Instrument Rating

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Resuming the Journey: Wrapping up the flight review

Article | Jun 25, 2012

After nearly a decade on the ground, a pilot wraps up a thorough five-lesson flight review. On to soft-field landings, short runways, no towers, and lots of adventure in Alaska.

FAA accepts knowledge-test reform plan

Advocacy | Jun 21, 2012

The FAA has embraced the majority of an advisory committee's recommendations for improving its testing materials in a prompt show of its support for the joint effort with the aviation industry to improve pilot knowledge tests.

IFR Fix: What's 'actual'?

IFR Fix | Jun 18, 2012

A pilot turns to the current page of his logbook to enter the day's data after a two-hour, 30-minute IFR flight. How much actual instrument time should he log?

Resuming the Journey: Short- and soft-field takeoffs, Alaska style

Article | Jun 12, 2012

Can short- and soft-field practice at a 5,200-foot pave runway prepare this pilot for operating on a 1,700-foot grass runway, with the last 500 feet sloping downhill at a 15-percent grade?

IFR Fix: Sigmet surprise

IFR Fix | Jun 11, 2012

You hesitate to cut off your friends' chatter as a short radio call (a Center Weather Advisory) comes and goes. Whatever. You'll have to try to catch up with that radio call at some point. But it's getting bumpy--and surprise, it's raining! Your right-seat passenger is dying to ask you what a "convective sigmet" is, but refrains because you appear preoccupied.

American Flyers partners with university on aviation program

Article | Jun 01, 2012

American Flyers and Nova Southeastern University are hoping to train more pilots at a time when many in the aviation industry have predicted a pilot shortage.

IFR Fix: The value-added pilot

Article | Jun 01, 2012

An instrument rating opens doors, but with privilege comes obligation. When IFR and VFR worlds collide, instrument pilots whose pride of place has gone awry have been known to evoke the ire of others.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents: Three strikes

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. In aviation, after a critical foul-up you might get another chance.

'Snoopy 1' travels country, visits DC area

Article | May 31, 2012

The MetLife blimp travels with a crew of 13, including the pilots, mechanics, and crew, along with three trailers that carry all the equipment. Snoopy 1 films PGA tournaments, football games, and horse races.

Resuming the Journey: More takeoffs and landings

Article | May 30, 2012

Her confidence shaken after a bruising round of touch and goes, a pilot returning to flying after a long hiatus sought the wisdom of two experienced pilots.

IFR Fix: The Casanova overshoot

IFR Fix | May 25, 2012

Of all the ways an IFR flight can get off to a rocky start, hearing air traffic control ask where you think you're going must be one of the most painful.

IFR Fix: Power and forgiveness

IFR Fix | May 18, 2012

You have an instrument rating, and now, a distant destination. Time to book your old IFR trainer for a new kind of outing. Wait - here's a better idea. It's time to start flying aircraft designed with long-distance travel in mind.

IFR Fix: And, what are we forgetting?

IFR Fix | May 04, 2012

The voice checked in with approach, reporting "out of ten for three with Foxtrot," or something like that. He received and acknowledged instructions to expect the ILS. Then the voice made a curious request. "And Approach, how about saying the localizer frequency for that."

IFR Fix: The way it WAAS

IFR Fix | Apr 27, 2012

Remember curved approaches? Pilots of a certain age recall a time when pilots flew their ILS approaches with the thought in mind that, someday, a technology called the microwave landing system would change the way aircraft got down through the stuff. Now, thanks to satellite-based navigation, GPS approaches are doing the job.

Many pilots play roles in next chapter of spaceflight

Article | Apr 26, 2012

A successful test of parachutes that will safely ease the Orion manned spacecraft to landing was overshadowed by the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery on April 17. In Houston, the Arizona desert, and elsewhere, Orion's test and development crew, many of them pilots, were focused on the future.

IFR Fix: Knowledge is power

IFR Fix | Apr 20, 2012

A pilot is seeking rainy-day advice from two IFR-rated friends about training for the instrument rating. When should he take the knowledge test? One says hit the books first; the other recommends getting instrument experience before taking the test. Who's right?

Resuming the Journey: Takeoffs and landings

Article | Apr 19, 2012

A pilot's first lesson after a nine-year hiatus left her feeling increasingly confident in regaining her skills. But how would she handle the second lesson: takeoffs and landings with winds of 13 knots gusting to 18?

IFR Fix: A truer test

IFR Fix | Apr 06, 2012

Looking for a challenge that will tax your IFR knowledge to the limit and hone your skills, leaving you dry-mouthed and drained? Try explaining what it means to be an instrument pilot to someone who knows nothing about aviation.

Resuming the Journey: Aircraft familiarization

Article | Apr 04, 2012

After being out of the cockpit for nine years, a pilot getting back into flying might be a little nervous. Is taking off and landing like riding a bicycle again after nearly a decade?

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

‘This is what I must do’ Namesake pursues Amelia Earhart's dream A Denver TV news reporter with a distinctly aeronautical name is reaching for a future in aviation modeled on an ancestor’s historic past. KUSA-TV 9 News reporter Amelia Rose Earhart says she knew after taking a first flight lesson in 2004 that she and her famous ancestor had more than a name in common.

IFR Fix: 'Coupled' approaches

Article | Mar 30, 2012

"Will you be my safety pilot on Saturday?" A fellow pilot has popped The Question. Assuming no red flags have surfaced this can be a learning experience for you and good service to the other.

IFR Fix: The instrument takeoff

IFR Fix | Mar 23, 2012

Would you depart under IFR if you would be unable to return immediately and land? Even if you're a pilot whose personal minimums prohibit departure under low conditions, much learning arises from practicing an instrument takeoff with a CFII.