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Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

Thunderstorm - Think

Thunderstorm - Think

Now that we're in the spring months, it's time to revisit one of our old friends, the thunderstorm, and take a close look at this hazard like a forecaster.

In today’s age of accurate forecasts and effective detection, it’s easy to avoid thunderstorms. However, with tight schedules and overconfidence leading to a failure to exercise proper thunderstorm avoidance, thunderstorms remain a significant cause of aviation accidents, with wind shear often playing a leading role. A recent memo by Airbus stated that wind shear is involved in four percent of approach and landing accidents and is the ninth leading cause of fatalities.

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Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks

Flying is full of useful little tricks that can make your flight easier, safer or simply more enjoyable. Here are a few that Ive picked up along the way.

Teaching teaches the teacher. I’ve got over 4000 hours total time and of that over 3000 hours teaching instruments. In that time, my students have taught me quite a bit and I’ve picked up a few tricks on my own. Here’s a compendium of helpful little tips and tricks.\n

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Silent Running

Silent Running

Part of training in the air traffic control profession is learning to recognize patterns in the flow of aircraft. Knowing what to expect from our traffic makes it all the more obvious when something doesn’t look or feel right. It’s not a “spidey-sense” or anything, but it can help us recognize developing situations more quickly.

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IFR Gone Good

IFR Gone Good

The nature of IFR flight is that we train, prepare and even plan for the worst. Its enough to make us lose sight of the great utility and satisfaction available in a typical flight.

I recently had a beautiful IMC flight on which I relearned how wonderful our capability to operate in the IMC world is. It’s easy to lose that awe for the beauty of our environment and the utility of the machines at our disposal as we move safely through this environment.

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Calling For Help

Calling For Help

Teamwork and sound decision-making by both pilots and controllers can turn a sketchy situation into a smooth save with no remnants other than there I was stories.

Flight is a study in contrasts, well beyond the obvious “thrust versus drag” equation. A brilliant blue sky rife with possibilities and adventure can quickly turn woefully lonely when your aircraft or the people in it are in distress.

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Thunderstorm-Think

Thunderstorm-Think

Now that were in the spring months, its time to revisit one of our old friends, the thunderstorm, and take a close look at this hazard like a forecaster.

In today’s age of accurate forecasts and effective detection, it’s easy to avoid thunderstorms. However, with tight schedules and overconfidence leading to a failure to exercise proper thunderstorm avoidance, thunderstorms remain a significant cause of aviation accidents, with wind shear often playing a leading role.

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GA Takeoff Minimums

Part 91 flyers neednt worry much about regulatory departure minimums. So, what about all that takeoff minimums stuff thats published? Should we care?

Many sharp instrument students and pilots, when asked what items must be considered for an IFR departure, go confidently to Section L of the Terminal Procedures Publication, TPP, and talk about the Obstacle Departure Procedures, ODPs. This makes me confident they’re on the right track. But many will then either gloss over or improvise their way through the section on takeoff minimums. This information looks important, with restrictive numbers and climb gradients in it. Many CFIIs, though, just teach that it doesn’t matter at this stage. True enough, but knowing a little about them can help us make better departure decisions.

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