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?
Standard Instrument Departures, or SIDs, were supposed to simplify departure clearances and procedures. Yet the FAA keeps tweaking the wording because everyone seems confused the moment there’s an “except” tossed in. What will you do when the instructions seem clear until you try to actually fly them in busy SoCal airspace?
You’re flying the last approach of a three-day intensive IFR training program. The workload has been high, but the results are great. You’re practically one with your airplane. When you break out and see the runway is dead ahead, you cancel IFR—and a moment later must make a split-second decision to avoid disaster.
Circling approaches have their place—and this time that place is between a rock and something hard. Visibility is restricted, so by the time you see the airport, if you fly this as published, you’ll be hot and high. But the terrain and traffic limit other options. What’s the best way to resolve this conundrum?
Low, stable IFR is perfect for practice in actual conditions. That’s until you’re left with only battery power and the nearest VFR is over an hour away. Now you must choose: Is it better to try an instrument approach right away, or fly everything shut down until you reach VFR?
Options are limited with a departure in some of the nation’s busiest airspace and a route right through a thunderstorm is a no-go. Unfortunately, the best route for you is a non-starter for ATC. How will you negotiate for something you can fly without breaking the airplane or going a hundred miles out of your […]
Who would have thought a few wildfires and a bit of runway painting could turn your destination into an all-day waiting game? Now you’re pressed balancing the needs of passengers with medical issues against the intractable flow-control system. What’s the best way to get the timing you want without giving up the IFR protection you […]
At the end of a long flight, you just want to land, but a trainee controller and instrument practice traffic have created the perfect storm—and you’ve just been cleared directly into it. Can you trust a controller who’s already made an operational error, or will you violate an FAR because you believe it will avoid […]
Professional flying means rolling with the changes thrown your way. However, a last-minute route change has you scratching your head, while the passengers in the back twiddle their thumbs. The simplest solution makes things harder for you, but the safest one could be a challenge on your equipment. How will you get this flight underway?
Low IFR conditions just over the mountains tempts two pilots with perfect conditions to practice IFR. It all goes as planned until one surprise event creates a cascade of consequences. Which devil would you choose if forced to weigh multiple benefits that come with multiple drawbacks? There are no easy choices, and none come for […]
If your POH says flight into known icing is prohibited, you can’t do it. But icing in the real world isn’t so cut-and-dried. How will you complete a flight that hasn’t seen a hint of ice, even in sub-freezing temps, but where descending into the clouds below you could be a non-event—or an emergency you’re […]