You’ve got a capable airplane and an important mission, but one small problem will make this landing a challenging one. If you can just get on the ground, you can get the problem fixed and everyone on their way. But how will you do that when you can’t see straight ahead?
The flight was planned in a narrow zone above the MEAs but below the icing. That zone dwindles to zero just as the destination comes in reach, but you aren’t ATC’s priority. Then a controller offers you exactly what you want. Now you must ask yourself: Is it what you need?
Instrument pilots train for all sorts of failures: communication, navigation, instrumentation, and even propulsion. But what about a failure of the entire ATC system for your sector? It doesn’t matter how cutting edge your navigation equipment might be if air traffic rules from 1951 keep you flying in circles unable to reach your destination.
You have somewhere to be, and one lousy antenna just broke on your airplane. What’s even more annoying is that you never use that system anyway. Is it reasonable to make this flight IFR? What about a shorter IFR or VFR flight to fix the problem? Or, is there perhaps another solution?
Whenever you depart into low IMC, you load the approach coming back in case you need a hasty return. Is a partial engine failure the time to execute that plan? Or is it so urgent, you need to reverse course and land against traffic? The plane has a parachute as well, but that presents its […]
You’re keeping your speed up until final at a busy Class B airport. Then ATC throws you a curveball: a visual approach to a crossing runway. You swing a tight downwind, base and final—only to go back in the clouds. But there’s no missed approach from a visual, so what will you do?
After weaving around cells all morning, it’s time to call it a day. ATC turns you toward the approach for the nearest airport—and right into a cell that was not where it showed on your NEXRAD display. Will you do an about face to get out of it, or just cross over to the other […]
With mountains below and icing above, you already have a narrow envelope for finishing this flight. Then a GPS issue leaves you with only four airports available for an approach—each of which lies in a different direction. How will you choose knowing that once you make the call you’re committed and there’s little leeway for […]
A thin layer of IFR separates you from a trip home. The plane is legal, but the GPS database isn’t current and you’ve been assigned an RNAV departure. To make things worse, that’s the only published departure. Can you fly it safely? Can you fly it legally? Or, is it better to roll something of […]
GPS has enabled approaches at far more airports than ever before. But with over 5000 public use airports in the U.S. alone, there will always be times when the weather demands IFR and your destination has no instrument approach. Can you “borrow” an approach from a nearby airport without breaking the rules or an airplane?
You’ve lost your vacuum system in a conventional-gauge airplane in IMC. However, you still have an autopilot to keep the shiny side on top. You must fly the approach to save the day, but there are several different ways you could use the remaining equipment to do it. Which one is most likely to succeed?
It’s a quick trip for a lunch date on a VFR day. However, it’s busy airspace, so you file IFR to make your life easier. When it’s time for the visual approach, you get sent over to Tower but without one key item in place. That omission puts you between a regulation and a hard […]