Instrument Rating

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IFR Fix: Power, and distraction

IFR Fix | Dec 19, 2014

After a complete electrical failure during an initial climb from the departure airport, the pilot of a Beech King Air 200 learned a valuable lesson from a simple but costly omission.

NTSB: Inexperience a factor in 2012 crash

Article | Dec 03, 2014

Unfamiliarity with a newly purchased turboprop proved fatal for a Kansas family returning from a Bahamas vacation in 2012, the NTSB determined.

New FAA rule allows more sim time for instrument training

Advocacy | Dec 03, 2014

The FAA has doubled the number of training device hours pilots may count toward an instrument rating following a request from AOPA.

IFR Fix: Pitch anomalies

IFR Fix | Dec 01, 2014

The aircraft does seem less responsive in pitch now—but what would that have to do with icing?

IFR Fix: Why 'No SID'?

IFR Fix | Nov 21, 2014

Your CFII usually follows up route-planning drilling with a review of appropriate regulations, and today’s selection is 14 CFR 91.185, "IFR Operations: Two-way radio communications failure."

Air Safety Alert: GA safety pause

Article | Nov 20, 2014

Over the past several weeks, the Air Safety Institute has observed a cluster of general aviation accidents occurring in close succession. The Air Safety Institute recommends that GA pilots conduct a pre-holiday safety pause and risk review. See these safety steps to take before your next flight.

Zulu Flight Training opens in Switzerland

Article | Nov 19, 2014

Continental Motors' Zulu Flight Training has opened an international facility in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sweepstakes 2015: Meet your new 152

Pilot Magazine | Nov 12, 2014

Your “Reimagined” AOPA 2015 Sweepstakes 152 is just like all the 30-something trainers you’ve ever flown—and it’s nothing like them.

IFR Fix: 'My first ever runway incursion'

IFR Fix | Nov 10, 2014

You have your clearance, have made the “go” decision, and are taxiing toward the active runway. Gusty winds and rain are making this a more demanding task than usual; if anything unexpected comes up such as a last-minute routing change or an anomalous indication on the panel, will you be able to sort everything out without error?

IFR Fix: ‘Descend a little more’

IFR Fix | Nov 03, 2014

Do you always aim to fly to practical test standards on proficiency and practice flights? Are you sure?

IFR Fix: Military exercise

IFR Fix | Oct 27, 2014

Few features are more striking on an aeronautical chart than a mass of special-use airspace near a planned destination or astride a proposed route.

Let's book some time

Article | Oct 21, 2014

Tony Seton found a way to turn a fuzzy goal—recapturing his long-lost instrument proficiency—into a focused project.

IFR Fix: 'Only localizer minimums authorized'

IFR Fix | Oct 10, 2014

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

Proficiency: Get your head in the game

Article | Oct 07, 2014

“Nobody likesto take the instrument proficiency check,” said the woman at the front desk of a local flight school. But there are ways to make it almost fun, and that’s by taking a quick review course before presenting yourself to the instructor.

AOPA surprises Debonair winner in the air

Article | Oct 05, 2014

The AOPA 2014 Sweepstakes Debonair was awarded Oct. 5 to Steve Lagergren of rural Litchfield, Minnesota, after an elaborate ruse in which the much sought-after and highly customized airplane was delivered to him in the sky near his home airport.

IFR Fix: 'One harrowing experience'

IFR Fix | Sep 30, 2014

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

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

IFR Fix | Sep 17, 2014

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: The 'flexible safety buffer'

IFR Fix | Aug 22, 2014

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

IFR Fix: Careful what you wish for

IFR Fix | Aug 12, 2014

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

IFR Fix: Nonprecision, not imprecision

IFR Fix | Jul 15, 2014

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

AirVenture attraction a draw for IFR pilots

Article | Jul 07, 2014

Pilots can now add improving their instrument proficiency to the long list of reasons to attend EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis.

IFR Fix: 'Look out for Bud'

IFR Fix | Jun 24, 2014

“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.

Now taking off: Flight training apps

Apps of the week | Jun 20, 2014

Here are five flight training apps designed to help student pilots learn important aviation concepts.

IFR Fix: Slow and unsteady

IFR Fix | Jun 17, 2014

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

PilotWorkshops offers IFR Bootcamps

Article | Jun 10, 2014

PilotWorkshops is offering a new series of personal training sessions for instrument-rated pilots who want to knock off rust or build confidence.

IFR Fix: 'No useful correlation'

IFR Fix | Jun 09, 2014

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

IFR Fix: 'Let the adrenaline subside'

IFR Fix | Jun 02, 2014

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 | May 27, 2014

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

IFR Fix: Briefing for the Brickyard

IFR Fix | May 12, 2014

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 | May 06, 2014

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

IMC Club launches Canadian chapter

Article | May 06, 2014

IMC Club, the organization that popularized “organized hangar flying” for instrument pilots through its network of local chapters, announced its first chapter in Canada.

IFR Fix: A passably perilous procedure

IFR Fix | Apr 28, 2014

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: What is a clearance?

IFR Fix | Apr 14, 2014

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

Zulu Flight Training heads across the pond

Article | Apr 11, 2014

Continental Motors' Zulu Flight Training is opening locations in Europe.

Stratus adds animated radar, split-screen attitude

Article | Apr 03, 2014

The Stratus Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver from Sporty’s Pilot Shop has added a split-screen attitude view, animated radar, and an iPad-battery-saving feature, Sporty’s announced April 2.

IFR Fix: A full-scale deflection

IFR Fix | Apr 01, 2014

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

IFR Fix: 'A calculated risk'

IFR Fix | Mar 25, 2014

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 | Mar 18, 2014

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

Proficiency: To new heights

Pilot Magazine | Mar 10, 2014

The FAA’s recent proposal to decrease the amount of flight simulator experience that students can log toward instrument ratings comes just as computer-based simulation is rapidly becoming more realistic than ever.

Proficiency: Rotorcraft rookie

Pilot Magazine | Feb 18, 2014

“To fly is heavenly,” the expression goes. “To hover is divine.”

IFR Fix: 'The dark side of automation'

Article | Feb 07, 2014

The unpronounceable object is a computer navigation fix (CNF). Now that you know that, ignore it.

75-year-old pilot encourages older potential flyers

Article | Feb 04, 2014

A 75-year-old pilot says it’s never too late to learn how to fly. In the past 10 years, he received his private pilot certificate, an instrument rating, and bought a Piper Archer III.

IFR Fix: 'Confusion reigned'

IFR Fix | Feb 03, 2014

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 | Jan 28, 2014

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.