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Archive for the 'IFR' Category

AIM 6−4−1. Two-way Radio Communications Failure

Friday, July 7th, 2017

a. It is virtually impossible to provide regulations and procedures applicable to all possible situations associated with two-way radio communications failure. During two-way radio communications failure, when confronted by a situation not covered in the regulation, pilots are expected to exercise good judgment in whatever action they elect to take. Should the situation so dictate […]

When are you established on the approach?

Friday, June 30th, 2017

I’ve been doing a lot of practice approaches lately and if a procedure turn (or hold) is required, they tell me to ‘report procedure turn (hold) inbound’. Then they clear me for the approach. I think this is why: AIM 5−4−7. Instrument Approach Procedures b. When operating on an unpublished route or while being radar […]

WAAS Outages

Monday, May 29th, 2017

This airport if the first one that I’ve run across that has this symbol. It it located in the Florida Keys, which probably explains why it may be outside the reach of WAAS. NOTE: The W symbol indicates outages of the WAAS vertical guidance may occur daily due to initial system limitations. WAAS NOTAMS for […]

Diverse Departure Assessment

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

When you see this symbol on the approach plate, it means that either there are non-standard takeoff minimums or that there is a published departure procedure. So one way to find airports with a diverse departure is to look for ones without that symbol. It is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. I downloaded the […]

Chasing the Needles

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

One of the reasons pilots often chase the needles on an ILS approach is that they don’t have a clear understanding of how the sweet spot narrows as they approach the runway. From the Pilot and Air Traffic Controller Guide to Wake Turbulence Glideslope Deviation Localizer Deviation The Outer Marker, which normally identifies the final […]

Designated Mountainous Areas

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Flying on the West Coast, I am used to just about everywhere being considered mountainous except for portions of California’s Central Valley. I had a picture of the map in my mind, but couldn’t remember where I had seen it. After a little digging, I found two sources: CFR §95 Subpart B—Designated Mountainous Areas has […]

What altitude to fly on a STAR when it reads “expect”?

Monday, May 1st, 2017

I just took the instrument knowledge test and one of the questions referred to this STAR. I got this question right, but for the wrong reason. The question stated that you were cleared for the STELA ONE arrival from the west and asked what altitude you should be at when crossing STELA. My understanding of […]

Aviation Training Device

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

I use a flight simulator (X-Plane) to practice instrument approaches and have used FlyThisSim at the local flight school for training. However, these are not flight simulators in the eyes of the FAA so you need to understand the terminology in order to log the time on them. A good place to start is AC […]

Timed Approaches From a Holding Fix

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

I had never heard of this or seen an approach with a holding fix at the FAF or outer marker when I ran across a question on times approaches from a holding fix in Gardner’s Complete Advanced Pilot. As you can see from the quotes at the bottom of the post, it is unlikely to […]

Notes from the Instrument Procedures Handbook – Departure Procedures

Monday, March 13th, 2017

FAA-H-8083-16 Instrument Procedures Handbook Chapter 1 Departures Instrument departure procedures are preplanned IFR procedures that provide obstruction clearance from the terminal area to the appropriate en route structure. Primarily, these procedures are designed to provide obstacle protection for departing aircraft. There are two types of Departure Procedures (DPs): Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) and Standard Instrument […]

Notes from the Instrument Procedures Handbook – Departure Weather

Monday, March 13th, 2017

FAA-H-8083-16 Instrument Procedures Handbook Chapter 1 Departures Takeoff Minimums Takeoff minimums are typically lower than published landing minimums, and ceiling requirements are only included if it is necessary to see and avoid obstacles in the departure area. The FAA establishes takeoff minimums for every airport that has published Standard Instrument Approaches. These minimums are used […]

Holding Patterns

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Someone asked why there are different speeds and leg times on holding patterns. I gave up on trying to figure out why the designers do what they do. However, here’s a guess on this one.      Altitude (MSL)    Airspeed (KIAS)    Leg Time      MHA – 6,000'           200           1 minute      6,001' – 14,000’       230           1 minute 30 […]

