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WWII Air Force 10 IFR Commandments; How to Prepare for the Instrument; ...IFR Requirements; Instrument Training Time; Instrument Evaluation Time; ...Cockpit Check; Required Knowledge Areas; Knowledge/ performance Requirements; ...Acceptable Standards; ...Reasons for Failure; Sayings of Note; ...Resource Management/Judgment Test; ...Simulation During Practical Test;... Checkride Failures; ,,,Seasoning the Instrument Program; The Oral; ...Application Form; Areas of Difficulty; ...IFR Arrival Briefing; ...IFR Final; Weather Reports and Forecasts; Why Examiners Test Weather; Weather Minimums; Navigation; Aircraft Systems; An Examiner's Questions; Required References; ...IFR Student Requirements; ...Electronic Bulletin Board; Know thy Self; Vertigo; Reaction; Why IFR?: ... Weather that does not like IFR Flying; ...How Sweet It Is When; ...IFR/VFR Accidents Compared; ...Critical Weaknesses; ...Night IFR in IMC; Night IFR; Cautions at Night; IFR Accident Statistics; Runway Incursions; Altitude Deviation; Climbing/Descent in VFR; Special VFR (SVFR); IFR Ground; Logging Approaches; Preparing for an Instrument Approach Lesson; Setting approach Limits; IFR Items; Making the Approach; ...New IFR Rating; ...IFR Rating in a Hurry; ... IFR Cockpit Organization; IFR Notes; ...IFR Flight Training Ideas; ...
AIR FORCE 10 IFR COMMANDMENTS
--Seat thyself well upon thy fifth vertebra, leaving not thy fingerprints on the controls and chewing not on thy fingernails.
--Know thy instruments, for they are the true and appointed prophets.
--Follow the indications of thy instruments and verily thee airplane will follow along, even as the tail follows the sheep.
--Do not stick out thy neck a foot; stay within the confines of thy ability and thou shalt live to a happy old age.
--Know the appointed words and approved methods, so that if thy neck dropeth out, thou shalt be able even unto thyself to place same in it's proper place, upon thy shoulders.
--Follow thy radio beam, for these ways are happy ways and will lead to the promised landing.
--Listen carefully, yea verily, to the signal impinging on thy eardrum, for sometimes they seem to have the tongues of snakes and will cross up thy orientation to the sad state to where thou must ask Heaven Herself for guidance. (If you have never flown the radio range that existed in the 30s and 40s you won't appreciate this advice.)
--Assume not, neither shalt thou guess, that thy position is such, but prove to thine own satisfaction that such is the case.
--Boast not, neither brag, for surely Old Devil Overcast shalt write such words in his book and thou shalt some day be called for an accounting.
--Trust not thy seat (of thy pants), but follow thine instruments. Read and truly interpret the word as given from thine instrument board and know that the responsibility lies not with the hand that rocks the control column, but in and with the mind that directs the hand, and thou shalt be blessed with a long and happy life.
to Prepare for the Instrument
Richard Taylor, Rod Machado, the FAA AC's, and Jeppesen.
Use time studying approach plates and en route maps. Jeppesen is probably better than NOS
Buy CH Products yoke and rudder pedal units for home computer.
Use FlitePro software by Jeppesen.
Training -- Minimum amount of training time
Do a great deal of training at night on the computer.
Find a good flight instructor
Explanations that are understood are very important.
Take the knowledge test near the end of training.
Experience will reinforce the book answers.
When you have flight knowledge that coincides with your ground training you will remember.
Have a copy of the PTS, Practical Test Standards.
The practical will consist of everything in the PTS. Some items may be combined
You are required to do 1 precision and 2 non precision approaches.
Requirements (Changed August 1997)
FAA decides what training is required as a MINIMUM
--IFR Training Time
--If rated in aircraft...
--Log as PIC when you are the sole manipulator of the controls (61-51(e)(l)
--15 hours with CFII
--20 hours of approved simulator time under an authorized instructor.
--250 miles flight along airways or ATC routing. Three different approaches in which your final airport must have an instrument approach.
--50 hours must be cross country (over 50 nautical with landing) PIC
--15 hours of CFII instruction
--The instrument competency check is now an instrument proficiency check and must include holding procedures.
--NDB not required on long X-country, which must include three different approaches.
--Human factors and decision-making training required
Instruction to include:
--Severe weather, turbulence
No person may operate ...unless that aircraft contains the instruments and equipment specified for that type of operation and...operable condition.
AIM 5-4-4 says pilot is responsible to get ASOS or AWOS weather at uncontrolled airports where available and then advise ATC of intentions.
AIM 5-3-7 revokes the 175 knot prop limit and now has 200, 230, and 250 or as specified on chart limits.
FAR 61.57(c) requires six instrument approaches (all the same or different), holding procedures, and interception and tracking of navaid courses.
--The safe outcome of an IFR flight should never be in doubt.
--Required procedures are interception and tracking of radials and bearings
--Recovery from unusual attitudes
--Holding procedures and flight by instruments.
--Six approaches in past six months
--Intercepted and tracked a navaid
--PTS sets requirements of instrument competency check. (ICC)
--Begin six approaches in actual IMC
--Do a hold in actual or simulated situation.
--Meeting letter of requirements may bypass FAR intent.
--Logbook entries must give date, place and approach type
--Use of flight simulator or FTD for aircraft category is o.k. if supervised by instructor.
--Safety and efficiency depends on competency and proficiency.
--Competency determined by accuracy, precise control and anticipation.
--When overload occurs, attend to the flying first.
--Glide slope flying requires power setting according to wind effect on ground speed.
--Demons of IFR just after getting rating:
--FAR 61.65 requires 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument flight time.
--At least 15 hours must be flight training time from a CFII in an aircraft.
--Flying with a safety pilot of CFI is logged as instrument flight time.
--Instrument flight time does not count as instrument flight training time.
--However, instrument flight training time with a CFII also is instrument flight time.
--In the PTS the cockpit check comes under preflight procedures Task C of FAA-S-8081-4B dated Oct., 1994.
1) You must know how instruments work, why the check is needed, the FARs that apply, and how defects and failure can be noted. Options that exist with failed equipment.
2) You must have a functional checklist that includes the POH list.
3) Many preflight specifics are required:
1. Setting and use of audio panel.
2. Use of all navigation aids VORs, GPS, ADF, ILS, and Markers (See 1 above)
3. Compass...Fluid level can be checked as part of cockpit check.
4. Gyro instruments (Instrument Handbook 35 to 54)
5. Know 'your' airplane.
Clock, pitot heat, turn and slip, static
4) Will any noted discrepancy make the aircraft unsafe for instrument flight.
...to be Ready for the Practical Test
--Written test, aircraft papers, pilot papers, application
--Cross country flight planning
--Preflight - IFR specific
When pre-flighting you should check pitot heat, hot prop and pre-set radios
as additionals. When taxiing we should check AI, HI, and TC during turns.
--IFR add to VFR requirements
Mnemonic is CHART GAD (following 8-items)
clock, heading indicator, attitude indicator, two way radio, turn coordinator, generator, altimeter, DME above 24K.
