i'm usually very good about keeping current, mainly because it's a reason to fly! my regular safety pilot and i made plans to go up tonight and while working out the logistics i realized that my night currency had lapsed. according to the CFR 14 part 61.57.b you need to make 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop one hour after sunset in order to carry passengers at night. while technically he's also PIC (Pilot In Command) while i'm wearing those awful foggles, he's still a passenger when they're off. there's a grace period where if you're not current that you can carry passengers up to no later than one hour after sunset (and after one hour before sunrise.) Since sunset tonight was at 7:50pm, we would have to be on the ground by 8:50.
the purpose of the flight was to keep my instrument rating current (CFR 14 61.57.c.) my safety pilot doesn't have his instrument rating, but he is current (CFR 14 part 91.109.2.b) in both pilot certificate as well as category and class ratings for the airplane we'd be flying in (P28A - a Piper Warrior.) since he's VFR only, we'd have to conduct the flight as such, but I'm still allowed to file IFR, which makes things a lot smoother for us and for ATC (except for maybe that 10 minute wait for release into the system, i.e. waiting for clearance to actually take off into Boston's airspace.
so i got the weather and filed IFR from KBED to KBED with the routing as KLWM KBVY, and the remark of practice approaches. we took off, and had a great flight - ILS5@KLWM (good) held as published at LWM, LOC16@KBVY, not my best, touch and go and the vectors back to the ILS11@KBED. the last approach was a minor challenge as i was told to keep "max forward speed as is practical" because there was a falcon jet (little business class jet) 10 miles behind us inbound.
my safety pilot got a taste of what an instrument flight (more like an instrument lesson as we just shot approaches) will be like when he finally amasses the money to start on his own instrument ticket. ok, I have about 4 and a half more months to make at least 3 more approaches to satisfy the 6 approaches in 6 months (yes, and holding and tracking a radial...)
here's the flightaware plot: