IFR

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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.

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: 'Trust my instincts'

IFR Fix | Aug 04, 2014

The Center controller who had issued the flight’s late-night IFR clearance heard the truncated transmission but thought little of it.

IFR Fix: 11 degrees of separation

IFR Fix | Jul 28, 2014

The arcing dashed arrow that ushers in the missed approach lends it a deceptively simple appearance, but there’s more here than greets the eye.

IFR Fix: Where there's smoke

IFR Fix | Jul 22, 2014

Spot quiz: What is the METAR/TAF code for smoke?

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.

IFR Fix: What color is your SA?

IFR Fix | Jul 08, 2014

Raw-data aviation remains relevant in one respect: No one ever said that pilots flying raw-data approaches had sacrificed their airmanship on the altar of technology.

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.

Fly like a fighter: Are you ready for a systems failure in IFR?

Fly like a fighter | Jul 07, 2014

With warnings of a looming systems failure in a T-38A, an Air Force instructor weighs his options for getting the aircraft safely on the ground under instrument conditions.

IFR Fix: IFR in name only

IFR Fix | Jun 30, 2014

The trip’s unraveling began when approach control called with an amended IFR clearance, producing instant pandemonium in the complacent cockpit.

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.

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?

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: Weather so bad, it's good

IFR Fix | May 20, 2014

If your favorite instructor hasn’t already called to see if you want to add to your actual-IMC experience, reach out.

IFR procedure changes coming to Houston area

Advocacy | May 15, 2014

Changes to the Houston metroplex are coming on May 29 that will affect general aviation pilots.

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.

Jeppesen offers free IFR chart webinars

Article | May 05, 2014

Jeppesen is hosting five webinars over the next several months focused on specific aspects of instrument flying and instrument charts.

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: Out of the loop

IFR Fix | Apr 22, 2014

There is another aircraft nearby, and its pilot is going to unusual lengths to keep you in sight.

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?”

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.

FAA introduces new clearance terminology

Advocacy | Mar 26, 2014

The FAA is notifying pilots of new and modified phraseology to be used by controllers and pilots for standard terminal arrivals and standard instrument departures.

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.

IFR Fix: Trains at the DER

IFR Fix | Mar 11, 2014

At 500 feet per minute and 95 knots of groundspeed in the windless conditions, was the altitude gain per nautical mile sufficient?

Topics IFR, Technique

IFR Fix: 'Go around or sidestep'

IFR Fix | Mar 05, 2014

Describe a scenario where the potential for destabilization is intrinsic to the approach.

Question of the week: IFR contact approach

Article | Mar 03, 2014

Question: When operating IFR, a contact approach may be an option if certain conditions are met. However, in all your years of flying you don’t recall ATC ever offering a contact approach to you as an option. Why not?

IFR Fix: Sorry, wrong number

IFR Fix | Feb 21, 2014

Two go-arounds and a rejected takeoff would provide a day’s drama at many airports. When they all happen at once, with the go-arounds head-on, only luck averts disaster.

IFR Fix: Constructive comments

IFR Fix | Feb 18, 2014

Readers helped explain that often you can fly an approach to one runway but circle to another for landing. (Are there exceptions? Yes.)