--Instrument cockpit check
--Collision avoidance techniques
--Compliance with ATC Clearances
--Flight reference to the instruments
--Constant airspeed climb
--Straight and level
--Change of airspeed
--Constant airspeed descents
--Constant airspeed climbs
--Constant rate climbs
--Timed turns to compass headings
--Recovery from unusual attitudes
--Intercepting and tracking VOR radials
--Intercepting and Tracking NDB bearings
--Circling approach procedures
PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDS
An Instrument Rating applicant is not permitted more than three-quarter-scale CDI or glide slope deflection during a VOR or ILS approach and no more than one-quarter scale CDI or glide slope deflection during an ILS approach. Less that half-scale CDI deflection for VOR approaches, and plus or minus 5 degrees for NDB approaches.. You must be "established" on course when operating on an IFR route segment within those standards. Instrument pilots are just like athletes; with conditioning, practice, repetition and concentration you will get it right.
--Lack of preparation,
--Not having all plates,
--Reliance on radar
--Wrong direction during procedure turn
--Late descent for non-precision approach
--Turning in wrong direction to heading.
Sayings of Note
--When pre-flighting you should check pitot heat, hot prop and pre-set radios as additionally....
--When taxiing we should check AI, HI, and TC during turns.
--On takeoff we would prefer to have the aircraft cleaned for climb before entering actual.
--While the step by step process of configuring the aircraft is best for teaching.
--The most likely cause of an approach screw-up is just plain getting behind the plane.
Resource Management/Judgment Test.
Use ILS if available it actual emergency but examiner may use other approach to check partial panel ability on non-precision approaches.
The instrument PTS regarding an ILS approach states that the standards are no more than 3/4 scale deflection of the localizer or glide slope indications and within 10 kts airspeed.
Simulation During IFR Practical Test
During the in-flight simulation of partial panel instrument approach, because of the physical position of the magnetic compass in some aircraft, the applicant is likely to receive visual clues not normally available. Once this occurs, a meaningful evaluation is compromised. Examiners may request applicant no longer refer to magnetic compass. If actual ATC assistance is unavailable the examiner may simulate ATC assistance procedures.
Instrument rating PTS requires non-precision approach under partial panel. Emphasis will be on loss of gyros and loss of radios. Test will include timed turns and compass turns to headings, climbs, descents and unusual attitudes. In actual situation ILS would be more desirable.
The expectation during simulated emergencies is that a successful conclusion is the primary objective. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of resources available. (Advise ATC, request radar vectors, call fixes, no gyro assistance, nearest VFR, nearest airport, etc.)
Examiner comments related to failures:
--Unable to handle ATC communications. Failure to repeat back clearances and instructions. --Problems with frequencies
on missed approach.
--Did not know preferred routes, symbols or abbreviations
--Did not have airport/facility Directory
--Use of radials on VOR. Confusing VOR ident with localizer. Flew with reverse sensing of VOR.
--Premature descent especially during procedure turns
--Failure to set altimeter prior to approach
--Unable to fly plane while using magnetic compass for headings.
--Failed to recognize that glide slope failure required localizer minimums and timing.
--Failed to adhere to departure procedures.
--Excessive and even incorrect course corrections using CDI.
--NDB approach used homing instead of tracking.
--Failed to fly to missed approach point before turning.
the Instrument Program
The instrument rating is one that can be acquired relatively quickly by following a program designed to give the skills needed to pass the checkride. However, this may not be the best program unless it is supplemented immediately by
frequent reinforcing practice. Otherwise there is likely to be a rapid decline in basic skills and knowledge. There is more to instrument flight than just getting the rating. There are levels of proficiency and training variables that drastically affect the safety margins. I believe the optimum frequency for lessons is three per week. This seems to allow ample repetition, preparation, and expanded reading time for the working student. There are negatives for more or less frequent flights. Some adjustment can be made to take advantage of inclement weather.
One such instance comes to mind where I had spent the better part of a year teaching only in C-172. Along comes a student with a C-182. I bought the fuel for the C-182 so I could practice several approaches with my student as safety pilot. My first approach was 'ragged' to say the least. The next day I took my C-172 and did some 100-knot approaches instead of the usual 90 knot ones. I did not want to teach in the C-182 until I felt I was capable of flying it from the right seat.
I have trained pilots using Field Morey's program. In it, quite a few hours are spent acquiring instrument and aircraft skill basics and knowledge before the 3000-mile trip with Field. There are facets to the instrument flying diamond that cannot be adequately taught in California weather or in an accelerated program. I have flown with rated pilots who have never flown in actual conditions. I know of a local FBO where instructors were not allowed to take students up in actual conditions or fly into a Class C airport. I have flown with rated pilots who have never done a 'pop-up' clearance and others who have no idea of how to negotiate a clearance change using the levels of assertiveness. I have salvaged instrument trainees who have never been given any ground training in how to plan and prepare for an instrument flight after having completed a 40-hour program. I have salvaged trainees who have had multiple instructors and have failed multiple checkrides by being able to diagnose the problems and program corrections needed.
My idea of an ideal program is one that begins late in the
fall and finishes before spring. I would minimize night flying
and maximize early morning flights. I would try to make every
third approach to a full stop while acknowledging that practically
all actual instrument approaches result in a landing. I would
want to have every lesson preceded by a phone conversation and
planning discussion the night before. I would stress the need
for using a variety of filing
The oral began with a check of my application form, current pilot certificate, and medical. Then it was straight to the airplane logs. The examiner wanted me to prove that the plane is legal to fly IFR. I had gone over the logs the day before, so I was able to quickly find the log entry for the pitot-static and altitude reporting inspections as well as the one for the most recent annual, which happened to also be within the last 100 hours. Then the examiner asked about the airworthiness directives (AD) for the airplane.
My FBO uses a system that calls for of all of the maintenance information for the airplane to be kept in a three-ring binder. Finding the log entries is simplified, and the AD information is right at your fingertips; each AD has a single page dedicated to it, upon which is the exact wording of the AD and space for the mechanic to describe the fix and sign off the AD. Unfortunately, I had not looked closely enough at some of the AD entries, and the particular AD that we looked at was a recurring AD that, according to the text, must be inspected and signed off every 100 hours. Alas, it had been more than 100 hours since the last signoff. Before we flew, we had to get a mechanic to check the applicable aircraft systems and sign the log.
Then came the expected questions about the currency of the pilot, including the use of a simulator, and general guidelines and regulations for IFR flying. I was asked to diagram and discuss the pitot-static system (could have been the fuel or electrical system as well). What is a VOR-A approach? When should circling minimums be used instead of straight-in minimums? Is there ever any restriction on which direction a circling maneuver may be made? (Yes, when so stated on the chart, e.g., circling NA north of runways 10/28.) We looked at approach charts and en route charts, showing that I know what the symbols means. What are MEA, MCA, MOCA, MAA, etc...? What are the ways of checking a VOR?
