This month, the roles are reversed and you’re a controller trying to help a pilot in need. The pilot’s plight puts you in the hot seat, where you see several options—none of which are found anywhere in the controller’s manual. Do you play by the book, or give the pilot what he really needs?
It’s a cold and snowy approach to Boise, Idaho. All is going well until your altimeter disagrees with your glideslope indications. You’re used to making cold-weather corrections, but none are needed for this approach. Do you continue on faith, adjust your minimums, or give up even though your business future is on the line?
You’re off to retrieve your son from college in an airplane that got washed by the line crew before getting washed by the clouds. Now you’re deep in the soup with an uncertain altitude and a list of poor options to get back on the ground. How will you choose?
You launch into low IFR, confident in your aircraft and your ability — only to recognize a failure moments before plunging fully into the clouds. There are only seconds to decide between seizing your last chance for a VFR return, or one of three IFR options, each of which requires emergency-level skills to get you […]
If you want a landing at your home airport tonight, you’ll need to make a tough call. Will you fly an ILS that has an unusually high visibility requirement, a localizer approach that could leave you too high, a circle-to-land that’s aligned with the wind, or simply land elsewhere? Perhaps synthetic vision will help.
After a week enjoying the splendor of the Grand Canyon, you’re one instrument approach away from a safe return home. Unfortunately, a system failure leaves you unable to talk with ATC and you’ll arrive at your destination 45 minutes ahead of schedule. As the classic lyrics ask: Should you stay or should you go?
Some routes for IFR flight are direct at any altitude you want, and others are down a tunnel ATC assigns without room for compromise. How will you negotiate a route across New York airspace when there’s icing above, airline traffic below, a cold ocean to the left, and heavy snow approaching from the right?
A trip to a big city airport throws you a curve, and now you’re on climbout and confused without much time for clarification. What’s the proper choice in terms of safety, even if you’re not sure it’s correct by the book? And if you choose wrong, how much trouble might you cause?