IFR Fix

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IFR Fix: 'We missed this'

IFR Fix | 2014, 10 20

When you brief an instrument approach with circling minima, can you explain whether it has a standard circling approach maneuvering radius, or an expanded one?

IFR Fix: 'Only localizer minimums authorized'

IFR Fix | 2014, 10 10

Some weather, a self-inflicted communications glitch, and the distraction of diverting had forged the error chain.

IFR Fix: 'When ice becomes perceptible'

IFR Fix | 2014, 10 06

You describe the current and forecast conditions, taking pains to note that despite the early-fall warmth, you made sure to check the freezing level.

IFR Fix: 'One harrowing experience'

IFR Fix | 2014, 09 30

Even brief flight under actual conditions can expose how well your basic instrument flying is serving.

IFR Fix: Two white, two red

IFR Fix | 2014, 09 23

What a pilot gleans from a PAPI’s white and red lights depends on other design features of the approach, reviewed and noted during preflight planning.

IFR Fix: Tower, CFI help VFR pilot who takes off into clouds

IFR Fix | 2014, 09 17

A VFR pilot enters instrument conditions shortly after takeoff. Air traffic control gets an instructor on the ground involved to help talk the pilot through the serious situation to narrowly avert tragedy.

IFR Fix: 'To comply with published procedures'

IFR Fix | 2014, 09 09

On a second inspection, the numbers do make sense.

IFR Fix: Missing for real

IFR Fix | 2014, 09 02

Spatial disorientation? Isn’t that only a hazard for VFR pilots?

IFR Fix: The 'flexible safety buffer'

IFR Fix | 2014, 08 22

When it comes to establishing personal minimums, you need a working definition of the term.

IFR Fix: Coded weather? GMAB!

IFR Fix | 2014, 08 19

If it’s been a while, try starting your next proficiency session by getting the weather with a pad, not the iPad.

IFR Fix: Careful what you wish for

IFR Fix | 2014, 08 12

The Skyhawk’s cockpit is sweltering as the pilot monitors the engine oil temperature and waits for the center controller to call.

IFR Fix: 'Trust my instincts'

IFR Fix | 2014, 08 04

The Center controller who had issued the flight’s late-night IFR clearance heard the truncated transmission but thought little of it.

IFR Fix: 11 degrees of separation

IFR Fix | 2014, 07 28

The arcing dashed arrow that ushers in the missed approach lends it a deceptively simple appearance, but there’s more here than greets the eye.

IFR Fix: Where there's smoke

IFR Fix | 2014, 07 22

Spot quiz: What is the METAR/TAF code for smoke?

IFR Fix: Nonprecision, not imprecision

IFR Fix | 2014, 07 15

In the satellite age, it’s still true that the less precision exists for navigation, the more precise the flying must be.

IFR Fix: What color is your SA?

IFR Fix | 2014, 07 08

Raw-data aviation remains relevant in one respect: No one ever said that pilots flying raw-data approaches had sacrificed their airmanship on the altar of technology.

IFR Fix: IFR in name only

IFR Fix | 2014, 06 30

The trip’s unraveling began when approach control called with an amended IFR clearance, producing instant pandemonium in the complacent cockpit.

IFR Fix: 'Look out for Bud'

IFR Fix | 2014, 06 24

“Look out for Bud,” was all an instructor had to say to a trainee. Bud had unknowingly become a see-and-avoid metaphor for countless aviators.

IFR Fix: Slow and unsteady

IFR Fix | 2014, 06 17

Quiz: After a pilot changes airspeed in a standard-rate turn, is more or less bank needed to maintain the turn?

IFR Fix: 'No useful correlation'

IFR Fix | 2014, 06 09

When sizing up a thunderstorm from a distance, what are the most important visual aspects?

IFR Fix: 'Let the adrenaline subside'

IFR Fix | 2014, 06 02

Technology in the cockpit is only as good as the pilot operating it. Are you managing your avionics, or letting the technology manage you?

IFR Fix: Distractible you

IFR Fix | 2014, 05 27

The pilot has just started a level-off at the assigned altitude when departure control calls with an unexpected request.

IFR Fix: Weather so bad, it's good

IFR Fix | 2014, 05 20

If your favorite instructor hasn’t already called to see if you want to add to your actual-IMC experience, reach out.

IFR Fix: Briefing for the Brickyard

IFR Fix | 2014, 05 12

Descending in moderate turbulence through multiple cloud decks, the two pilots, who are unfamiliar with the destination airport and local approach architecture, are all business.

IFR Fix: 'It seemed a reasonable clearance'

IFR Fix | 2014, 05 06

Pop quiz: What are you expected to say when picking up your clearance if you have filed a route, but revised it before departure?