One aspect of the oral that I found quite interesting was the fact that the examiner asked questions that took into account the knowledge that I obtained during training for my private certificate a year ago. For example, an interesting question was a problem that was posed using an example of a real-life route on my chart, and in the airplane that I was about to fly. I was given the following conditions: I'm in a Cessna 172 at max gross weight on an airway at the MEA, 4000 feet. I'm told that a nearby airport is reporting a temperature of 102 degrees F. I'm following a route upon which I'm approaching a fix that has an MCA of 5000 feet, and another fix that's just a few miles after that with an MCA of 9000 feet. Suppose that I lose two-way communications before crossing the first fix. When should I commence my climb? Of course, my answer was that I should be to 5000 by the first fix and 9000 by the second fix. But then, after some prodding by the examiner, I take the temperature and the fact that I'm at max gross weight into consideration, and into the airplane manual I go. To my surprise, I find that I would not be able to make 9000 feet by the second fix if I'm only at 5000 feet by the first fix, based on climb gradient information taken from the current conditions. It was an excellent problem. And it a very good extension of what I had to know for my private practical density altitude, climb rates (ft/NM) at full gross weight, etc..
Another question that was interesting regards what I'd do if I noticed that my vacuum was slowly dropping. I said that I'd keep in mind that my AI and DG would likely become inaccurate, and thus I'd rely solely on the other instruments for pitch and bank information. The examiner asked me to imagine this in reality, and we came to the conclusion that everyone should carry something with which the instruments could be covered should they become inoperative. This seems like a good idea to me, because I would likely still include the AI and DG in my scan, because that's what I'm trained to. (Most of our training on partial panel is done with the instruments covered, eh? So why leave them uncovered if they are actually broken? And hey, there's a good marketing slogan in there for companies that sell those little instrument inop stickers...
Another question that I found interesting was regarding the maximum bank angle at which a wet compass is still reliable. The formula that I've seen for bank angle for a standard rate turn is approximated by [(KTAS/10) + 7], and thus if you're going 120 KTAS, that's 19 degrees of bank (and more if you're going faster). Check the literature and you'll see that this is over the theoretical limit for a wet compass. This is good information to consider when losing vacuum; at certain speeds, one might wish to inform the controller that half-standard-rate turns would be used.
Another question was the following scenario: I take off from my home airport, which does not have a precision approach, and weather is below the lowest minimums at that airport, and as soon as I get into the soup, my alternator dies. So I have a short amount of electrical (battery) time left; what would I do? I thought that the examiner was testing my knowledge of lost comm procedures. In fact, the idea was that there is an airport nearby with a precision approach, and with my remaining electrical juice, it might be better to simply declare an emergency and shoot that approach, instead of remaining in the system and risking further problems. The point of the question was the idea of situational awareness. Always have a plan for emergencies.
This, another excellent question, drove the point home. In general, the oral was a set of questions that required analysis of the information at hand, rather than simple repetition of memorized information.
Then came the flight. Fortunately, from my home airport, there's only one direction in which to fly where there is an NDB within a reasonable distance, so my instructor and I concentrated our practice flights in that area, and this is the direction in which the flight went. I am moderately familiar with the airways, radials, and intersections in that area.
I offered to do a VOR check during run-up, but since I had answered the questions regarding VOR checks during the oral, I only had to show in the permanent log that the VORs had been checked within the past 30 days.
The examiner gave me a clearance to fly, and I made sure that I could fly it before accepting it (thanks Roy Smith). The examiner played ATC during most of the flight. The route was unique, in that I had flown a similar one only once before. It included "...radar vectors SUNOL intersection victor 195...", and during the flight, I was told to resume my own navigation and thus fly to the intersection, which is defined by two VOR radials. I tried to use my DME and immediately, the examiner said that it was inoperative until further notice.
There was more wind and turbulence than on any of my training flights, and I had about 20 degrees of wind correction at one point while flying the airway. I was given hold instructions and asked how I would enter the hold, then the instructions were amended to expect the VOR approach at a nearby airport.
The VOR approach went well; the wind was varying by about 30 degrees during the approach, and the controller was doing an excellent job of keeping we pilots up to date regarding its direction and magnitude. And its magnitude was strong enough to cause me to use a different approach groundspeed than I would normally use for timing calculation from the FAF to the MAP.
Next were vectors for the NDB approach. I wish I had done this approach better. I intercepted the inbound course quite well, and there was little wind correction, but as soon as I passed the FAF, a compass locator, the controller gave a wind report that made be believe that I should change my heading, and I did. In retrospect, the controller's statement that the wind had changed didn't mean that it changed for me right over the FAF, but I corrected for it anyway, which was a mistake. I should have stayed with the heading that got me to the fix for at least a minute -- and I know this -- and then corrected based on the needle indications thereafter. Thus, upon taking off the hood, I was dismayed to see the airport off to my left.
Next was the ILS, which went smoothly, even with the turbulence through a thousand feet. The only interesting thing about the ILS is that the examiner intended for me to remove the hood at DH and continue along the glideslope in visual conditions to a landing, but I started the missed as soon as my altitude was within thirty or so feet of my DH. I was just going by my experience with my instructor, which is that if he doesn't say anything, I leave the foggles on and go missed. There are probably a variety of ways to communicate whether a landing is desired or not, and I'll bet this is a problem with student/instructor combinations as well.
Then came the airwork. There was a vector to climb to a certain altitude given a heading, and then instructions to do a steep turn once stabilized. (After the approaches and before the airwork, the examiner allowed me to remove the foggles for a minute or so. Then I was instructed, "Put the foggles back on when you're comfortable", to which I responded, "Okay, I'll put them on when we're back on the ground", to which the examiner responded with a laugh, "Foggles on NOW!"
:-) I nailed the steep turn. Then the AI and DG were covered, and I did compass turns, altitude changes during turns, and unusual attitudes. After all this turning about, I was asked to show on a map where I was, and at first I read my OBS indication incorrectly after centering the CDI needle; I was off by 10 degrees, but I quickly realized that I was 10 degrees off when told to fly to intercept an airway and fly to a fix, and thus correctly stated my position moments after incorrectly stating it.
On the way to the fix, I determined the type of entry correctly, cross-checking myself with two different methods. (This is something that I learned very late in my training: I draw the hold on the chart and draw my direction of flight into it and use that to determine the type of entry. Then, if I there is enough time en route to the fix, I double-check that with the exercise of super-imposing the 70-110-degree lines on the DG. Since determining hold entries was somewhat difficult for me, I would make mistakes somewhat frequently; this double-checking greatly reduced my mistakes.)
There was also enough time en route to the hold to allow me to consider some of the winds that I'd be dealing with. It was great that I thought about that because my DME and second NAV/COM became inoperative (per the examiner) immediately preceding my entry into the hold. Thus I was using a single NAV radio to determine the fix, which was defined by crossing VOR radials, during the hold. And the hold itself was interesting because my first inbound leg was fifteen seconds long (quick: how long should your outbound leg be?), and a 20-degree correction on my first outbound leg still didn't seem to be enough.
And then it was over. The examiner said, "Take off the hood and take me home." And here was another way the examiner could determine whether I've retained my VFR abilities, too: We returned to an airport that's under both Class B and Class C airspace, and thus I had to be down below the airspace by a certain point. The flight back was also an opportunity to discuss the flight and the oral portion, but I remained sure that I kept my mind fully on the flying.
