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Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

Loud, Clear, No Fear
When ATC issues you a hold short instruction, youre required to read it back, no matter how big of a gun your rides packing. From A-10 Warthogs to 747s to Piper Cubs, the rule stays the same.

Loud, Clear, No Fear

Getting a handle on radio communications takes a little bit of confidence, but it can make a world of difference in your dealings with ATC.

Our main airport has several flight schools and they keep us air traffic controllers quite busy. It’s easy to tell when they get a new batch of students—those first radio calls for VFR clearances and eventual taxi and takeoff are usually halting, uncertain affairs, dragging on as students parrot their instructors without truly understanding the lingo. It can be almost as painful for us as for the student.

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Angle of Attack

Angle of Attack

Since the beginning of winged flight, aviators have fought a proxy battle with lift. Recent advances are allowing GA to battle head-on.

Research by the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, a group chartered by the FAA to improve GA safety, attributed 40 percent of fatal GA accidents to loss of control in flight. That is more than the next six causes, combined. Many of these accidents resulted from inadvertent stalls and spins. The group’s top recommendation for improving safety was installing AOA indicators in GA airplanes.

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Proficiency in Pieces 2.5

Proficiency in Pieces 2.5

The final cornerstone of this proficiency-maintaining program is working with the right instructor, under the right techniques and maintaining the right mind set.

Previously, I’ve described a practice of regular recurrent training in two articles: “Proficiency in Pieces,” in the July 2007 issue of IFR, and its follow-up, “Proficiency in Pieces 2.0” in April, 2012. This program is a simulator-based recurrent training program in which you specify the minimums to which you want to train.

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Routing Puzzles

Routing Puzzles

The simple ones are, well, simple. Its the odd balls that can leave you scratching your head, wondering what to do. With a few basics, though, even those get easier.

In the December 2014 issue, I answered a question from Tim, a reader, regarding filing an IFR flight plan. DUATS’ flight planner computer accepted the flight plan but the FSS planner rejected it. That was disconcerting, so we dug into it. This article will explain what’s happening and I’ll illustrate how different flight planning tools can behave differently with some less common routing elements.

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Read Beside The Lines

Read Beside The Lines

In the regulated world of IFR, anything out of the ordinary should start little red flags waving around your noggin. What arent they telling you here?

Harvey Field in western Washington State (S43) is one of those almost mythical GA wonderlands. Cloth-clad antiques trundle down a runway that requires mowing while skydivers pack a careworn Caravan for just one more jump. Views of both can be enjoyed from the windows of on-field café.

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How Old is Too Old?

How Old is Too Old?

Many times I’ve mentioned that my day job is flying airliners. With flying as a second career for me after 30 years in the computer industry, I’m often asked how long I intend to fly. My flip answer has always been, “Until I bust a sim check, line check or medical, or until the company pisses me off one too many times.” I never thought to add, “Until I age out.”

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Readback: March 2015

Readback: March 2015

Have any other nitpickers written about the illustration on page 15 of your November 2014 issue accompanying the “Simulators Are Not Airplanes” sidebar? The author of the very good article writes about how “we developed our own VOR approach to a carrier in San Francisco Bay.” And the illustration shows a small plane at 200 feet and 75 knots airspeed, headed straight for a carrier deck, apparently on final approach.

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