In mid-October, the FAA presented us with an entirely revised edition of the AIM. There is quite a lot that is new, like MON, WRAs, GFAs and ALDARS. Some topics and terms have been revised. Take a turn through the quiz to see if you’re up-to-date on the latest information.
No matter how carefully you plan, problems seem to appear. But they can be mitigated exercising care in planning, situational awareness, and knowledge. Here, we focus on knowledge to help you gain that essential element of situational awareness to build on the rules of thumb you’re originally taught.
Albert Einstein is reputed as saying that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. In March, “Manage Your Electrons,” attempted to explain certain concepts and principles without overwhelming readers unfamiliar with batteries and electrical systems. In so doing, we may have violated Einstein’s directive, because we’ve gotten a lot of mail complaining at our oversimplification. So, here is a more detailed explanation of much of what we conveyed in that article.
The optimistic among us, besides having sunnier dispositions when asked to copy a reroute or enter a hold, like to assume positive outcomes during flight planning. This means looking for bright spots (literally) in weather forecasts and finding the upsides to adjusting departure times. While it’s nice to have a good attitude in flight, completely ignoring the pessimist in you can result in not-so-positive results.
Given a choice, chances are a pilot will pick a vertically guided approach over a non-precision approach. They’re easier to fly and the minimums are almost always lower. From a design perspective they also afford stricter obstacle clearance assurances. What’s not to love? That’s probably what the thought process was like that nearly led to a significant portion of non-precision approaches being cancelled or severely restricted in late 2017. …
Your favorite phrase as a pilot probably isn’t, “Go around.” You might have been set up on final, aircraft perfectly configured, ready to call it a day, and suddenly you’ve got to throw all that out and try again. For a controller, the go-around is a last-minute tactic to resolve insufficient clearance or some other unexpected danger. Sure, it fixes an immediate problem, but it instantly creates other risks. Whether ATC initiates it, or you do, it’s adding complexity for everyone involved.
Feedback on our sim challenges has been masochistic appreciation of nasty stepdowns and harsh tailwinds. This time we’ll build on that by doing stepdowns with a twist—literally. One of our approaches is a head-scratching DME arc to the missed approach at Martin State Airport (KMTN). It’s a constantly changing final approach course from the days before cool RNP. And it’s available to anyone with a real VOR and DME ... or maybe even GPS.