IFR Fix: A passably perilous procedure

IFR Fix | 2014, 04 28

After an instrument proficiency check lesson, your instructor gives a blow-by-blow critique of your flying. He wants to fly again before signing you off. You can’t resist mentioning that your flying never exceeded instrument rating practical test tolerances.

IFR Fix: Out of the loop

IFR Fix | 2014, 04 22

There is another aircraft nearby, and its pilot is going to unusual lengths to keep you in sight.

IFR Fix: What is a clearance?

IFR Fix | 2014, 04 14

Discussing the pros and cons of possible routes, your CFII poses an unexpected question: “What is an air traffic clearance?”

IFR Fix: 'Deviate as necessary'

IFR Fix | 2014, 04 08

The clouds were angry, but the passenger was angrier.

IFR Fix: A full-scale deflection

IFR Fix | 2014, 04 01

When the CDI became fully deflected, time was up for troubleshooting a glitchy GPS.

IFR Fix: 'A calculated risk'

IFR Fix | 2014, 03 25

If the decision to take off was made knowing that no return to the departure airport was possible, what’s the backup plan?

IFR Fix: 'Messing with power'

IFR Fix | 2014, 03 18

CFIIs seeking material to use when administering instrument proficiency checks should note the results of the March 11 poll question.

IFR Fix: Trains at the DER

IFR Fix | 2014, 03 11

At 500 feet per minute and 95 knots of groundspeed in the windless conditions, was the altitude gain per nautical mile sufficient?

IFR Fix: 'Go around or sidestep'

IFR Fix | 2014, 03 05

Describe a scenario where the potential for destabilization is intrinsic to the approach.

IFR Fix: Sorry, wrong number

IFR Fix | 2014, 02 21

Two go-arounds and a rejected takeoff would provide a day’s drama at many airports. When they all happen at once, with the go-arounds head-on, only luck averts disaster.

IFR Fix: Constructive comments

IFR Fix | 2014, 02 18

Readers helped explain that often you can fly an approach to one runway but circle to another for landing. (Are there exceptions? Yes.)

IFR Fix: 'Confusion reigned'

IFR Fix | 2014, 02 03

Can you identify the misunderstanding that was developing between the parties during an approach to Florida’s Daytona Beach International Airport?

IFR Fix: 'Missed the gorilla'

IFR Fix | 2014, 01 28

The question isn’t whether turbulence will distract you. The question is how long it will divert your attention, and what the consequences will be.

IFR Fix: Expect a visual approach

IFR Fix | 2014, 01 21

With the airport in sight, don’t relax so much that you discard your aircraft’s electronic navigation capabilities.

IFR Fix: Nothing automatic about it

IFR Fix | 2014, 01 14

Even if there is no automation in your cockpit yet, your day may come.

IFR Fix: Next exit 4,000 feet

IFR Fix | 2014, 01 06

Hitting your touchdown spot just right and exiting the runway promptly at a safe taxi speed brings appreciation from the tower.

IFR Fix: Green, on paper

IFR Fix | 2013, 12 27

When it comes to determining who has the most experience, it can depend on the the flight operation and the experiences the pilot has encountered in the past, no matter the number of hours on paper.

IFR Fix: 'Vertical what?'

IFR Fix | 2013, 12 20

Ask 300 or so instrument pilots what would make them more proficient. You will likely get 300 or so answers.

IFR Fix: The sig in sigmet

IFR Fix | 2013, 12 13

Two CFIIs plunge into icing conditions after failing to recognize the significance of a sigmet for icing.

IFR Fix: That was the easy part

IFR Fix | 2013, 12 09

Contemplating IFR flight scenarios for airports like Delta, Utah, is excellent review for any instrument pilot. That's because briefing for a flight into and out of Delta covers bases unlikely to be encountered on your next two-hour tour of your home field approaches.

IFR Fix: The weather window

IFR Fix | 2013, 11 29

The slower-than-expected movement of the weather system was a good break today, but what does it mean for tomorrow’s return trip back toward the weather?

IFR Fix: Few clouds at 700

IFR Fix | 2013, 11 22

You might get in at Aurora, Mo., might not. Hard to know.

IFR Fix: An uneventful flight

IFR Fix | 2013, 11 11

The pilot attributed his errant decision-making to "my determination not to disappoint a friend." Has your determination not to disappoint a passenger in your aircraft ever degraded your piloting judgment, putting you in a tight spot?

IFR Fix: 'Random impromptu routings'

IFR Fix | 2013, 11 01

Which word in the instrument pilot's vocabulary is so prized that it commands its own button on navigation units?

IFR Fix: The RASS factor

IFR Fix | 2013, 10 28

The weather broadcast should be audible by now. Great time for a glitch to show up.