Advanced IFR Techniques and Procedures Briefing video
Watch our instructor demonstrate pro techniques that make instrument flying easier (and safer)
Unlock the Full Power of the IFR System
The IFR system has a wealth of procedures that can make your life easier, if you know how to use them. They aren’t overly difficult to understand (or even fly), it just comes down to exposure. That’s where this program comes in. We’ll walk you through the “advanced” concepts and procedures that are not normally taught during Instrument training, yet are critical for flying IFR in the real world.
By watching our instructor make a series of Instrument flights that incorporate these essential procedures, you will gain a deeper understanding of the IFR system and how it all works together. You’ll learn tips and tricks for doing it right…and safely.
This online course includes nine end-to-end flights that explain and demonstrate the following:
Tower Enroute Control (TEC) Routes
Diverse Vector Areas at Non-towered Airports
Custom Waypoints in a GPS Flight Plan (under IFR)
Complex Textual ODPs
Departing No-IAP Airports
Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs)
Published Visual Climbs Over Airport (VCOA)
Best Practices For Negotiating With ATC
Vertical Navigation With GPS and Autopilot
Traps With Unpublished Descent Gradients
Standard Terminal Arrivals (STARs)
Cold Temperature Restrictions
Radius-to-fix (RF) Legs On Approaches
Hybrid GPS-Localizer Approaches
Circling Approach Survival Secrets
GPS Use On Localizer Back Courses
Localizer Directional Aids (The “other” ILS)
Taxi Hot Spots
Learn Using Our Proven Method
The end-to-end flight videos start with a detailed preflight briefing as a teaching opportunity, followed by an analysis of each step in the flight as it unfolds. We demonstrate these IFR procedures in a flight simulator, which allows us to zero in on the critical points for the task at hand.
Almost every flight is packed with essential procedures so there’s no downtime. Where longer stretches exist, they’re edited. However, we demonstrate one of the great secrets of IFR success with GPS and automation: Use the downtime wisely to simplify the busy phases of flight.
Along the way, the instructor provides an explanation of what’s happening as he demonstrates each technique and procedure in a way that’s easy to understand. He shares helpful tips on using ForeFlight and maximizing the utility of the GPS throughout the flight.
You’ll hear all the ATC interactions courtesy of PilotEdge (a service that provides live ATC for flight simulators). This is a critical part of understanding the concepts and techniques covered in this course.
After each flight, the Instructor will debrief to explain what he did, why he did it, and review the key learning points.
This combination of brief-fly-debrief is a proven method to deliver training with improved retention, something we’ve learned in 15 years of developing online courses.
Meet Your Instructor
Director, New Product Development, CFII
Ryan is responsible for the design and development of our new online training courses and pilot-friendly manuals, and oversees the course development team. He is also an active flight instructor specializing in instrument flight and is a flight simulator expert. He currently instructs out of Wausau, WI and has experience doing remote flight instruction via simulators.
Ryan was the driving force behind the development of several PilotWorkshops online courses, including Instrument Rating Accelerator,IFR: The Missing Lessons,Garmin GTN: Next Level, and Advanced IFR. Ryan is also a contributing expert for PilotWorkshops’ IFR Mastery series and is a regular participant in the Instructor’s Roundtable. He teaches ground schools, runs ATC communications courses for both IFR and VFR pilots, and has developed curriculum for a variety of IFR proficiency programs, and a simulator-centered high school aviation program.
Sample Briefing Video
“I was concerned that the Advanced IFR course would be over my head, but just the opposite. Ryan shows how using the full resources of the system makes IFR flying easier. The explanations were clear and easy to follow. Well done!"
Each flight starts with a detailed briefing where Ryan plans the flight, explains the IFR procedures that will be used, and tells you what to expect during the flight. This includes setup tips for the GPS. Then each flight is shown in real-time with full ATC interaction and instruction as the events of the flight unfold. Finally, there’s a short debrief where Ryan addresses a key point or two not covered in real-time during the flight and offers final thoughts.
