Instrument Rating

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Cirrus gets personal

Pilot Magazine | Oct 07, 2015

Alequin approaches aircraft customization from his experience in the world of high-end cars—not aviation.

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.

Pilot examiner gives his 10,000th checkride

Article | Sep 09, 2015

Tennessee Aviation Hall of Famer, retired NASA employee, and Designated Pilot Examiner Clyde Shelton recently awarded his 10,000th certificate, but he's not quite ready to give up the right seat.

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?

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.

AOPA asks FAA to restore sim time

Advocacy | Jul 17, 2015

AOPA is asking the FAA to expedite a final rule to increase the number of sim hours allowed in instrument training.

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.

Proposed rule would restore sim time credits

Advocacy | Jun 18, 2015

The FAA has issued an NPRM that would allow pilots to count more sim time toward earning an instrument rating.

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.

Checkride redux

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2015

The 61.58 ride amounts to a repeat of the full, initial type rating checkride, complete with simulated emergencies and procedures that must be flown to the practical tests standards set down for airline transport pilots.

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?

Virtual flights, real communications

Article | Apr 09, 2015

Pilots at Internet-connected Redbird simulators in the National Capital Area Flight Simulation Network can now practice their communications skills in a virtual environment.

P&E Ownership

Pilot Magazine | Apr 07, 2015

The weather is low and scuzzy. You’re in the clouds with an engine failure in your single-engine airplane. Can you make it safely down?

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.

Helo instrument rating scholarship launched

Article | Mar 03, 2015

Whirly-Girls International announced a new Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship for private helicopter pilots March 1 at Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo in Orlando.

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?

ASA releases checkride apps for Android

Article | Feb 13, 2015

Aviation Supplies & Academics Inc. on Feb. 12 announced seven new apps for Android designed to help pilots prepare for the oral portion of practical tests.

New instrument training app released

Article | Feb 11, 2015

Pilot Training Solutions’ Instrument Rating Virtual Test Prep iPad app was released in the App Store Feb. 4, the fourth app the company has released in as many months.

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?

FAA withdraws rule to restore simulator time

Advocacy | Jan 15, 2015

The FAA has withdrawn a rule that would have allowed 20 hours of simulator instruction to count toward the instrument rating.

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.

Bonanza Society announces free courses for members

Article | Jan 07, 2015

In an effort to remove obstacles to pilot participation in potentially lifesaving training, the American Bonanza Society will make its online Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program available to members free of charge.

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.

P&E: Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Dec 09, 2014

Looking for an instrument proficiency tool that is quite a few steps removed from shooting approaches under the hood with your pilot buddy?

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.