 months).
Applicants who fail to pass the relevant section of an IR proficiency check before the expiry date of the instrument rating shall exercise the IR privileges only if they have passed the IR proficiency check. If the instrument rating has not been revalidated or renewed in the preceding 7 years, applicants for the instrument rating shall pass again the IR theoretical knowledge examination and instrument rating skill test.
Validity period of the EASA instrument rating
It does not necessarily need to be linked with class rating. It all depends on dates when the dates, when the skill test has been taken. Most common license endorsement for multi-engine instrument rating is:
However SEP(land)/IR is usually endorsed as:
- SEP(land) valid till: (validity patterns of 24 months)
- IR-SE valid till: (12 months validity pattern)
✅ Different date of validity
In case of single pilot aeroplanes, the license endorsement may also look like this:
- IR(A)/ME(SPA) valid till: 31DEC2022
- MEP(land) valid till: 30NOV2022
Holder can keep the different expiry dates of validity, or the examiner can make them equal by shortening one of them. E.g. examiner can shorten the ratings and make it equal - e.g.:
- MEP(land)/IR valid till: 30NOV2022
✅ Instrument rating validity example - normal pattern
Instrument rating is valid until 31 JULY 2022 and the EASA IR prof check has been successfully passed at 25 MAY 2022.
- New expiry date: 31 JULY 2023
- Reason: Revalidation done within period 90 days preceding the expiry date
✅ Instrument rating validity example - shortened pattern
Instrument rating is valid until 31 JULY 2022 and the EASA IR prof check has been successfully passed at 28. April 2022.
- New expiry date: 30 APRIL 2023
- Reason: Revalidation done outside (ahead) period 90 days preceding the expiry date
✅ Instrument rating validity example - renewal required
Instrument rating is valid until 31 JULY 2022 and you have done your EASA IR prof check 01 AUGUST 2022.
- Your CAA will most likely reject your application and void the prof check
- Reason: Instrument rating has expired and you need to attend renewal procedure provided by flight school
✅ Validity when FSTD has been used
MEP(land)/IR is valid until 31JULY2022 and you have done your instrument rating prof check in simulator on 30JUN2022.
- IR(A)/ME(SPA) will be revalidated till 31JULY2023
- MEP(land) will be expired by 01AUG2022 and privileges shall not be exercised
- REASON. IR was revalidated in FSTD within period of 3 months immediately preceeding expiry date. Class rating is not possible to revalidate in simulator.