In retrospect, the experience was an educational one, and even though I was nervous, I had fun! I recognize that I'm not a great and one-hundred percent proficient instrument pilot at this time, but I look forward to using the rating. I hope this note was interesting reading and I hope that it helps those that are studying now for their instrument rating. Other stories in r.a.ifr helped me.
During certification check the PTS and FARs to make sure that you meet the requirements. A most common error is not following directions and completing all required spaces in the application.
A distraction is instantaneous when only one word is misunderstood in an IFR clearance. It takes great mental concentration to continue on getting the clearance and still be able to ask ATC to repeat or clarify the missed word. More commonly the pilot misses everything past the problem word. The most dangerous point of an IFR flight is the missed approach. The pilot, who in the performance of the missed approach does not know 'what comes next' is into the distraction mode of thinking which usually results in an accident. The missed approach that is in the distraction mode is extremely overloaded. What must be done and the sequence of doing what must be done become a mental blur. Familiarity with the aircraft is a must to reduce the probability of a distraction.
I recently had a total AI failure as I entered IFR conditions. It was very difficult not to be aware of the tilted AI and use the turn coordinator. I will never again fly without an ample supply of 2 x 2 post-its available for covering failed instruments. Recent partial panel experience is a significant benefit. My greatest difficult was ATC who kept changing my clearance. This is relatively common.
Study the chart
Frequencies in order
Radials in order
Marker and ADF set
Altitudes in order and minimums
Over-preparation will be negated by ATC
Use one color to planning and another color for changes
Expect preferred routing
Be efficient on the radio
Ask for help or vector to unknown fix
Make required call-ups
Read back as required
Maintain altitudes, headings and airspeeds
Know your configuration changes and effects
Specific position reports into uncontrolled airports.
Descending too far too soon is a fundamental mistake.
Reports and Forecasts
Examiner will use FAA aviation weather services publication AC 00-45C Applicant must know how to obtain, read and analyze weather reports and forecasts from AC 00-45C
PIREP and radar reports, surface analysis charts. Radar summary
charts, prog charts, winds and temperature aloft, freezing lever
charts, stability charts, severe weather, outlook, constant pressure
charts, high level prognosis charts. SIGMETS, AIRMETS, ATIS reports,
(Automatic Weather Observation Station) (Automatic Meteorological
What they do...What they give...How different
Examiners Test Weather
--Raise knowledge level of weather theory
--DUATS requires knowing how to read reports and forecasts.
--Self briefings are a growing requirement
When is an alternate required Night IFR at uncontrolled airport Below minimums is O.K. if in pattern within 1/2 mile. SVFR procedures
--15% of applicants do not know how to get magnetic course. Know how to enter ARSA below Class B or C (3000' critical)
--How WAC charts are different from sectionals
--IFR departure from uncontrolled airport
--Partial panel approach
--Induction ice and alternate air source
--Static air intake and alternate static source
--Antennas - glide slope, marker beacon
--How does the wire from the wing to the tail help to hold the tail on?
--The wire running from the top of the cabin to the top of the vertical stabilizer is the ADF sense antenna?
--Where is Marker Beacon antenna?
--Know gyro instruments and pressure instruments
--Know how turn/slip gyro differs from turn coordinator.
--Know how attitude indicator erects, dies, acts under low vacuum, etc.
--Know primary and supporting instruments used during four basic flight situations
--Know differing forms of IFR flight plans
--DVFR when crossing ADIZ.
--Where/what is the ADIZ in the Bay Area?
PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDS
FAR PART 61 CERTIFICATION OF PILOTS AND FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS
FAR PART 91 GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES
AC 00-6 AVIATION WEATHER
AC 00-45 AVIATION WEATHER SERVICES
AC 61-21 FLIGHT TRAINING HANDBOOK
AC 61-23 PILOT'S HANDBOOK OF AERONAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE
AC 61-27 INSTRUMENT FLYING HANDBOOK
AC 61-84 ROLE OF PREFLIGHT PREPARATION
AC 90-48 PILOT'S ROLE IN COLLISION AVOIDANCE
AIM AIRMAN'S INFORMATION MANUAL
SID STANDARD INSTRUMENT DEPARTURES
STAR STANDARD TERMINAL ARRIVALS
AF/D AIRPORT FACILITY DIRECTORY
FDC NOTAM NATIONAL FLIGHT DATA CENTER/NOTICE TO AIRMEN
IAP INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES
--Government instrument approach procedures (IAP) are published every 56 days, updated
every 28 days and NOTAMS as required.
--Pertinent pilot operating handbooks
--FAA approved flight manuals
--En route low altitude chart
--Aeronautical eligibility 61.65 (e and I)
--Total 50 hours cross country other than student solo 61.65(c)(4)
--250 nautical mile cross country which must include an ILS, a VOR and NDB approaches. (check)61.65 (II) (III)
--To qualify for the long cross-country IFR flight must include at least two airports 250 NM in a straight line distance apart and
1 VOR, 1 ILS and 1 NDB approach.
--Total hours is 15 by a CFII instructor in an airplane.
--Maximum of 20 hours in a simulator
GET ON GOVERNMENT MAILING LIST: (See VFR material) USE AC
00-2 AND AC 00-2.7 Oct. 1994
Address: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION M 494.1 DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS SECTION
WASHINGTON D. C. 20590
Bulletin Board Access Information
Safety and Standards
Modem(202)267-5205 Operator Rick Marinelli, (202)267-7669
Policy, Plans and Management
Modem(202) 267-5697 Operator Mike Lee (202) 267-3332
Now that you have your rating comes the hard part. The on-going need to maintain the minimum of 6-6-6 will continue as long as you fly IFR. The initial issue certificate is just a license to continue your learning and training. Now you must be more than just legally current to be safe.
Inexperienced pilots tend to over-control when beginning on simulated instruments and then again when they are exposed to actual conditions. The difficulty is related to fully understanding the relationship between the actual horizon and that displayed on the AI. Some pilots make constant adjustments to controls even when they are not needed under the presumption that they should be doing something all the time.
Every pilot has fears and weaknesses. Ideally, the pilot should make a list and work toward elimination of fears and weaknesses one at a time. We must beware of perpetuating that weakness in someone else and in ourselves. My most apparent IFR weakness is failing to identify navaids and keep their volume at a recognition level during approaches. Some volume controls are overly sensitive in this regard. It is difficult to set the level because the potentiometer of the volume control has only too loud and off. (07U is an example). If this listening technique is part of your standard of IFR then you will quickly pick up if you have an instructor induced navaid failure. If a student fails to identify and listen to a navaid, expect that the instructor will disable that navaid. An instructor's failure to do so is allowing a double standard of IFR performance to exist.
The single-pilot IFR flight should have a condensed set of lists that covers route, clearances, frequencies, minimums and missed. He should have made a dry run through radio frequencies and settings. He should have rehearsed what he expects to hear during the flight and his anticipated (word for word) responses. The pilot's efficiency in organization of what the procedures require is the best way to lighten the workload when in flight. In additional, he should have a pop-up IFR checklist for the end of those VFR flights that require an instrument approach. If you are on a VFR flight plan you MUST close it even if you are opening an IFR flight plan.
