Instrument Rating

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IFR Fix: ‘Change to advisory frequency approved’

Article | Apr 01, 2013

Whether your airport has a control tower, a contract control tower, or a tower that’s scheduled to close, aviation has entered a unique phase. Instrument pilots must stay informed about developments, especially between now and May 5.

Weather Curiosity - Clouds as Sign Posts

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Wx Watch Among the Clouds What's it like in there? BY THOMAS A. HORNE (From AOPA Pilot, March 1997.) We should all be weather-watchers, and not just on the days we plan to fly.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience Hidden Thunderstorm I was working my way through my instrument rating. It was the middle of July, and a hazy day showed up to give some real instrument weather to increase realism at the end of the approaches.

ASF - Weather

Article | Mar 25, 2013

Weather and Flight Experience Florida Morning Thunder I am an instrument-rated commercial pilot, and in the early summer of 2002 was training for my multi-engine rating, flying PA-44 Seminoles in the Daytona Beach, Florida area. Typical Florida summer weather involves fairly clear skies in the morning, and quickly developing thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Logging time: What do I have to record?

Article | Mar 11, 2013

The most important part of the logbook is the inside, and your ability to log the information required by the regulations and capture any original signatures that may be necessary.

Rome by air

Article | Feb 21, 2013

Flying over the Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Appian Way at 3,000 feet offers a view of Rome few--including pilots--can experience. Flying (or learning to fly) in Italy is not easy or cheap.

Club Spotlight: Flabob Aero Club

Article | Feb 13, 2013

The club’s 1946 J-3 Cub The Flabob Aero Club has been operating for about three years and grown quickly with more than 100 members. Its relationship with the non-profit Wathen Center provides extremely low costs, and the club operates an interesting mix of aircraft.

Accident Case Study: In Too Deep

Article | Jan 14, 2013

If you or your flying club members think you’re immune to being a victim of VFR into IMC because you have an instrument rating, think again. In 2010, there were 29 VFR into IMC accidents involving general aviation aircraft, and 21 of those – or 72 percent – were fatal.

Jet in a Box

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2012

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a not-for-profit individual membership association, effectively serves the interests and needs of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, and establishes, maintains, and articulates positions of leadership to promote the economy, safety, and popularity of flight in aircraft.

Flying teacher creates organizer to help student pilots

Article | Nov 11, 2012

Teresa Guillemot recalls that when she began training for a private pilot certificate in 2005, "it was like learning a foreign language in a foreign land." She was working on an instrument rating when she hit upon the idea for the Aviator's Practical Organizer, a tool intended to help student and certificated pilots guide and track their progress while retaining the knowledge they need for the practical test.


Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2012

AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg detailed the 2003 crash of a Cirrus SR22 in night IMC. His opinion? The pilot in command is the final authority.

10 questions for Dave Coulier

Article | Oct 12, 2012

Comedian and pilot Dave Coulier, best known as the loveable Uncle Joey on the 1990s sitcom "Full House", reveals how he earned his instrument rating in the busy Los Angeles airspace and how his knack for cracking jokes plays out in the air.

AOPA Foundation names 'Hat in the Ring' award winners

Article | Oct 11, 2012

The AOPA Foundation has recognized four members of the general aviation community for their efforts to promote and grow GA. The Hat in the Ring Society awards were announced at AOPA Aviation Summit.

'Soaking it all up': Emma Quedzuweit

Article | Oct 11, 2012

Fall semester classes have been intense for Emma Quedzuweit, a college sophomore and nursing student from Weimar, Calif. But the course load is in keen competition with another project that is moving along for Quedzuweit at a great rate: earning a private pilot certificate.

'Look to the future with confidence'

Article | Oct 10, 2012

With news of layoffs, abandoned airplanes, and a declining pilot population, it could be easy for aviators to become depressed about the future of GA. However, turnarounds in history weren't built on negative thinking, and that's why pilots should be positive and encourage growth in the industry.

IFR Fix: Steeper than you think

IFR Fix | Sep 22, 2012

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.

Hone your IFR skills

Article | Sep 19, 2012

Flying IFR is a dynamic undertaking - and not just because of the weather. Find out how to keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

Working group to offer training reforms

Advocacy | Sep 13, 2012

A committee advising the FAA on ways to enhance flight safety with improved training and testing materials has established a working group to propose initial revisions and reforms by September 2013, with the aviation-training industry playing a major role in the project.

Best-selling author injured in aircraft accident

Article | Sep 01, 2012

Pilot and author Richard Bach is in serious condition, according to media reports, after his aircraft reportedly crashed while attempting to land in Washington State.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Pointing fingers

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

This month's Landmark Accident is notable not because of the accident; visual flight into marginal VFR or instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) is not as rare as it should be. There are constant reminders by the Air Safety Institute and most aviation publications and websites that this is not a life-prolonging activity. Rather, it was the legal maneuvering afterward that nearly changed the training landscape.

Veteran flies veteran on milestone mission

Article | Aug 23, 2012

Don Catalano says the best days of his life are when he gets the chance to transport wounded warriors and other patients in his Piper Meridian as a volunteer pilot for Patient Airlift Services.

Airport (and a dream) for sale in Illinois

Article | Aug 09, 2012

It all started when a Midwestern farmer plowed up his corn to pursue a dream. People came. But there was still a cold, hard world out there, and eventually the dream fell into jeopardy. Now, Galt Field is up for sale for $2.9 million, not bad considering it comes with a renovated farm house, 19 other buildings, FBO, hangars, maintenance shop, and 2,500-gallon fuel facility.

Resuming the Journey: Alaska mountain flying

Article | Aug 08, 2012

The two pilots took off in a Cessna 172 from a private 2,200-foot grass strip in Alaska and headed for Wiseman, about 40 miles east. The pilots were going to fly through the mountain passes of the Brooks Range, not over them, using that tried and true navigation: pilotage. The highest peak on the chart was 5,903 feet.

IFR Fix: Dangerous game

IFR Fix | Aug 03, 2012

With heartbreaking regularity, VFR pilots, often flying high-performance aircraft, continue to tangle with instrument weather despite odds that never improve for that dangerous game. Whether the result is a graveyard spiral from spatial disorientation, or colliding with terrain in a bid to escape weather, pilots keep trying, often with passengers.

Pilots: Spencer Suderman

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

Ask Spencer Suderman why he is an aerobatic airshow performer, and he’ll tell you straight out: “Because I’m a narcissist. I like people to watch what I do.” He’ll tell you that with a self-deprecating grin and a twinkle in his brown eyes because, although he talks a big game, he’s actually a big, fun-loving softie who was nauseated every time he went under the hood while working on his instrument rating.

IFR Fix: Checkup to Chester

IFR Fix | Jul 27, 2012

What's the reciprocal of 235 degrees? What's the short-field landing procedure for the aircraft you usually fly IFR? All of that's relevant today because you are taking a proficiency flight to the serene country airfield in Chester, Conn.