Flight 1: "A Short, Busy Trip"
From/To:Riverside, CA (KRAL) – Long Beach, CA (KLGB) Briefing: 12 min Flight: 23 min Debrief: 2 min
Planning is essential for IFR flight in the L.A. Basin, especially when ATC expects you to have all the insider information. This includes finding the right Tower Enroute Control route and filing that code in your flight plan. It might also include an ODP assigned by ATC for traffic flow that you’re required to fly. Ryan lightens the load by backing up visual navigation (but still under IFR) with published approaches and visual tools built into the Garmin GTN navigator. But then he uncovers an easy trap for the complacent when prioritizing tasks in a busy terminal environment.
From/To: Long Beach, CA (KLGB) – Santa Maria, CA (KSMX) Briefing: 14 min Flight: 28 min Debrief: 2 min
This trip starts with tips for complex taxi instructions and using published runway hot spots, along with annotating a chart in ForeFlight. The departure includes an RNAV SID, which requires understanding the buttonology, limitations, and legalities of the GPS. SID instructions and amendments get covered. On the arrival side, the GPS is used for descent planning on a steep approach with stepdowns inside the final approach fix, as well as the legalities and practicalities of GPS for a localizer backcourse. A missed approach reveals a trick to fly a missed approach hold while simultaneously loading the next approach, all with only one GPS. Use syn vis and terrain screens to keep track of where the hills lurk.
Key Items: Hot spots, climb via SID, back course guidance, estimating unpublished descent gradients, syn vis, terrain, flight plan editing
Flight 3: "Short-Field to Class C"
From/To: Oceano, CA (L52) – Monterey, CA (KMRY) Briefing: 16 min Flight: 25 min Debrief: 2 min
Departing an airport without any published instrument procedures is made simpler and safer using the VFR sectional and a smart roll-your-own departure. The ForeFlight route advisor is helpful, but it’s better when you understand the ATC system for routings. (Hint: It’s not always about your departure and destination airports.) Planning also includes customizing the published VDP for your specific aircraft and customizing the VNAV profiles in the GPS for smart use of the autopilot (including the confusing VNAV Direct). Even with all that automation, Ryan demonstrates how some mental math acts as a backup and check that you pushed all the buttons correctly.
Key items: Departures from non-instrument airports, departure alternates, LP approaches with unofficial vertical guidance, adjusting the published VDP, customizing VNAV profiles
Flight 4: "Busy Airports and New-School Approaches"
From/To: Monterey, CA (KMRY) – Reno, NV (KRNO) Briefing: 10 min Flight: 23 min Debrief: 2 min
While the departure seems routine, there’s a commonly ignored gotcha that could bite the unsuspecting. It also involves building the departure in the GPS waypoint by waypoint, which can be legal even with an expired database. Then it’s a comfortable cruise that requires negotiation with ATC to stay practical. Things get busy with a GPS-ILS hybrid approach that’s becoming more common, including a radius-to-fix leg requiring a digital HSI. With true airspeed already high due to altitude, things are amped up by flying a “best forward speed” approach.
Key items: Non-standard diverse vector areas, RF leg, hybrid approaches (GPS/ILS), best forward speed, picking the best minimums, negotiating with ATC, legally using an expired database, autopilot tricks, digital ATIS
Flight 5: "Departure Traps and Non-Precision Approach Tricks"
From/To: Bremerton, WA (KPWT) – Wenatchee, WA (KEAT) Briefing: 17 min Flight: 27 min Debrief: 2 min
Another simple departure reveals a new hazard when the ODP is only textual. Ryan shows how annotating the enroute chart offers a good safety hedge. There are times when the VOR approach can be the best option, and this is one of those times. But it’s flown with GPS and autopilot to an airport where cold temperature corrections may apply. This is also a place where a shortcut from ATC is better declined than accepted, and what should be good visibility to circle actually is barely enough. Finally, some rules for circling when you must help ensure things stay on the rails.