There are advantages to flying the full procedure using your own navigation. You will always know where you are. While on vectors, it is easy to lose orientation due to vector changes. If the unplanned workload increases it is very easy to overlook critical items. Reading back a clearance does not mean you have adequately prepared for that routing. A well-organized pilot who is at least even with the aircraft is best able to deal with the unanticipated.
Many pilots agree more with the 'follow your gut' crowd than the 'personal minima' crowd only because my gut seems to be far better at calculating the quantum variables intuitively much faster than you can reason it all out while bouncing through the clouds. Confidence in your decisions is a requirement to executing a good approach. If that confidence isn't there it's time to consider the alternatives. More than one on an unfamiliar approach I have advised ATC of my lack of confidence and asked them to be reading to give heading and altitude corrections sooner rather than later.
Develop physiological reaction to those situations that are over your head, and when after 250 hrs you may have learned to heed it. When the altimeter reads too close to DH and it's still dark and gloomy outside, or there's one of those "runway in the storm window" crosswinds, a sour taste at the back of my throat rises. This means "Go around, you idiot", or "take the missed approach and land somewhere else". It's much more reliable than a hard-and-fast rule like "I won't land in less than 500 ft. ceilings". Experience shows that very few IFR missed approaches actually occur due to weather. The fact that so few occur is the cause of the expectancy problem. The pilot may view the situation as how he would have it be rather than as they are.
Number one is flying the aircraft. Do not let a distraction such as changing frequencies change this priority. Mastery of the aircraft should never by in doubt regardless of the workload. Use the speed you can be comfortable with. If ATC requests a higher speed, advise that you will accept vectors to allow faster traffic to pass. In no event maintain an uncomfortably speed on the final portion of the approach.
All approaches should be flown at the selected airspeed with the gear down, using power to control rate of descent and flaps as required at the bottom of the approach. The primary consideration is airplane handling and performance during the final phase of the procedure. This means you must get the aircraft set up at a definite point ahead of time. Stick with the same configuration for all approaches. If you have good basic attitude instrument skills, with control over airspeed, descent and heading you can fly a good instrument approach. Descent rate approximates G.S x 10.2.
Whether or not to use flaps on an approach depends very much on how they affect the performance of the aircraft when initiating the missed approach. By themselves flaps do not affect the approach but on Cessnas the addition of full power in higher powered singles can create overpowering trim forces on flap removal. Be careful and prepared by locking the elbow on power application.
The most required skills of an instrument pilot are aircraft control, positional awareness and focused reality on the instruments. Vertigo can and does occur to all pilots. Certain very normal flight situations can cause vertigo. The turning of a head, looking down and sideways, or up all when combined with a constant rate turn will create vertigo. The inner ear is a most fallible device. Large quick movements are easily detected while slow smooth movements can escape notice. The ear adapts to easy motion rather quickly and will react to any quick changes or stops as being movement in the opposite direction.
The pilots rule when exposed to vertigo should be to first do nothing, study the instruments and respond without reacting. We cannot deny the perception of inner ear messages. We can deny any response to them. The ability to intellectually deny the inner ear sensations marks the instrument pilot. The correctness of what is done under instrument conditions far exceeds the importance of any speed required.
In searching for an appropriate place for this material I was surprised at how often the term existed, the variety of context, and application to both plane and pilot. In many situations you must be decisive, selective and accurate. You must know what to do, do it, and do it correctly. Most often the word reaction occurs in my writing in conjunction with the word anticipation. There are times when there can be no anticipation as in cataclysmic engine failure.
Reaction time is based upon how your senses work together. Hearing and smell may provide advance warning but most often we are not as sensitive to these as to the tactile sense. Vision evokes the quickest reactions but this quickness may be instinctive and counter productive. Where you look is in a maneuver will enable you to counter visual illusion and associated instinctive reactions. How the maneuver feels and sounds will augment vision once the proper parameters are practiced and imprinted.
We need to practice reactions in flying situation so that they can be anticipated, decisive, selective, and accurate. Landings, takeoffs, steep turns, stalls, airspeeds, minimum controllable, and unusual attitudes are areas where we can organize our senses to get our performance and the required reaction under control. Along with correct performance of the maneuvers we should expose ourselves to incorrect (read instinctive) reaction situations. The inadvertent event is the one most likely to be met with instinctive reaction. IFR could well mean I Feel Reaction.
Recognition of the need and correctness in reaction is, to me, more important than the speed. Maybe this is because, with age, I have replaced most of my reaction time with anticipation. I feel that the shift from reaction to anticipation is one of the large personality changes that distinguish pilots from the less fortunate. It is certainly one of the things I look for when I train an IFR student.
Knowing what to expect from yourself, the plane, ATC, and the weather greatly reduces the need for reaction and increases the presence of anticipation. The practice element that I would concentrate on would be; 1) Awareness of how deceptive our senses can be, 2) How anticipation can affect selection, speed, and accuracy of any reaction, and 3) Situations where reaction is all you have available.
Getting your rating made you a better pilot. You became more selective as to what made weather safe for flying. You were capable of absorbing multiple instructions while maneuvering the aircraft. You set new personal minimums for VFR flying because of your capability to go IFR. Even the FSS talked to you differently after you said, "IFR capable". When entering VFR conditions on an IFR flight plan you must see and avoid other traffic.
We will make a practice of setting up the missed approach as much as possible during the approach to be followed by a holding pattern at some point prior to the next approach.
Weather That Does Not
Like IFR Flying
1. High barometric pressure, high humidity, low night temperature and calm winds
2. Winds that flow on-shore
3. Stationary fronts that don't move
4. A multiple front low or occluded front
5. The northeast point of a surface low
6. A Low in the Gulf of Mexico
7. A warm front in winter
9. An overcast above cold, wet ground.
Sweet It Is When...
All your avionics work.
A weather report is accurate
A vector is a short cut
Ceiling is above your personal minima
Tops well below you.
One power setting all the way in.
All the needles where you want them.
A clearance you can copy.
A warm feeling on landing.
to VFR Accidents Compared
12% related to low-level maneuvering.
12% Fuel exhaustion (Often caused by headwinds and multiple approaches)
50% Trying VFR in IFR conditions
3% Low level flight into terrain (Circling approaches)
3% Midair while VFR
14% Failure to select fuel or put on carburetor heat.
50% Improper approach procedure
20% Stall on approach
50% Into Terrain on approach/icing
33% Of IFR loss of control occurred in IFR conditions. Most of these happened during
departure into overcast or on approach.
50% IFR control loss on departure
50% IFR control loss in weather
16% IFR control loss in turbulence
0% Lost or disoriented
25% of IFR accidents were related to mechanical problems of aircraft systems. Knowing how to shut off autopilots for
example. Engine failure implicated in 11% of all IFR accidents.
50% IFR control loss due to vacuum pump failure
25% Into terrain at night
50% IFR control loss due to static system failure
Simulation is not an adequate substitute for actual conditions. The likely absence of turbulence, changing visibilities, illusions and a low visibility landing are not possible. Visual peeks are bound to occur when compass-heading checks are made. The absence of actual conditions inhibits low time certified IFR pilots from maintaining currency.
