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 […]
You’re waiting for an IFR release with clear sky only 1000 feet above you. Yet you’re stuck—unless you can come up with a creative way to work around the core limitations of IFR from non-towered airports. The wrong decision cost someone his certificate in a famous enforcement case. Will you make the right one?
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?
Conditions are practically VFR, but it’s night in mountainous terrain so your IFR routing provides the safety you want. Then you realize the controller’s last clearance is lower than you’d expect for this route. Is that a non-issue, or a controlled flight into terrain waiting to happen? The aircraft synthetic vision and terrain-warning systems show […]