Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

July 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

Download the Full July 2018 Issue PDFSubscribers Only

The Saratoga suddenly requested a climb. He was getting knocked around by turbulence in the cloud bases. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do at that moment. Passing 1000 feet directly over him—my minimum vertical separation—were a string of climbing airliners. I couldn’t bend the jets away from him, as I had another line of descending jets ten miles west of them. It would be an impromptu air show.


Briefing: July 2018

Flight schools are finding it hard to retain instructors because airlines are hiring them away, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office. Schools also find it challenging to recruit new students, due to the high cost of training. Also, the Helicopter Association International, in a study undertaken with the University Of North Dakota, projected a shortage of more than 7600 helicopter pilots by 2030. Helicopter mechanics will become even scarcer, with a shortage of 40,613 predicted in the U.S. by 2036. Bills aimed at supporting aviation workforce development have been introduced in both the House and the Senate over the last several months.


Hurricane Warning

Although hurricanes are easily avoidable since they usually move to the front of the national news cycle, it’s good to have a working knowledge of them. One day you may find yourself caught in outer spiral bands as you try to move your plane out of danger, or your area may be the new target of a hurricane that deviates unexpectedly. Or perhaps you simply find yourself in the Caribbean in the late summer months with erratic Internet access—possibly a fortunate situation.

BasicMed Follow Up

The BasicMed exam follows a similar structure to an FAA physical with one big difference. In an FAA medical, the doctor needs to identify if body parts, organ systems and other general things such as blood pressure are: “Normal or Abnormal.” If the AME finds something abnormal, s/he must provide a narrative. By identifying an abnormality, the AME is making a diagnosis of sorts. In a BasicMed exam, the same body parts and organ systems only need to be “examined,” but not identified as “normal or abnormal,” thus no diagnosis is made.

Fly the HookSubscribers Only

Establish yourself on the reciprocal of the ILS localizer course, 351 degrees, and fly outbound on the localizer. Since you’re outbound on the front course, remember to correct away from the needle on the localizer. (See, “Reverse Sensing” and “Reverse Sensing—HSI” in the June and July 2016 issues.) Two minutes is usual. Then turn to the outbound procedure turn heading of 036 degrees. The Instrument Flying Handbook specifies flying that heading for 40 seconds, although many of us were taught to fly it for a full minute. Either is fine so long as you remain inside the limit. Then, make a standard-rate left turn to 216 degrees and join the 171-degree localizer.

Regulation Fine PointsSubscribers Only

I’ll admit it: I enjoy searching out some little-known gems in the regulations. Some, of course, are items we should know—but often don’t. Others are almost so esoteric that it simply might not matter to most of us.

When Ya Gotta Deviate

The King Air was descending out of 15,000 feet when he checked in with me. My radar scope was already peppered with growing blue and green areas of moderate and heavy precipitation, and I was buckling down for what was sure to be a crazy session. Storm season was here with a vengeance.

Killer ChartsSubscribers Only

Jeppesen is updating symbology for STARs and SIDs charts. As part of the change, Jepp contracted with an outside firm to conduct an operational risk analysis. “After an in-depth evaluation of the mitigation possibilities TRS recommended to Jeppesen to create a training tutorial.”

On the Air

On The Air: July 2018Subscribers Only

I took off from Islesboro (an island off the coast of Maine) in a C-150. I was going south down the coast that took me through the Portland ATC area. I then realized that I was going to fly over Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro. This diner was made famous by Maine comedians Bert and I, and again later by Tim Samples.


Readback: July 2018

I bought my 2003 Ovation a couple years ago primarily for its flight in known ice certification (FIKI). Frequent trips to the Milwaukee and Philadelphia areas to see grandkids mean occasional exposure to ice. I’d never flown with FIKI. My first use last year was very encouraging; climbing out of KUES through an icy layer into the clear we accumulated maybe 1/8” on the landing lights and wing tips but nothing anywhere else. However, I subsequently found and fixed multiple fitting leaks.


I Always File IFR

Have you recently looked closely at the airspace system we have to navigate today? Spurious TFRs pop up randomly, and it’s only getting worse. I don’t have to worry about any of that. I file what I want and if ATC doesn’t want me there, they, uh, tell me where to go.