Second major area of incompetence lies in the transition from IFR to landing the aircraft in low visibility to a full stop. Training approaches all too often end with the published missed. In my own program, admittedly under the hood, out of last eleven approaches ten have been full stop-taxi backs. The one non-landing was a GCA approach at a military facility. I stress landings because most real-life IFR approaches end in landings.
Talking to any ATC facility is not a guarantee of defense against your having a mid-air. Even IFR-VFR separation is guaranteed only in Class A, B, or C. Most mid-airs occur at low altitudes near uncontrolled airports because that's where the airplanes are. Aircraft shadows are your best indicator of low level proximity. Watch the ground. As with cars there are built in aircraft blind spots that can only be uncovered by S-turns, head nodding, and a bit of luck. Always check the airspace you are about to enter.
IFR in IMC
--There is no greater likelihood of a mechanical failure caused accident at night than there is during daytime.
--Likewise, day or night weather itself is not going to be a 'causal' factor.
--Only a small percentage of all G.A. IFR takes place at night.
--Over half of G.A. IFR circle-to-land occur at night.
--Night IFR accidents are most likely to occur when:
--Following multiple attempts at approaches,
--Flying a non-standard approach, poor planning and lack of proficiency.
--The difference between day and night IFR is very subtle.
--Night can suck a pilot into a situation from which there is no back door.
--Fuel availability at night is different than during the day.
--An IFR pilot is apt to stretch aircraft endurance.
--Night IFR needs more than a legal alternate.
--You need an alternate that you know you can reach and get into.
Part of the preflight is to know the approach procedure and the lighting system activation that may be available. Statistics show that night flight and IFR night flight has proportionately higher accident rates. There is nothing more difficult flying at night on instruments providing you can see the instruments. Good lighting is essential. Preservation of night vision is of reduced importance. Usually the accident is caused by controlled flight into obstacles while transition from IFR to VFR. An accident at this time is called 'pilot error' or an attempt to use Braille.
Depth perception and obstacle determination is more difficult at night. The brightness of runway lights and others cause an illusion of distance that is deceptive. This is especially true if the area is unfamiliar. Transition to visual conditions may require exceptional area awareness. Fuel exhaustion at night seems to become a factor only if multiple approaches are involved.
If you are going to fly night IFR do considerable practice in those conditions. Fly only precision approaches into controlled airports that are straight in. No circling approaches. Use the VASI or PAPI. If you must go into an uncontrolled airport cancel IFR only after landing. Set higher minimums for night. A vacuum back-up is essential at night.
Don't fly if ice is a possibility and don't take off if it is a probability. Nights are colder and ice is more likely. On the bright side (pun) thunder storms are less likely. Night flight into broken cloud conditions are quite conducive to creation of vertigo. In night IFR avoid looking outside until you really need to. Prevention is easier than recovery from symptoms of illusion. At night you cant obtain visual impressions of where the weather is or what it looks like.
As with all IFR flight, it is important that you fly the charted routes. Radar vectors requires you to totally trust someone else. Better yet, combine 'own nav' with radar advisories specifically asking for obstacle clearance. Use the second pilot to call the plate numbers to supplement your own checks. Plate calls would include; ATIS, pattern altitude, IAF altitude and track, inbound track and altitude, approach fix, minimums and time, missed approach track and climb to altitude before turning.
Flying a consistent profile is essential to safe night IFR. Be so situation aware that you do not descend below 1500' AGL until you are within 5 nm of the destination. (You can remain above the charted altitudes.) The worst night IFR situation is a non-precision approach to circle-to-land at a strange airport.
The worst case scenario related to night IFR actual conditions flight is engine failure where without power, most instruments, and little opportunity to select a landing place everything is at risk. The risk management of flight in these conditions begins with the proficiency of the pilot. A smoke filled cockpit becomes IFR with your eyes closed. Without auto pilot you havent a chance. Standby vacuum doesn't help if the windmilling propeller provides no differential. Catastrophic failures can occur any time but are far more likely to occur where poor maintenance practices are allowed to exist.
--Personal minimums should be very high for night IFR.
--Carry extra fuses, flashlights.
--Have current Airport/Facilities Directory to determine hours of operation, lighting and facilities available.
--Get L-type NOTAMs
--Do not expect ATC to know about FDC NOTAMed changes to procedures. Get the FDCs as part of your planning.
--Chose route as nearly airport vicinity as possible
--Double check MDA and DH for any night restrictions
--Night vision is affected by IFR MOCA altitudes due to lack of oxygen.
--Ability to retain night vision very difficult.
--Bright runway lights on a wide runway make you feel closer to the ground; dim lights in haze on a narrow runway may because you to descend below the glide slope.
--Your worst landing will be when you follow the landing light into the ground.
--Night approaches with only the approach lights visible creates illusions of altitude and direction from only the slightest bank.
--Trust the instruments at night
--Wing mounted taxi lights make taxiing difficult
--There should be some night IFR instruction but it should be in the form of a review of previously flown day light
--Learning a new procedure at night is both difficult, inefficient, and dangerous.
--After the IFR rating is acquired, additional night IFR instruction should be used in maintaining proficiency requirements..
--The most difficult approach ever do will be the night circling approach followed closely by the step-down approach.
--C-210s are having more night IFR accidents than any other type.
--Half of night weather IFR accidents occur to G.A. twins.
--1/3 of night IFR accidents occur with clouds and low visibility as a factor.
--Night IFR has proportionately far more accidents than does day IFR. 3 to 1 ratio.
--Twice as many night ILS accidents occurred than on non-precision approaches.
--Most ILS runways have VASI still pilots descend below indicators.
--Most night IFR approach accidents occur by pilots hitting the ground short of the runway.
--Solution: Chose night approaches to runways with VASI.
--Most night IFR accidents occur when days are shorter.
--The length of time you have been awake has a marked effect on accident probability.
--If you shear away from night single-engine IFR, you should fly in a twin either
--More than 50% of accidents which result during approaches to below landing minima are fatal.
--A single pilot delayed "go around' is most frequent single cause.
--The FAA reviews all landings reported as being made below weather minimums.
--Consider coming in SVFR as a viable option since altitude minimums do not apply.
--The accident rate on night IFR approaches is 60% of all IFR approach accidents.
--Only 4% of all general aviation flying is done at night.
--Most ILS accidents (20-30 per year) seem to occur within a mile or less of the runway but 1/3 crash on the runway.
--Over half of the ILS accidents occur at night when only 1/4 of the ILS approaches are made.
--A pilot should make his personal IFR minimums for night flight very high.
--Transitioning to the visual is the most demanding and dangerous part of an ILS but even more so at night.
--There is no margin for error in an ILS carried to minimums.
--Runway accidents seems to be related to contact on slick runways and higher than normal speed.
--1/6 of ILS accidents occur while making second or third approaches.
--An ATC warning of course or altitude deviation is sufficient notice to begin the missed.
--Flights on the ILS to an airport known to be below minimums should be flown to DH for practice only with a planned
--Don't fly a no-approach light ILS at night.
Through greater emphasis on standardized radio communications pilot will be involved in fewer runway transgressions, en route course deviations, and other aviation safety incidents.
