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.
Surrounded by thunderstorms and running low on options, you’ve got a devil’s bargain to contend with. Continuing with Plan A could complete a life-saving mission — or cost you a life you’re quite attached to. Yet bailing out means beelining heavy weather, hard rocks, or military aircraft who aren’t friendly to visitors.
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?
An economical bird means cheaper flight hours and a chance to enjoy the scenery. It also may require extra precautions when said scenery is hidden inside a cloud deck. That’s not a problem when you plan ahead, but how will you handle a helpful controller who might, or might not, have all the information?
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?
Every pilot has been there: A need to drain a certain personal sump and a choice between holding it or diverting for a pit stop. However, this diversion is in IMC and the best approach includes a requirement you can’t meet, but certainly won’t need. Will you go for it … or just go later?
Your Piper Comanche might be five decades old, but choice modifications let it keep pace with factory-new aircraft costing five times as much. Some of the classic systems, however, have limitations. Now a jammed handle has you choosing between four challenging—but quite different—plans to deal with it.
This flight from the midwest to Texas has been an all-day game of dodge-storm. That was fine until now when the last leg has you caught between the thunderheads on one side and Class Bravo arrival paths on the other. How much will you push back when ATC points you somewhere you’d rather not go?
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Climb into the clear above potential icing and ride fantastic tailwinds all the way home. You’d arrive in time for a VFR descent and dinner. Now you’re on top of a rising undercast with only oxygen-required altitudes above and known icing below. What’s the best move?
It’s not everyday you get to haul half a ton of auto parts in your airplane, but your friend has parts for a Corvette project that needs getting, and you have the plane to get it. It’s a great day until one small snag turns the road trip movie into an exercise in legal interpretations.
Slogging along in wind and rain at the minimum altitude for the airway, you’ve been in and out of communication with ATC for the past hour. A shortcut clearance promised to lessen your misery but now presents you with a situation they never covered with the black-and-white rules from your IFR ground school.