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 […]
You’ve got what might be the most important date of your life just one simple LPV approach away. Encroaching weather is putting on the squeeze, however, so you speed things up with a tight intercept. Your GPS navigator isn’t playing along. Will you salvage this situation in the next seconds—or go back into the worsening […]
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?