Most altitude deviations are the result of a communications failure. The failure may be with ATC or the pilot. The major cause of the failure is not using standard phraseology usually by the pilot who fails to read back the ATC clearance completely with the aircraft call sign. If there is cockpit doubt as to the clearance make a confirmation call to ATC. An altitude deviation is far morel likely to bring on an FAA violation action than is a course deviation.
--Clearance or ATC instruction when:
--IFR flight requests climb/descent in VFR conditions
--Noise abatement not met by IFR route/altitudes
--Practice approach not on IFR flight plan. Must comply with
--VFR rules. ATC separation provided in Classes B and C.
VFR climbs help you to avoid circuitous charted IFR routes
often caused by terrain. Such a visual climb clearance requires
you fly above minimum safe altitudes requires in FAR 91.119 and provide your own terrain clearance.
SVFR will be available in B, C, D, surface-based E, or surface foot-print of the airspace. SVFR in primary airport of Class B
makes SVFR unavailable to fixed wing aircraft.
Much of the IFR ground information should be self studied from FAA and other texts. Material herein should be
considered supplementary only. Search: 'Written'.
What is the FAA's stand on logging approaches? What happens if you cross the IAP in IMC but break out before reaching the
FAF? Does this still count as an approach? Most pilots consider any instrument approach flown in IMC at the FAF to be
for an Instrument Flight Lesson
Get out all the plates for all airports involved, departure and arrival. (In this example I am going to use Concord, CA and Sacramento Executive.) Highlight the expected route. In a large area walk the route. Pick or mark spots that will represent the departure airport, VORs, intersections, changeover points, fixes NDBs, etc.
Since CCR has several possibilities after takeoff. Walk the route for each runway including the turn above 600' for getting to the VOR. At the VOR you must assume that you will fly through it before turning, so in order to intercept the 071 radial you must turn to at least 090 to make the intercept before turning to 071.
Now, note on the departure plate that the first intersection
is PITTS but that the route to SAC will be a REJOY transition
which is not on the chart but only on the departure plate. It
is two miles past PITTS and is where you will turn to the SAC
VOR on a heading of 016. Since we will probably fly through the
016 we must turn to an
initial heading of 000 for intercept of 016. This will take you to REJOY, COUPS, the VOR and SAC.
We will now walk the route again but this time for the altitudes. Local government requires no turns below 600', regardless of departure runway. At 600' we will turn to the VOR and climb to our clearance altitude of 3 or 4 thousand feet. We will maintain that altitude or as assigned until cleared for the approach which allows descent (see plate 11-1) to 1400' inside COUPS until glide slope intercept shortly before the VOR and LOM. Since we may need to circle we must consider a 500' circling altitude or DH of 219.
The Navigation Radios
Next we will walk the route and altitudes as we talk our way through the navigational radio changes and OBS settings. We will always fly the #1 and intercept on the #2. This practice prevents confusion when the stress level rises. Prior to departure we set our #1 to 117.0 (ident) and 010. #2 goes to 116.8 and 022 for PITTS (ident) ADF goes to 335 On passing PITTS we will change to 115.2 and 196 for our REJOY (ident) turn. ADF goes to 356
To intercept the 016 we will change the #1 to 115.2 and 016 (ident) but turn to 000 for intercept. Alternatively we may lead the radial for interception. #2 now goes to 116.0 and 288 for our REJOY (ident) intercept and then to 116.4 and 086 for COUPS (ident) #1 goes to localizer 110.3
The Communications Radios
We will always talk on the #1 and get ATIS or FSS on #2 #1 on 121.9 or 118.75 #2 on 124.7 #2 goes to 125.5 SAC ATIS
Concord Ground aircraft type, location, with ATIS request tower enroute to Sacramento Executive will copy in the run-up area. Taxi. to (IFR Runway) Readback runway assignment.
Ready to copy
Aircraft is cleared to the Sacramento Executive Airport via The Buchannan 7 departure REJOY transition Sacramento direct
Climb and maintain 4000 Departure frequency will be 119.9 Squawk **** #1 119.7
Concord tower (Aircraft) ready on (runway) IFR Sacramento Executive Aircraft contact Travis Approach on 119.9 Aircraft going to 119.9 #1 119.9
Travis approach (aircraft) out of (altitude) for 4000 will
report the VOR (If Travis calls "Radar contact" no
Get SAC ATIS #2 on 125.5 Aircraft contact Sacramento Approach on 125.25 Aircraft going to 125.25 (Write it down just in case) #1 to 125.25
Sacramento approach (aircraft) level at 4000 with ATIS requesting
multiple approaches beginning with the ILS, VOR, NDB.
Full stop. Published missed with holding, radar vectors, etc.
(Aircraft) is cleared for the ILS Rwy2 approach. Departure procedure will be left turn to 250 climb and maintain 1500 report back to this frequency
(Aircraft) is cleared for the approach missed procedure is left to 250 maintain 1500 report back.
(Aircraft) contact Sacramento Executive Tower on 119.5
(Aircraft) going to tower on 119.5
Sacramento tower (Aircraft) inbound on the ILS for full stop
(Aircraft) Break off the approach at freeway and make left downwind
for 20 or missed as directed
(Aircraft) contact approach on 125.25
(Aircraft) cleared to land
(Aircraft) contact ground
Once we are in the aircraft but before starting we will make a complete run-through of all the radio changes required for the flight as well as what will be said by the pilot with the instructor acting as ATC.
Part 91 IFR approach limits are actually determined by the pilot. A pilot's comfort level under these 'no' limits are modified by our general sense of comfort regarding places, weather and equipment. The more we fly the likely is our comfort zone to be expanded. More importantly the more we fly the likely are we to know when not to shoot an approach.
Should you fly less that a few hours every week, you are probably not maintaining proficiency. Your instrument confidence is directly related to you willingness to fly to your comfort level at every opportunity. Failure to do so means you will regress.
--When flying IFR you must believe your instruments.
--Accidents usually occur when a safety option is compromised.
--Flying would be safer if we grew wise before aging, unfortunately this is not the case.
--Gauge of wisdom is remembering mistakes and options.
--Time in the air allows an accumulation of mistake reference library.
--A cruise clearance is a block of altitudes between the cleared altitude and the minimum IFR altitude.
--If a cruise clearance allows you to reach VFR you can cancel IFR.
--Maximum safety is achieved through a well-trained pilot.
--Part 91 has no published IFR minimums.
--You must know where you are.
--You must know where you are going and have a way of getting there.
--You must have guidance in executing the descent to landing.
--You must have a missed approach option if you can't land
--Aircraft condition and proper avionics.
--Approaches that are legal and pilot competent to perform. Precision approaches are always preferable.
--Safe is a better choice over legal.
--Brief the approach
--Briefing is especially important if you are solo IFR.
--Have all plates for the airport available on your lap.
--Real missed approaches are as frequent as holding patterns.
--Make only small control movements. Be slow and deliberate and even more so near the end.
--If you can't be smooth make the missed.
--Be on a stabilized approach by 1000' AGL. Be configured to land.
--In actual IFR minimize use of the radio after getting your clearance.
--Use your autopilot, coupled if possible. Use every aid you have available. A properly aligned ADF is best.
