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 […]
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?