Key items: Calling ATC on the phone, decline a shortcut, cryptic approach clearances, non-standard climbs, textual ODP tips and traps, cold temp restrictions, mystery paths to IAFs, dead reckoning legs, best rules for circling
Flight 6: "Belt and Suspenders (GPS + VORs + Eyeballs)"
From/To: Wenatchee, WA (KEAT) – Hermiston, OR (KHRI) Briefing: 10 min Flight: 19 min Debrief: 2 min
A graphical ODP means there’s something more complex you’d better get right. Some simplified climb planning helps ensure that works out. This can be cross-checked with the new performance profiles in ForeFlight. The GPS is a huge help, but only if you know when to manually sequence it and when it’s going to act on its own. You may also need to create a hold that won’t appear in any database. The contact approach becomes the right tool for weather that’s almost—but not quite—good enough for visual approach. Smart GPS use makes what could be sketchy, far safer.
Key items: Planning backups for GPS, graphical ODPs, simplified climb gradient planning, ForeFlight performance planning, creating custom holds in the GPS, loading airways, contact approach requests and best practices
Flight 7: "Night Flight in the High Country"
From/To: Springfield, CO (8V7) – Denver, CO (KAPA) Briefing: 12 min Flight: 21 min Debrief: 2 min
The diverse departure gives flexibility but nearby military airspace restricts it. Putting a custom waypoint by radial/distance from a VOR into the flightplan, the GPS, and ForeFlight makes things simple. The arrival into the Denver area brings STARs into the picture with potential descend via clearances, and the proximity of terrain at night means synthetic vision, profile views, and terrain overlays come into play. Loading vectors to final is fine on a GTN, but there are still tricks to be used when on vectors that let you almost read ATC’s mind.
Key items: Custom radial/distance waypoints, diverse departures, planning around SUAs, selecting STARs, descend via clearances, sidestep approach procedures, terrain awareness, high-speed approach
Flight 8: "Multiple Crossings, Steep Descents, and High True Airspeed"
From/To: Denver, CO (KAPA) – Eagle, CO (KEGE) Briefing: 9 min Flight: 17 min Debrief: 2 min
How do you pick the right SID when there’s more than a page worth? ForeFlight can be a huge help if you know where to look. How can you descend below DA even when the airport isn’t in sight? It can happen with a fly visual segment, but you’d better understand what that means for a missed approach. This trip requires multiple stepdowns with multiple nav sources, and even with a good autopilot, it’s easy to fall behind.
Key items: Picking a SID, LDA with a glideslope, legal descent below the DA, arrival holds, alternate missed approach, automation gotchas, discrepancies between GPS and VOR courses, steep descents and high TAS
Flight 9: "Hurry to the Most Challenging U.S. Approach"
From/To: Eagle, CO (KEGE) – Aspen, CO (KASE) Briefing: 12 min Flight: 17 min Debrief: 2 min
Sometimes the only way out is the Visual Climb Over the Airport, which happens here before a rush to get established on the notorious localizer into Aspen—which requires over twice the descent rate of a typical instrument approach. This means adjusting standard performance profiles in anticipation of the anvil descent, yet having a workable backup plan in case you don’t quite get down. Once you commit at Aspen, the complex missed approach is no longer an option.
Key items: Ruling out SIDs, visual climb over airport (VCOA), the notorious Aspen localizer approach, altering performances profiles, unusual missed approach, circling in the mountains, intercepting VOR radials with GPS
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I access the Advanced IFR videos?
A. Your videos are available online via a secure, password protected website. You can watch the videos on any device — Windows PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android. The website has a simple menu structure so you can easily find the segment you want to watch and start it with the click of a button.
Q: Will my online access ever expire?
A: No. Once you register your login credentials, they will never expire. You will always have access to the program.
Q: Can I download the video files onto my iPad?
A: If you have an internet connection, you can watch the videos online without downloading them. However, you can also move the video files from the optional USB drive to your iPad (using your computer and iTunes) which will allow you to watch the videos without an internet connection. We provide step-by-step directions for moving these files to your iPad.
Q. Can I access the videos from more than one computer or device?
A. Yes – with your login info, you can access the site from any device as often as you want for personal use.
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