IFR

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IFR Fix: No tops reports

Article | Jun 25, 2013

When you want to know where the tops are, you usually want to know right now. But tops reports can be elusive at best.

Topics IFR, Technique

IFR Fix: On course for MAARS

Article | Jun 19, 2013

Whether it's a 1980s gyro instrument or a NextGen navigation system, it's only as good as its operator.

IFR Fix: 'One vicious bundle'

Article | Jun 07, 2013

If a VFR pilot’s worst nightmare is to blunder into solid clouds, armed only with basic instrument flying skills, a similarly scary scenario awaits the instrument pilot who bets on sneaking through a stormy sector, and loses.

IFR Fix: A distraction you can count on

Article | May 31, 2013

How many times will you be distracted on your next instrument flight?

IFR Fix: Busting beneath the shelf

IFR Fix | May 24, 2013

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 | May 20, 2013

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: ‘Tasks and iterations’

Article | May 13, 2013

An instrument-rated pilot who mostly flies VFR completes an instrument proficiency check on May 2. Almost six months later, the pilot tracks courses, flies three or four instrument approaches, holds, and performs other required IFR "tasks and iterations" to prepare for a flight six days later. Is IFR currency an issue?

IFR Fix: Surprised, even unnerved

IFR Fix | May 03, 2013

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 | Apr 30, 2013

Cleared for an ILS/DME approach to Runway 5R, the flight descended to 8,000 feet msl and turned to intercept the localizer.

Topics IFR, Technique

Apr. 19, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

Article | Apr 19, 2013

In This Issue: VOLUME 15, ISSUE 16 — April 19, 2013 Fly the new Just Aircraft SuperSTOL IFR Fix: Controlled airspace, sort of MEDICAL PETITION SUPPORT WANING AT FAA? QUIZ ME: IMPORTING AN AIRPLANE Safety >> Picture Perfect >> AOPA Live >> Click here to view this week's custom content. Featured Fly the new Just Aircraft SuperSTOL The landing procedure in Just Aircraft's new SuperSTOL seems nothing short of suicidal.

IFR Fix: Maximum magenta

Article | Apr 19, 2013

The altitude was one of only two numbers spoken in the radio call from the center controller, but not one the pilot would want to miss if reception were poor in the low altitudes after departure: “Leaving 3,000 feet,” the controller said, “Turn left to heading 270; when able proceed direct Augusta.” If you haven’t heard an ATC call like that one, eventually you will, because those are the type of instructions a flight receives from an air route traffic control center on initial call-up after departure from an airport not served by either radar approach/departure control or a control tower. (This airport’s tower is scheduled to close.) The “altitude leaving” part is there because a controller can’t give you an IFR clearance until you are above the sector’s minimum vectoring altitude (unless you can climb in VFR conditions).

IFR Fix: Controlled airspace, sort of

Article | Apr 12, 2013

Want to get a pilot off his high horse? Ask him to tell you about Class E airspace. Not just to change the mood during a hangar session.

Policy change expands IFR alternate-airport choices

Article | Apr 11, 2013

Pilots on IFR flight plans will be able to plan for a GPS-based instrument approach at either the destination or the alternate—but not both—under a policy change that drops the prohibition on choosing an alternate based on a GPS approach. AOPA has long advocated for measures to expand IFR navigation options for general aviation, and welcomed the announcement as timely when satellite-based procedures now outnumber by 30 percent those using ground-based navaids.

IFR Fix: ‘Half-baked verbal briefings’

Article | Apr 08, 2013

Quick—what’s the textbook definition of true airspeed? Do you keep track of TAS in flight? Can you discuss a circumstance in which TAS would trigger a mandatory-reporting requirement during an IFR flight? TAS, says the book, is calibrated airspeed “corrected for nonstandard pressure and temperature.” The two are identical in standard atmosphere at sea level. Under other conditions, find TAS by correcting calibrated airspeed for pressure altitude and temperature.

Topics IFR, Technique

Mar. 29, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

Article | Mar 29, 2013

In This Issue: VOLUME 15, ISSUE 13 — March 29, 2013 172 to L-39: The jump to jets IFR quiz: Cross-country to Crescent City Safety report looks at loss of control QUIZ ME: PROCEDURE TURN NOT REQUIRED Safety >> Picture Perfect >> AOPA Live >> Click here for this week's custom content. Featured 172 to L-39: Making the jump to jets Diving from 17,000 feet, the airspeed increasing to more than three times what the pilot is used to in a Cessna 172, the instinct to pull out of the back side of a 6,000-foot-vertical loop is premature and aggressive.

Mar. 29, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' weekly newsletter

Article | Mar 29, 2013

In This Issue: VOLUME 13, ISSUE 13 — March 29, 2013 Agonic airports Tower’s closed, what now? Plane Spotter: CASA 212 Final Exam: All about VMC Safety >> Picture Perfect >> AOPA Live >> Training Tips Agonic airports A student pilot is planning a cross-country flight from Hannibal Regional Airport in Missouri to Iowa’s Washington Municipal Airport. Adding a wind correction angle to the true course as taught, the trainee determines the true heading, and then proceeds to check the compass card for deviation before determining the compass heading to be flown.

IFR Fix: The ‘unexpected situation’

Article | Mar 25, 2013

What comes to mind on reading the words “IFR and stalls”? Visceral reactions aside, probably very few IFR aviators would read that phrase, wave a hand in dismissal, and move on to more provocative subjects. Likely even fewer insist that solid chunks of their proficiency flying focus on handling near-stall IFR scenarios, including while flying “under the hood.” View-limited or not, what kinds of near-stall scenarios is an instrument pilot likely to confront? The pilot of a Lancair 4 climbing through flights levels encountered quick-forming ice and nearly stalled; the aircraft was flying on the autopilot at the time.

Mar. 22, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

Article | Mar 22, 2013

In This Issue: VOLUME 15, ISSUE 12 — March 22, 2013 SEQUESTER'S PERSONAL TOLL IFR FIX: A 'PREDETERMINED MANEUVER' ABC STORY ON CRASHES FLAT WRONG QUIZ ME: MAX SPEED Safety >> Picture Perfect >> AOPA Live >> Click here for this week's custom content. Featured Harrison Ford rallies support for ATC towers "It's about safety and jobs," reiterated Harrison Ford time and time again as he addressed the House General Aviation Caucus March 19.

IFR Fix: A ‘predetermined maneuver’

Article | Mar 18, 2013

An aircraft is inbound on the 144-degree approach course toward an NDB, cleared to a holding fix at the intersection of the 224-degree radial from a VOR. There’s a strong west wind; the pilot has discovered that holding a 160-degree heading steadies the ADF needle 16 degrees left of the fixed card’s 12 o’clock position.

IFR Fix: Next time, write it down

IFR Fix | Mar 08, 2013

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.

FAA eases IFR departure rule for RNAV aircraft

Advocacy | Feb 25, 2013

The FAA, making an exception to a standing rule, has begun to permit aircraft using satellite navigation to receive clearances and depart under IFR from nontowered airports more than 40 nautical miles from an operating ground-based navigation aid, and without radar monitoring.