Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

October 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

Download The Full October 2017 Issue PDFSubscribers Only

His destination airport had a runway closed. The advertised approach that he was supposed to be flying was an approach to the closed runway, with a circle to the active runway. That’s how I’d been clearing him. The way things were going, I was taking no chances. I verified on-frequency that he was aware of the runway closure and that he was supposed to circle to the other runway. It seemed to get across, although I can’t say for certain if he knew about it before I spoke up.


Briefing October 2017

Flight Design, based in Germany, has long held a top spot in deliveries of light sport airplanes in the U.S., but it has been in receivership in Germany since February 2016. The company announced in July it now has new owners, Lift Air, from Eisenach, Germany. “I am glad that we are able to maintain the know-how of one of the world’s market leaders in the light aircraft sector and to secure it with a well-funded investor,” said Knut Rebholz, insolvency administrator. The company will now be called Flight Design General Aviation GmbH. Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA, told AVweb he’s “thrilled” with the news.


More Weather RadarSubscribers Only

In our last issue, we talked about the building blocks of weather radar—how it was developed, the basics of radio waves, problems with radar sampling, and the important differences between composite and base reflectivity. If you haven’t read that, I highly recommend you do so to get a good grounding in radar fundamentals. In this issue we’ll take that knowledge and teach you a bit about interpretation.

Driving All NightSubscribers Only

About the only thing I personally know about Lincoln, Nebraska is a Denny’s off Interstate 80. In my moderately delinquent youth, I helped a friend who couldn’t afford a move from Connecticut to Colorado by renting a truck for local use one Thursday afternoon, disconnecting the odometer, round tripping across two time zones, and reconnecting it in time to log 30 miles before returning the truck Monday morning.


In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. The American psyche was troubled by the potential of this technological second place. This planted the seeds of one of America’s greatest military and technological innovations—GPS.

Seriously Bad IFR FlightSubscribers Only

Each year I pore through between 1500 and 2000 NTSB accident/incident reports searching for bonehead pilots who heed the siren’s call of stupidity and invent creative means of destroying a variety of aircraft without killing anyone. To walk the “Stupid Pilot Tricks” red carpet requires a willingness to ignore good airmanship and, frankly, dance with fools.

Multiple ApproachesSubscribers Only

Even after a couple hundred hours behind my Garmin GTN 650, there are still things I struggle to do properly. Chief among those is flying multiple approaches. Sure, we mostly have to do that in practice, but if you miss at a busy airport or the winds change after you’ve set up, you might find yourself needing to plug in that second approach, or third. If you were like me, you’d get things hopelessly bollixed up before you just cleared the flight plan and started over.

Working the Problem

From reading Hadfield’s autobiography An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earthand listening to various interviews online, it’s clear Hadfield is no stranger to unexpected problems. From a seagull strike in an F/A-18 Hornet fighter at 500 knots a mere 50 feet above the water, to temporarily going blind during his first spacewalk because of contamination in his helmet, he has faced some unique situations.

On the Air

On The Air: October 2017

This August, just before the solar eclipse passed through the U.S., pilots from all over Utah flocked to southern Idaho into the zone of totality. The tower at Ogden Airport was busy, with a single controller handling tower and ground frequencies. As I taxied to the departure runway, several pilots called for clearances.


Readback October 2017

The absolute best bang for the buck in charting is via a tablet and app as you’re using. You didn’t mention your transponder, but if you’ve got a new Garmin GTX 345, you’ve already got some connectivity between the iPad and GNS430W. Otherwise, you might consider a Flightstream 210 for that connection to exchange a lot of data between tablet and navigator.


Not Quite Up With the Times

The FAA, it is said, lags technology—sometimes significantly. These pages have been sprinkled with examples over the years. One recent example was in Jeff Van West’s article, “A Bit Over Ninety”, which appeared just last month. In that article, Jeff touched on the protected airspace for a turn at a fix. Before area navigation, all airways and procedures were designed expecting us to pass over the fix, suddenly realize that fact, and then turn to intercept the outbound course.