Notes on the Instrument Procedures Handbook – Approaches

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

FAA-H-8083-16 Instrument Procedures Handbook Chapter 4 Approaches Primary NAVAID Most conventional approach procedures are built around a primary final approach NAVAID; others, such as RNAV (GPS) approaches, are not. If a primary NAVAID exists for an approach, it should be included in the IAP briefing, set into the appropriate backup or active navigation radio, and […]

Notes on the Instrument Procedures Handbook – Arrivals

Monday, March 6th, 2017

FAA-H-8083-16 Instrument Procedures Handbook Chapter 3 Arrivals Descending From the En Route Altitude Making the transition from cruise flight to the beginning of an instrument approach procedure sometimes requires arriving at a given waypoint at an assigned altitude. When this requirement is prescribed by a published arrival procedure or issued by ATC, it is called […]

Notes from the Instrument Procedures Handbook – En Route

Monday, March 6th, 2017

FAA-H-8083-16 Instrument Procedures Handbook Chapter 2 En Route The en route phase of flight is defined as that segment of flight from the termination point of a departure procedure to the origination point of an arrival procedure. En Route Airspace Structure Low Altitude Victor Airways:   Use Navaids   1,200′ AGL – 18,000′ MSL High Altitude Jet […]

Localizer or VOR approaches with GPS

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

AIM Effective: May 26, 2016. This change allows for the use of a suitable RNAV system as a means to navigate on the final approach segment of an instrument approach procedure (IAP) based on a VOR, TACAN, or NDB signal. The underlying NAVAID must be operational and monitored for the final segment course alignment. 1−1−18. […]

Alternates with WAAS

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

1−1−18. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) 9. Unlike TSO−C129 avionics [GPS systems in AIM-speak], which were certified as a supplement to other means of navigation, WAAS avionics are evaluated without reliance on other navigation systems. As such, installation of WAAS avionics does not require the aircraft to have other equipment appropriate to the route to […]

IFR Lost Comms

Monday, February 27th, 2017

§91.185 IFR operations: Two-way radio communications failure. (a) General. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each pilot who has two-way radio communications failure when operating under IFR shall comply with the rules of this section. (b) VFR conditions. If the failure occurs in VFR conditions, or if VFR conditions are encountered after the failure, each pilot […]

Instrument Approaches

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Watching people perform approaches can help you figure out what needs to be done and when. Here are a few that I found useful. ILS Approach VOR Approach Garry Wing has lots of 5-minute videos about flying, this one is longer and takes you through an approach and circle to land. This is an entire […]

Climb Via

Monday, February 27th, 2017

CLIMB VIA– An abbreviated ATC clearance that requires compliance with the procedure lateral path, associated speed restrictions, and altitude restrictions along the cleared route or procedure. Pilot Controller Glossary The FAA also has a video that promotes familiarity with “Climb Via” phraseology and RNAV SIDs (Area Navigation Standard Instrument Departures). And with the NBAA, a […]

RNAV Arrival

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Pilot Controller Glossary AREA NAVIGATION (RNAV) APPROACH CONFIGURATION: a. STANDARD T− An RNAV approach whose design allows direct flight to any one of three initial approach fixes (IAF) and eliminates the need for procedure turns. The standard design is to align the procedure on the extended centerline with the missed approach point (MAP) at the […]

Missed Approach Waypoint – WAAS

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

AIM 1−1−18. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) d. Flying Procedures with WAAS 7. The Along−Track Distance (ATD) during the final approach segment of an LNAV procedure (with a minimum descent altitude) will be to the MAWP. On LNAV/VNAV and LPV approaches to a decision altitude, there is no missed approach waypoint so the along−track distance […]

Approach Plate Videos

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Will Liebhaber has a bunch of good videos for pilots. These are the ones that explain how to use the NACO AeroNav charts put out by the FAA—the charts that come with most EFBs like ForeFlight, WingsX, and Garmin Pilot. For the most part, the videos just explain stuff that you can get from reading […]