--Use a taxi diagrams once clear of the runway.
--the approach ends when the wheels stop.
--Give ATC appropriate PIREPS.
The IFR pilot who has just got rated is lacking the experience to safely use his rating in single pilot IFR. This problem exists as soon as a flight is planed in an unfamiliar aircraft. New IFR rated pilots should begin making all flights as IFR. The actual IFR flight should begin gradually with the actual conditions having a floor of several thousand feet AGL. There is a certain security in knowing VFR exists below. Your actual IFR departures and approaches are best made in MVFR where you can see if you have to.
Rating in a Hurry
After 9/11 and receiving a higher insurance bill because of my lack of an instrument rating three weeks ago
I decided to go for my instrument rating. Today I flew my first solo true IFR flight.
1. Called PIC (professional Instrument Courses) in Mid April. They offer the 10 day course where an instructor comes to your house.
2. Order King Instrument Videos, Checkride Video, and CD Rom test set
3. Signed up for Aviation Seminars 2 day Instrument Written Test
4. Watched King Videos, Got about 35% across the country on the CD Rom Test set (if you've used the King CD written test you'll know what I mean)
5. Attended Aviation Seminars for two intensive cram days on the written. Took the written 3 days later (92%)
6. PIC Instructor arrives at my house May 16th with an outdated simulator (but in the end it served its purpose). PIC Instructor very experienced 6500 hour pilot with my plane specific experience.
7. Intensive flying (4-5 hours a day) and ground school (4-5 hours a day) intermixed with questions from him to assess the level of my knowledge. Also lots of helpful suggestions to break me of the bad habits I seem to have picked up in the two years since I got my private pilot.
8. During first 5 days get increasingly stressed out since unable to locate an examiner for Memorial day weekend but finally PIC instructor goes further afield and locates checkride
9. May 24th day before the checkride get a real thrill with my first IMC. Had gotten really sick of the hood (incidentially foggles are terrible had to buy a real hood day 3)
10. Day 9 Checkride day spend the morning getting airsick doing steep turns etc etc. Fly to checkride airport and recover before examiner arrives.
11. Oral goes ok. Examiner extremely focused on MEA's and MOCA's (probably a good thing since ground is hard)
12. Checkride does cover all the things in the PTS as they claim. Some things go very well timed turns, ILS approach, GPS approach, VOR approach. For some reason I suddenly get stupid on basic flying skills like cockpit management (forgot to pull out the approach plates until I was in the air). Also made the mistake of letting examiner use a spare set of headphones which had a broken volume control dumb. Despite a collection of minor disasters I stuck with it and ended up passing.
IFR Cockpit Organization
--The most difficulty on an IFR flight occurs when ATC makes changes you do not want to make.
--Your level of assertiveness can make things better or worse depending on you and ATC.
--Like all things governmental, what is done initially is done for their convenience not yours.
--Any increase in workload will require that your flying the plane portion will be decreased.
--Distractions are the mice of IFR flight.
--Distractions can be trapped early by proper planning.
--Make an Anti-Distraction checklist.
1. Preflight includes pitot heat check.
2. Papers you cannot get to are useless.
3. Papers out of order or upside down are confusing.
4. Charts must be color coded and in proper order
5. The right seat is a desk even if it is a lap.
6. Clutter is a dirty word.
7. Select the most experienced passenger to sit next to you.
8. Always begin an approach series with the one requiring the least effort.
9. Always depart with the return to field approaches most available.
10. Prepare for your emergency before you takeoff.
11. Plan for a night time arrival before takeoff.
12. The compass is your most reliable instrument.
13. Clearance prior to engine start is a choice.
14. Clearance prior to taxi is always a choice.
15. Clearance in the run-up area is a choice.
16. Altimeter setting is a given.
--Reporting the glide slope out means that ATC may do one or more of the following:, reset, check with another aircraft, NOTAM it out, or contact a repair facility.
--The glide slope being out changes the approach from ILS into Localizer.
--Localizer frequencies are all between .08.1 and 111.95
--Localizer straight-in minimums are charted when within 30-degrees of the runway centerline.
--Minimum safe altitudes (MSA) do not necessarily provide radio reception.
--MSAs are always above mean sea level (MSL), 2l5 or 30 nautical miles circles with sectors of 90+degrees.
--The visibility required by an approach is determined by flight visibility
--What you can see at the decision altitude (DA) determines whether you land or go missed.
--An accident means you did not have required landing visibility.
IFR Flight Training Ideas
---U.S. Air Force IFR Manual
By putting the title into Google, you will go directly to the link by hitting the first link found by Google. Here's the Title of the Pub: AFMAN11-217V1
--Know the failure mode of your autopilot
--Turn on pitot heat before it gets wet.
--Vacuums with 500 hours of service are just waiting to fail.
--Separate the working from non-working instruments as quickly as you can and cover accordingly with 3" Post-its.
--Limit all banks to standard rate
--Calibrate your turn coordinator before going IFR.
--Use altimeter for level flight and VSI +airspeed for climbs and descents.
--Use timed turns for all turns. Use tongue clicks to count seconds
--Standard rate bank rule-of-thumb is 10% of airspeed times 1.5 = bank angle
--Report instrument failure to ATC and if IFR, declare an emergency.
--Request vector to VFR via assigned altitude and direction.
--Put 3" Post-its in your pocked prior to IFR flight.
---Peeking is possible with both hood and foggles
---Actual IFR flight and instruction is a necessity
I presume you have gone to the 'IFR contents' part of my site.I suggest you study the way you fly the plane. You should not be using any more than one finger and the thumb. Can you fly hands-off?
Get your flying at the various required speeds and their transitions so that flying is not a part of the IFR problem. You can do this part without an instructor. Lean to listen to the plane. Sound will tell you what is going on before your instruments and eyes.
You should search 'recorder' on my site and buy a digital recorder to record all your ground and flight instruction. By doing this you can play the recording back on your computer and take notes of what you think happened.
My plan is to use the recording so I can see if I taught what I thought I was teaching. My student can use his recording to see if he learned what I thought I was teaching. Comparing our notes will help both of us. TRY IT. It is worth the price of two recorders one for each of you.
Before making an instrument flight you and your instructor should walk and talk through the flight. First all the routes from takeoff to landing. Then all the altitudes. Then all the radio settings com and nav and what to expect, say and ask for. Last sit in the plane and run through all the com and nav things you need to do. Learn to turn the knobs in setting the OBS, Heading
bug, and frequencies etc before you need them. If you are not two steps ahead of what is happening then you are behind. You can do this without the instructor if he is charging for this activity. It is vital that you stay ahead of what is coming.
IFR Little Things
---If your ATC specialist makes a radio mistake correct it immediately
---Never accept a clearance for a procedure you are not equipped for.
---Speed reductions of 5% or 10 knots is a mandatory radio call
---Taxiing at night requires use of aircraft lights
---On an IFR clearance to an uncontrolled airport always monitor the CTAF
---Always write down the frequencies you expect to need.
---Regardless of altitude, know where a useable landing space is.
---Do not join and localizer without a clearance.
---Know your transponder codes
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Continued on Page7.21 No Problem Flying