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IFR Fix: Who's minding 'alpha floor'?

IFR Fix | 2013, 04 30

Cleared for an ILS/DME approach to Runway 5R, the flight descended to 8,000 feet msl and turned to intercept the localizer.

IFR Fix: Next time, write it down

IFR Fix | 2013, 03 08

Inbound from BONSS through 2,500 feet, the pilot tweaks the throttle to ensure a level-off at 1,500 feet before reaching the missed approach point on the VOR/DME RWY 15 approach to Griffiss International Airport in New York. The check pilot has not offered any hint as to whether the approach will terminate.

IFR Fix: Vector for the sequester

IFR Fix | 2013, 03 01

It doesn't matter whether your political needle deflects left or right or is centered. Unless something gives soon in the seat of government, it is time for instrument pilots to be proactive and address the effects on their flying of a newly coined aeronautical term: "the sequester."


IFR Fix | 2013, 02 22

Remember the training-text diagrams of holding patterns and entries? They carved up the approach airspace into sectors, and showed which entry was appropriate based on the heading on which you approached the fix. What if you are going to arrive at the holding fix on a boundary between the sectors for the two non-direct entries?

IFR Fix: No shaded area

IFR Fix | 2013, 02 19

It's the climactic moment of every instrument approach under actual instrument conditions: When will you find the runway--or components likely to lead to it very quickly--and switch over to visual references for landing?

IFR Fix: Crossing LAFLN

IFR Fix | 2013, 02 08

Checking the chart to see what lies ahead along the airway, you scrutinize an intersection 14 miles distant, where another airway crosses. There's a difference in the low-altitude enroute chart's depiction of how each airway arrives at the fix.

IFR Fix: Beating the 24-second clock

IFR Fix | 2013, 02 01

Here's the plan. Fly the ILS RWY 5 approach to Lawrence (Mass.) Municipal Airport via the transition from the BEDDS compass locator. A distraction could complicate the task.

IFR Fix: Seeing, but not believing

IFR Fix | 2013, 01 28

It wasn't supposed to be a difficult approach. Now, as you near decision height, you yearn for a glimpse of the threshold, runway markings, or the haloed gleam of a lighting system.

IFR Fix: Detonating, and ditching

IFR Fix | 2013, 01 18

You have hardly raised the landing gear when you are on instruments, en route to the first fix. Then, is that engine roughness?

IFR Fix: 'Deleted since last cycle'

IFR Fix | 2013, 01 11

A question that stirred up much debate among instrument pilot readers is now academic. Readers who pondered whether a “NoPT” notation on an instrument approach procedure to Kingston-Ulster Airport in New York was valid or erroneous will now find that the IAP has been “deleted since last cycle.”

IFR Fix: 'Legend has it'

IFR Fix | 2013, 01 08

Here’s a chance to put your IFR knowledge to the test.

IFR Fix: 'Just an insurance policy'

IFR Fix | 2013, 01 02

As New Year's resolutions go, this one is a lark: Fly two friends to a class reunion in Woodstock, N.Y., in the high-performance single that your FBO has just placed in service.

IFR Fix: What goes around

IFR Fix | 2012, 12 21

An aircraft is bound for the holding fix after a missed approach at Alton/St. Louis Regional Airport. Should the pilot fly a parallel entry or a teardrop entry to the hold?

IFR Fix: A real KLUTZ

IFR Fix | 2012, 12 17

Today's routing takes you all the way to KLUTZ intersection, the initial approach fix for the LOC RWY 7 approach to the Westerly, R.I., airport. The clearance reminds you that you'd better review the IAP, because now it will be necessary to fly the full approach.

IFR Fix: That was close

IFR Fix | 2012, 12 10

Between the worsening turbulence and the reprimand from air traffic control for a blown altitude, your demeanor is rapidly decaying from merely harried to flustered and defensive.

IFR Fix: The 200-knot gust

IFR Fix | 2012, 11 30

New Hampshire's Mount Washington can be, as the observatory there states, "the home of the world's worst weather."

IFR Fix: TONYA's test

IFR Fix | 2012, 11 21

Darkness has fallen as the light twin prepares for the NDB Rwy 20 approach at northern Massachusetts' Fitchburg Municipal Airport, which sits beneath a 1,500-foot overcast with two miles visibility.

IFR Fix: Circle game

IFR Fix | 2012, 11 16

What's the most important altitude depicted on an instrument approach plate?

IFR Fix: Where's WUTUG?

IFR Fix | 2012, 11 12

Are you up on changes to the regulations and procedures? If you are accustomed to flying the VOR/DME RWY 33 approach to Worcester Regional Airport in Massachusetts via the Putnam VOR 034-degree radial to WUTUG, a clearance to SQUEL might strike you as erroneous.

IFR Fix: Waiting for WEEGI

IFR Fix | 2012, 11 02

Today's instrument proficiency check promises to be invigorating - just what you need after a prolonged absence - with an ILS, VOR, and NDB approach. That NDB approach might prove trickier than you first thought.

IFR Fix: Ice like a brick

IFR Fix | 2012, 10 19

When someone survives an icing encounter, the person may describe ice "as large as a house brick on the leading edge, extending back on the wing for one foot."

IFR Fix: 'Do not mistake'

IFR Fix | 2012, 10 15

Nothing beats touching down on a long runway that appears dead ahead at the end of a close instrument approach ... unless it's the wrong airport.

IFR Fix: No alternate needed

IFR Fix | 2012, 10 09

It was to be a routine flight, destination Las Vegas, where the weather was VFR, if somewhat windy. But multiple microburst alerts caused the aircraft to divert to another airport and declare an emergency.

IFR Fix: Steeper than you think

IFR Fix | 2012, 09 22

Steep turns are exhilarating, physical, and instructive. In real-world instrument flying, "steep" has a very different meaning. But the maneuver may prove its worth at the most critical time.

IFR Fix: How is your Morse code?

IFR Fix | 2012, 08 31

Don't take a gambler's shortcut when it comes to identifying a navaid based on its Morse code.