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IFR Fix: A lot like work

IFR Fix | Sep 30, 2015

What's 160 feet worth on a close instrument approach? It could be the difference between a quick landing and a lengthy missed approach, followed by a diversion.

IFR Fix: Impaired and unaware

IFR Fix | Sep 14, 2015

Two pilots who suffered hypoxia during high-altitude flight but survived to read about themselves in Aviation Safety Reporting System narratives had one thing in common.

New e-publication focuses on IFR flying

Article | Sep 01, 2015

Pilot proficiency information source PilotWorkshops announced the release of IFR Focus, a free monthly electronic publication for instrument pilots and students.

IFR Fix: A threshold question

IFR Fix | Sep 01, 2015

When an accident claims an experienced pilot flying a familiar mission, other pilots ponder whether they would have been vulnerable to a similar outcome.

IFR Fix: Precisely flown nonprecision

IFR Fix | Aug 18, 2015

Flying the VOR RWY 9 approach into Anoka County-Blaine Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota, how would you plan your descent to the minimum descent altitude?

Debrief: Mastering the visual approach

Pilot Magazine | Aug 10, 2015

Many of my clients admit their fear of flying under visual flight rules (VFR).

Topics IFR, Technique

IFR Fix: A show of hands

IFR Fix | Aug 03, 2015

Pilots hold a variety of scenario-based attitudes about hand-flying versus autopilots on approach. In these two excerpts from the Aviation Safety Reporting System, see how each technique led to some unpredicted consequences.

IMC Club on verge of merger with EAA

Article | Jul 28, 2015

IMC Club began as a way to exchange real-world instrument flight rules discussions and now the popular monthly meetings and video lesson format is on the verge of merging with the EAA.

IFR Fix: What's the window?

IFR Fix | Jul 15, 2015

A pilot planning a day trip to the coast in the FBO’s new IFR-equipped aircraft has more than just weather to consider.

IFR Fix: The quick pick

IFR Fix | Jun 29, 2015

It’s comforting that you can always pick up an IFR clearance if conditions deteriorate. It’s another thing to pull the trigger and manage any complications.

IFR Fix: Two loud bangs

IFR Fix | Jun 12, 2015

One stricken aircraft was in cruise; the other, near landing. Were these emergencies? Dramatic to ponder, but secondary to problem solving.

IFR Fix: Unknown problem, imperfect solution

IFR Fix | Jun 01, 2015

There was a bang, the instructor says, followed by a vibration in the control column. Did something on the cowling let go, striking the tail?

IFR Fix: Red flag warning

IFR Fix | May 12, 2015

From one 56-day cycle to the next, a U.S. en route low altitude chart contains an average of 1,361 changes.

Pilot Counsel: IFR to a VFR airport

Pilot Magazine | May 06, 2015

The bottom line is, an alternate airport must be included in every case if the destination airport does not have an instrument approach procedure.


Article | Apr 28, 2015

Nashua Flight Simulator and Daniel Webster College are collaborating to help air traffic controllers of the future understand what it's like in the soup.

IFR Fix: Aircraft for rent, maybe

IFR Fix | Apr 28, 2015

A flight school/aircraft rental business had a double scare recently when two of its aircraft didn’t show up at two different destinations on separate days.

IFR Fix: Situational awareness a last defense in CFIT scenario

IFR Fix | Apr 13, 2015

As you prepare to level off from the descent in instrument conditions, a ground proximity warning goes off. What's the correct response?

IFR Fix: Danger at the heart of embedded thunderstorms

IFR Fix | Mar 30, 2015

The crew, struggling against severe turbulence, icing, and loss of altitude and bank control, had inadvertently penetrated an embedded thunderstorm.

Fly into JFK in new 'Real World IFR' course

Article | Mar 19, 2015

Geared toward already instrument-rated pilots, PilotWorkshops’ new “Real World IFR” video program features simulator scenarios and real flights from start to finish and offers practical tips for flying and dealing with air traffic control in actual instrument conditions.

IFR Fix: Snowflake approaches

IFR Fix | Mar 16, 2015

An aircraft is flying at 10,000 feet msl. Outside air temperature is 5 degrees Celsius. Is the aircraft higher or lower than its altimeter indicates?

P&E: On Instruments

Pilot Magazine | Mar 10, 2015

To many instrument-rated pilots, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach rates as the gold standard.

IFR Fix: Cold and calculated

IFR Fix | Mar 02, 2015

The caustic combination of crosswind and an ice-crusted runway sent the aircraft skidding into a snow bank built up by plowing along the runway edge.

IFR Fix: Alternate realities

IFR Fix | Feb 18, 2015

For a pilot who flies IFR infrequently, should weather requiring an alternate raise a caution flag about the go/no-go decision?

Club Spotlight

Article | Feb 15, 2015

When someone is willing to travel 90 miles to become a member of your club and take flight lessons, you must be doing something right. The Pocono Mountains Flying Club in northeast Pennsylvania is doing a lot right, and has a model worth replicating if you are interested in starting a club with low rates and a focus on flight training.

IFR Fix: One hour to burn

IFR Fix | Feb 02, 2015

What would you choose to work on if offered a complimentary hour to tackle the IFR proficiency challenge of your choice?

IFR Fix: An uneasy compromise

IFR Fix | Jan 12, 2015

The pilot wasn’t the first “expert” ever humbled by an icing encounter. Here was a chance for redemption.

P&E On Instruments

Pilot Magazine | Jan 09, 2015

What’s the most invaluable instrument in the cockpit?

Brains scanned on final

Article | Dec 30, 2014

Experienced pilots make better decisions with less brain activity, according to a study published in November that could influence future flight training.

IFR Fix: Keene expectations

IFR Fix | Dec 29, 2014

Your preparedness to fly the ILS or LOC RWY 2 approach to Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene, New Hampshirethis, is a result of your hour-long preflight ground review.

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.

IFR Fix: Timing the handoff

IFR Fix | Dec 12, 2014

No one likes to blow a radio exchange with ATC, but it's not possible to know exactly when a handoff from one center sector to another, or from a center to approach, is going to happen.

IFR Fix: In uncharted territory

IFR Fix | Dec 08, 2014

When was the last time you were instructed by a controller, or requested by an instrument flight instructor to fly an uncharted hold?

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."

IFR Fix: BATLE station

IFR Fix | Nov 14, 2014

The DME has been acting up on today’s flight. Now it’s doing it again.

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.

IFR Fix: 'We missed this'

IFR Fix | Oct 20, 2014

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 | 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.

IFR Fix: 'When ice becomes perceptible'

IFR Fix | Oct 06, 2014

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 | Sep 30, 2014

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

IFR Fix: Two white, two red

IFR Fix | Sep 23, 2014

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.

Dallas SIDs and STARs overhaul takes effect Sept. 18

Advocacy | Sep 18, 2014

Changes to departure and arrival procedures in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport airspace will take effect Sept. 18, and AOPA is cautioning pilots to plan ahead for the new procedures.

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: 'To comply with published procedures'

IFR Fix | Sep 09, 2014

On a second inspection, the numbers do make sense.

Topics IFR, Technique

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: Coded weather? GMAB!

IFR Fix | Aug 19, 2014

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