Send me BRIEFINGS from IFR, FREE!

Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

GFC_600_AP_controllerProcessed

High-End Autopilots

As an airplane owner, I quietly find myself looking at each new device both as an editor and as a potential buyer. Of course, most owners find new gadgets attractive, but when you actually get to try these things out, use them in action, well, I often find it more difficult than others to resist. So, flying these new autopilots in my aircraft type left me wanting one right away even though my autopilot works perfectly. Are you feeling my pain yet? Nah, I didn’t think so…

Continue Reading

IFR MAGAZINE QUIZ

December 2018 Killer Quiz: Non-Tower Operations

In March, the FAA issued Advisory Circular 90-66B titled “Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations.” Some elements of the AC apply directly to IFR operations and most of the rest apply to everyone. Make sure you’re up on the latest with this quiz.

Continue Reading

EMSprocessed

Preflight Briefings

Be aware of the distinction between MSL and AGL. Cloud heights associated with airports are customarily given in AGL. But areal guidance products, area forecasts, and PIREPs, use MSL. Also, anything stated as a “ceiling” or carrying the “CIG” abbreviation is AGL. Since IFR and MVFR conditions are based upon ceiling height, centralized products will always use AGL ceilings when constructing an IFR/MVFR depiction. If there is any doubt, find the information ahead of time or talk to a briefer.

Continue Reading

RadioSelectorProcessed

ATC Radios and Sectors

Another day, same drill, but the controller is talking to another airplane on another frequency, so you might hear “say again” more than once. ATC is often tasked to use multiple frequencies at once. It’s not the easiest thing to do with people talking on both, but we adapt and prioritize. One way we adapt to prioritizing is by the airplane’s speed. The faster they are going, the more likely it is that I need to get to them first before they enter another controller’s airspace without coordination.

Continue Reading

RemoteTowerProcessed

FAA Reauthorization

The law provides $3.35 billion for airport planning and development and noise compatibility planning and programs. Appropriations for facilities and equipment from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund will run for the same term, increasing annually from $3.33 to $3.707 billion in 2023. These monies will be used in part to upgrade ASOS/AWOS systems, fund remote (unattended) towers, eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog of air navigation facilities (many of which are over 40 years old) and improve cybersecurity within ATC as well as in the National Airspace System.

Continue Reading

KMEI_ILS-LOC19-AISprocessed

It's In The Presentation

Pilots read the notes and take them as gospel. But as approaches get more complex, summing it up in a few words can mean summing it up wrong.

Regard the Jeppesen version of the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 19 approach to Meridian, MS (KMEI). This chart shows the simplest TAA you can have. The limit for a turn based on GPS is 90 degrees, so the maximum allowable turn from a route direct to the IAF to the leg after crossing the IAF is 90 degrees. This means each TAA should contain at least two sectors, divided by courses 90 degrees off the inbound course.

Continue Reading

GFC_600_AP_controllerProcessed

High-End Autopilots

As an airplane owner, I quietly find myself looking at each new device both as an editor and as a potential buyer. Of course, most owners find new gadgets attractive, but when you actually get to try these things out, use them in action, well, I often find it more difficult than others to resist. So, flying these new autopilots in my aircraft type left me wanting one right away even though my autopilot works perfectly. Are you feeling my pain yet? Nah, I didn’t think so…

Continue Reading

KAST_ILS26processed

Readback: December 2018

I’m known to get my “murds wixed” up when talking to ATC, but try not to mix up inbound course headings. I know this was just a typo, but some 9th grade English teacher turned pilot will point this out to Fred. By the way, I am not that teacher, as I graduated in the 1/3 of the class that made the upper 2/3 possible! But then again, this could have been a test to see who could spot the error in this month’s magazine and for finding the error, that person will be awarded a brand new airplane. If that’s the case, then my address is…

Continue Reading

Briefing: December 2018

Last year, the FAA offered a $500 rebate to aircraft operators who installed new equipment to meet the 2020 ADS-B mandate, but that offer expired in September 2017. Now the FAA has reinstated the program, with enough funding for 9,800 more rebates. The offer will end on October 11, 2019, or when the money runs out. The FAA has repeatedly said the compliance deadline won’t be pushed back, and any aircraft lacking ADS-B-out won’t be allowed to fly in most controlled airspace after Jan. 1, 2020. “The ADS-B mandate is not going away,” said FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. “Now is the time for aircraft owners to equip.” More details can be found atwww.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/.

Continue Reading

The Twin Cessna Flyer

Maintenance: Legal vs. Safe

My motivation to write this right now is that my Cessna 340 is at the shop getting its annual. This year I chose what is arguably the best Twin Cessna maintenance facility in the world, TAS Aviation in Defiance, Ohio. Yes, Defiance is a long way from my Santa Fe, New Mexico home base—about 1100 NM and two legs, in each direction—but, I chose this shop for good reasons having far more to do with safe than just legal.

Continue Reading

On The Air: December 2018

A few days ago, departing Minot North Dakota for Duluth in a Skylane, I asked ATC if the NOTAM for military training at Duluth had the airport closed, or whether it was open to GA traffic. He asked me to stand by for a minute, and then said, “It’s closed at the moment, but will reopen in 30 minutes, so unless you are doing Mach 3, you should have no problem.”

Continue Reading

IFR_Dec_2018_Cover_Image

Download The Full December 2018 Issue PDF

My motivation to write this right now is that my Cessna 340 is at the shop getting its annual. This year I chose what is arguably the best Twin Cessna maintenance facility in the world, TAS Aviation in Defiance, Ohio. Yes, Defiance is a long way from my Santa Fe, New Mexico home base—about 1100 NM and two legs, in each direction—but, I chose this shop for good reasons having far more to do with safe than just legal.

Continue Reading