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IFR Fix: 'Go ahead and land'

IFR Fix | 2013, 09 27

You have a mere 2,944 feet to work with down there, and here you are, coming over the displaced threshold at 90 knots.

IFR Fix: 'Awfully close to the houses'

IFR Fix | 2013, 09 23

Two retired airline pilots were shooting instrument approaches and taking turns acting as safety pilot. On the day’s last approach, something didn’t look right.


IFR Fix | 2013, 09 13

Even if you never fly to this destination, the IAP makes good review material for a ground session of an IFR proficiency session.

IFR Fix: Radar contact lost

IFR Fix | 2013, 09 06

What’s an unusual feature of an instrument approach procedure in your aviation neighborhood—a quirk that makes you glad you can practice it at will?

IFR Fix: Finding zero

IFR Fix | 2013, 08 22

What’s the altitude of the freezing level in your area today? Don't peek. Just take an educated guess.

IFR Fix: A glint of sunlight

IFR Fix | 2013, 08 19

Now it’s clear why your instrument instructor asked you for confirmation that all your nav systems were working for today’s proficiency flight. You’ll need a full panel to complete the ILS RWY 5 approach to Anniston (Ala.) Regional Airport.

IFR Fix: The vertigo vaccine

IFR Fix | 2013, 08 12

Are you vaccinated against vertigo? That would be useful, but don't look for the cure within the health care system. Start in your logbook.

IFR Fix: Busting beneath the shelf

IFR Fix | 2013, 05 24

Sometimes it's unavoidable: If you want to get where you're going, you must file IFR. At other times, it's a choice between convenience (VFR) and certainty (IFR). Then how will you play it?

IFR Fix: Rotate, or the river?

IFR Fix | 2013, 05 20

Even a comfortable home airport can turn unforgiving if you arrive before you're ready, uncertain that you can reconfigure with your customary prompt precision.

IFR Fix: Surprised, even unnerved

IFR Fix | 2013, 05 03

ATC has your initial vector for the approach. The controller evenly mentions that previous traffic has diverted to the alternate, where the reported ceiling is a lofty 1,500 broken. The unspoken question hangs in the air. It's tempting, really tempting, to press onward.

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.