Send me BRIEFINGS from IFR, FREE!

Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

comboCertProcessed
With only a CFII, the instructor may now give instrument instruction in an aircraft category and class permitted by his/her commercial certificate.

Finally: Revised REGs

Back in May 2016, the FAA issued a notice proposing changes to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, commonly referred to by pilots as the FAR. They were generally favorable to pilots. Many had been discussed in the aviation press and by pilot groups earlier. In late June 2018, the FAA published the “Final Rule” incorporating the changes, some with modifications based upon comments received. Let’s look at some of the changes, paying special attention to those relevant to instrument training and instrument currency.

Continue Reading

AltPreselectProcessed

Using Your Autopilot

With the wide variety of autopilots and the broad range of capabilities, it might not always be obvious how to safely get the most from your particular installation.

The point here is that once George is flying, our mental paradigm becomes letting him fly and just telling him what to do. This occasionally results in way too much energy and button-mashing to make a last-minute change. It’s ever so much simpler to be hand flying in the first place and, well, aim elsewhere. So, pick an altitude below which you’ll always hand fly. Perhaps it’s 1000 feet AGL, or maybe all the way down to 400 feet (but no lower).

Continue Reading

TowerOfPowerProcessed

One In or One Out

Before I can clear an airplane for a visual approach, I have to ensure the pilot has either the landing runway, the airport, or preceding aircraft in sight. Obvious, right? If you’re landing on it or following it, ATC must ensure you can see it. For instance, if there are clouds in the way or the preceding aircraft gets lost in ground clutter or weather, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to safely navigate visually to the runway.

Continue Reading

ROCprocessed

Ya Gotta Fly a DME Arc

The IPC requirements in the updated Instrument Airman Certification Standards are pretty much the same as in the old PTS. Bottom line: You still have to fly a DME arc.

A DME arc is a curved track at a constant distance around a facility that offers omnidirectional course information and DME, such as a VORTAC, VOR/DME or NDB/DME. This eliminates ILS or LOC DMEs. An arc’s radius is 7- 30 NM and is 5-15 NM long, with 10 NM preferred. Thus, arcs can be lengthy and inefficient. The primary area required obstacle clearance is 1000 feet within four NM of the arc along the initial segment, with a 500-foot secondary clearance extending another two NM. In the intermediate segment, the clearance drops to 500 feet.

Continue Reading

SEL_JET_GoARoundProcessed

Pilots vs. Controllers

When average Americans wake up and go to work every day, they expect to see mostly the same faces, same routine, the same stuff—like the expression “same stuff, different day” suggests. When pilots and air traffic controllers go to work, it’s often the same coworkers in the room or cockpit, but we both work with people on a daily basis that we have most likely never met. In fact, the chance that a center controller has met a pilot that they talk to on the radio is miniscule. Tower and TRACON controllers might have a somewhat higher chance.

Continue Reading

KCOU BC20

Back to Back

If you fly traditional needles, you might be better versed than others on the back course approach. If not, welcome to life at the other end of the ILS.

This is your third trip to Columbia, Missouri (KCOU), where you’re flying in from the northwest in your trusty but basic Cessna 182. Equipment includes dual nav receivers, one glideslope receiver and DME. (For those of you watching at home, this is pre-RNAV Distance Measuring Equipment.) A portable GPS offers limited capabilities to navigate outside of your raw-data setup. No big deal; you’ve been flying this plane and panel for years and are a pro with ILS approaches. The filed route, which will be reversed to get home, departs from Watertown, South Dakota (KATY) and is: POEMS OTG V175 HLV.

Continue Reading

MasterChartProcessed&Tagged

Skew-T Log-P Diagrams

An upper air sounding from the Slidell, Louisiana, NWS site, located about 85 SM west of the accident site, depicted a moist low-level environment with saturated conditions from 500 feet AGL to 6000 feet with a capping inversion. The freezing level was identified at 14,700 feet. The wind profile indicated calm surface wind with wind from the south-southeast veering to the southwest and west through 18,000 feet. A low-level wind maximum or low-level jet was identified near 5000 feet at 215 degrees at 25 knots, with winds less than 10 knots below 1000 feet AGL.

Continue Reading

Vultures-VFRintoIMCprocessed

On The Air: September 2018

I had this exchange on a flight back to a rural Arkansas airport from Florida. I usually fly IFR even in VFR conditions. I was at 6000 feet, with a broken layer below me. I usually cancel about 20 miles in advance, as Memphis Center cannot see me on radar, or communicate with me once I descend below 3000 feet.

Continue Reading

2 aera510processed

Readback: September 2018

Don’t Mess with Ice I enjoyed the “Me Too” letter by Harry Dill in the July issue. I think we tend to forget that “moderate” ice is not like “moderate” turbulence. It is right below “severe.” Also, we all talk about how unpredictable ice is, so having forecast or PIREPed moderate ice turn into severe is common. Oh, and really bad. Harry gave good consideration to clouds and icing, and he made it out okay. However, I would not mess with moderate ice at all. Stick with trace and light, and maybe the worst you’ll see is moderate. Harry can stop at our place in Maryland for a crab cake and wait for better weather on his way up coast from North Carolina.

Continue Reading

Briefing: September 2018

With an expectation to hire 8000 pilots over the next 10 years, Delta Air Lines has developed new accelerated career-path options to help ensure it has plenty of applicants for those jobs. “Delta conducted several years of research to create a pilot outreach and pathway program that will inspire and attract the next generations of high-quality talent,” said Steve Dickson, Delta’s vice president for flight operations. The new Propel program will provide community outreach, mentoring, and scholarships to help future pilots launch successful careers.

Continue Reading

Photo courtesy of Pipistrel

Electric Airplanes

I first bought a hybrid electric car in 2006 that I’ve just replaced with a plug-in hybrid electric car. The technology is amazing and gas usage is dramatically shifted to cheaper electricity. Every time I slow down, I’m putting energy back into the battery to reuse. Thus, even when the car says I can drive 15 miles on the battery, if I’m in stop-and-go traffic, I can usually count on a lot more.

Continue Reading

IFR Magazine

Download The Full September 2018 Issue PDF

I had this exchange on a flight back to a rural Arkansas airport from Florida. I usually fly IFR even in VFR conditions. I was at 6000 feet, with a broken layer below me. I usually cancel about 20 miles in advance, as Memphis Center cannot see me on radar, or communicate with me once I descend below 3000 feet.

Continue Reading