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Introducing Graphical Forecasts for Aviation
ForeFlight users can view MOS (Model Output Statistics) forecasts directly. The rest of us can just search for them on the web.

Introducing Graphical Forecasts for Aviation

In the summer of 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register its intent to do away with the Area Forecast (FA) and replace it with digital and graphical alternatives. The agency wrote that the FA was a “broad forecast of limited value” and that existing, better, alternatives existed.

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drone

Here Come the Drone NOTAMS

While reports of drone near-misses from airline pilots at major airports tend to be sensational, most of us believe that for small consumer-grade drones that weigh less than a pound, the safety risk is similar to wildlife strikes, which occur daily, NOTAM or no NOTAM.

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Decision Altitude VS. Minimum Descent Altitude

Decision Altitude VS. Minimum Descent Altitude

It’s easy to munge DA and MDA into the single concept of minimums. Yet, decision altitude (DA) and minimum descent altitude (MDA) are very different concepts. As the names suggest, DA is a decision point while MDA is the lowest altitude allowed without visuals.

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Introducing Graphical Forecasts for Aviation

Introducing Graphical Forecasts for Aviation

In the summer of 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register its intent to do away with the Area Forecast (FA) and replace it with digital and graphical alternatives. The agency wrote that the FA was a “broad forecast of limited value” and that existing, better, alternatives existed.

Continue Reading

There's An Advisory Circular for That

There's An Advisory Circular for That

Advisory Circulars are perhaps the least-read material published by the FAA, quite possibly due to their bureaucratic-sounding name. But if you’re willing to go on a little scavenger hunt, you’ll likely find in-depth information on some of your favorite topics. There are hundreds of ACs, from how to build an airport to the inner workings of airworthiness standards. Of course, most of these have limited appeal, but if you just want some good nuggets about operating in the system, there are plenty of pilot-friendly items, too.

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Certification Using ACS

Certification Using ACS

After years of living with a multitude of imperfections in the process of certifying airmen, in September 2011 the FAA decided to act. Now nearly five years later, a totally revamped system called Airman Certification Standards (ACS) is planned to take effect on June 15, 2016, starting with Private Pilot and Instrument Airplane certification.

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Wake Turbulence: Silent But Deadly

Wake Turbulence: Silent But Deadly

A low morning fog crept onto the airport as I cleared a CRJ-900 regional jet for takeoff. The RJ lifted, passing just above the vaporous wall, and I switched him to Departure. I waited, watching for something I dealt with every day as an air traffic controller, but had never witnessed.

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Reverse Sensing

Reverse Sensing

Some of you are already yawning, thinking to yourselves, “With GPS and moving maps, who needs VHF nav anyway?” To an extent, that’s a valid argument, especially regarding VORs. But, there are still a lot of localizer and localizer back course approaches out there, and you may have to fly one. You shouldn’t entirely dismiss VHF navigation just yet.

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Briefing

Europe’s major general aviation show, Aero Friedrichshafen, opened in April with a focus on new technology. Prospective Icon A5 owners have been waiting years for their amphibious LSA, but this spring, many buyers balked at the 40-page contract they were asked to sign. In April, the Senate passed a new FAA funding bill that satisfied many general-aviation advocates, but the bill must still be reconciled with the House bill, which would shift control of ATC to a not-for-profit corporation, with scant support in GA groups.

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Readback

Readback

Reading your explanation of the TERPZ FIVE DEPARTURE at BWI, which was in response to a question regarding altitude restrictions and expectations, I am not convinced that the procedure as published is clear.

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On the Air

On the Air

I was in the Peace Corps in the early 1970s in Colombia, so I learned Spanish. A few years later, January, 1977, I took my girlfriend in my Cessna 150 for a three-week trip around the Caribbean basin to visit Colombia. On the way we made a fuel stop at the main airport in Caracas, Venezuela. (We made a number of fuel stops in the 150, in fact.)

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Download the Full June 2016 Issue PDF

Download the Full June 2016 Issue PDF

Practice doesn’t always require actual performance—it can be as simple as mentally reviewing the steps. Precision (and, as we’ll see, CDFA non-precision) approaches provide time to accomplish a go-around review. Intercepting glideslope at 1500 feet AGL provides time to establish a descent and review a go-around before counting down to minimums.

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