IFR Pilot Refresher Clinic

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 I found this slide show on the FAA website and thought it was worth expanding. Topics For Discussion – Expected Performance And Equipment Required – Alternates – Airport Environment – Fuel and Delays – SIDs and STARs – Enroute Procedures – Approach Procedures – Equipment Problems Sources – Pilot’s Handbook of […]

IFR Alternate Airport Minimums

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

The TPP has a section containing alternate minimums for approaches. It starts off with this paragraph. Standard alternate minimums for non-precision approaches and approaches with vertical guidance [NDB, VOR, LOC, TACAN, LDA, SDF, VOR/DME, ASR, RNAV (GPS) or RNAV (RNP)] are 800-2. Standard alternate minimums for precision approaches (ILS, PAR, or GLS) are 600-2. Airports […]

Minimum Turning Altitude (MTA)

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

I was watching a video by Andy Munnis and he talked about a fix outside of Denver that has a fairly lengthy list of MTAs. I had never heard of them before so I pulled up the chart to see what he was talking about. At first glance the altitudes don’t make any sense. Most […]

Diverse Vector Area

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Reading through the Instrument Flying Handbook (p 1-38) I ran across something that I had not seen before—Diverse Vector Area. ATC may establish a minimum vectoring altitude (MVA) around certain airports. This altitude is based on terrain and obstruction clearance and provides controllers with minimum altitudes to vector aircraft in and around a particular location. […]

Pilot IFR Altitude Deviations

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The FAA Safety Team sends emails from time to time that contain useful information for pilots. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to archive the information anywhere. This is Safety Tip: NOTC2917 Pilot altitude deviations often occur when flying a published departure or standard arrival procedure. Many procedures have published altitudes that ATC expects the pilot to […]

IFR Preferred Routes

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I just stumbled upon the NFDC Preferred Routes Database at the Air Traffic Control System Command Center Website. If you plug in you departure and arrival airport, it gives you the preferred IFR route. This information is already contained in the A/FD Chart Supplement but it is easier to access here. You can also get […]

Holding Patterns

Monday, June 30th, 2008

AIM 5−3−8. Holding i. An ATC clearance requiring an aircraft to hold at a fix where the pattern is not charted will include the following information: (See FIG 5−3−2.) 1. Direction of holding from the fix in terms of the eight cardinal compass points (i.e., N, NE, E, SE, etc.). 2. Holding fix (the fix […]

Primary and Supporting Method for IFR

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Attitude Instrument Flying—Primary and Supporting Method Update: 2017-02-18 The FAA has decided that they will no longer ask questions on this method on the Instrument Rating Airplane (IRA) Knowledge Test. The Instrument Flying Handbook is the source for the questions on the FAA Knowledge Test about the primary and supporting instrument method. Bold added for […]

Primary and Supporting Method for IFR – Table

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

This is a summary of the information contained in the detailed Primary and Supporting Method for IFR post. Update: 2017-02-18 The FAA has decided that they will no longer ask questions on this method on the Instrument Rating Airplane (IRA) Knowledge Test. Questions in the following topic areas have been deleted: Designation of instruments as […]

Visual Descent Point

Friday, January 4th, 2008

AIM Glossary VISUAL DESCENT POINT− A defined point on the final approach course of a nonprecision straight-in approach procedure from which normal descent from the MDA to the runway touchdown point may be commenced, provided the approach threshold of that runway, or approach lights, or other markings identifiable with the approach end of that runway […]

Obstacle Clearance—Circle-to-Land

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

AIM 5-4-7. Instrument Approach Procedures a. Aircraft approach category means a grouping of aircraft based on a speed of VREF, if specified, or if VREF is not specified, 1.3 VSO at the maximum certified landing weight. … A pilot must use the minima corresponding to the category determined during certification or higher. Helicopters may use […]

Landing Under IFR

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

14 CFR §91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR. (c) Operation below DA/ DH or MDA. Except as provided in paragraph (l) of this section, where a DA/DH or MDA is applicable, no pilot may operate an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, below the authorized MDA or continue an approach below the […]


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