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Features May 2015 Issue

Embrace The IPC

You don’t have to think of an IPC as a testing event. Instead, you can use it as a training event during which you demonstrate meeting the requirements.

Embrace The IPC

Rather than dreading your periodic IPCs, make them a useful tool that keeps you actively learning, maintains proficiency and, as a bonus, keeps you legally current.

Many of us feel that an IPC is as much fun as a visit to the dentist. We go through the checkup and if things are OK, we go on with our lives ’til the next appointment. Worse, for some the IPC is akin to a root canal—something to dread because they’ve neglected the preventive care. It’s the penalty for losing currency past the six-month window specified in 14 CFR §61.57. In any case, IPCs don’t pique much excitement. They are an occasional formality for those who fly the system often, or a major chore for those who don’t. It doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than something to avoid, an IPC can improve your skills while you brush up on procedures you don’t use often. You can even go further and have a bit of fun. Yeah, fun. In daily IFR flight, predictable and comfortable are good. The best response to “How was your flight?” is “Uneventfully successful.” We don’t want unusual or difficult. Actual equipment breakdowns or emergencies are thankfully rare, but you want to be on your game when they happen. Unfortunately, all that routine doesn’t keep you on your game for the abnormal situations. Use the IPC to stretch your skills. Figure out what you’ve neglected and refresh those basics. Then tackle new things. This keeps you proficient while you continue to expand your IFR repertoir. As a bonus, you’ll never worry about staying current.

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