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CHARTS & PLATES

In The Zone

Thanks to some typical spring weather in the air, it’s cloudy, hazy, and breezy at Chadron Muni, Nebraska. But you’re well briefed on what to expect while flying the RNAV (GPS) RWY 21 approach procedure. Given the conditions and this being a new destination for you, it turned out to be a smart move to […]
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NA At Night

You planned this getaway weekend to Wise County, Virginia months ago. A cabin is ready. A rental car awaits you when you land at Lonesome Pine airport (KLNP). It’s good to be instrument rated. The reported ceilings are comfortably high at 1500 AGL. It’s nice to have the protection of an instrument approach when going […]
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Readback: June 2021

Oxygen If You’re Tired? I enjoyed Victor Vogel’s “Managing Fatigue” in your April issue. I have asked many people and read many articles. No one has ever said, “Why yes, supplemental oxygen will help keep you wide awake.” This has included AME’s, IFR instructors, et. al. Is there an FAA rule against saying that? Or […]
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FLY A ROUND-ROBNN

We usually make these so you can fly them with or without a GPS in your sim, but that’s getting more difficult every day. It’s a GPS world out there. Do you really not have some kind of GPS on your sim? Time to ditch that Windows Vista box and get with the times, my […]
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SURFACE CHARTS

Back in the old days of aviation weather, surface and upper-air charts were complicated things left to the forecasters. As a pilot, you made a phone call and copied down takeoff and destination weather, the flight weather conditions, and any hazards along the way. Today’s pilots are more sophisticated, well versed in electronic devices, and […]
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NOT SO EASY AFTER ALL

After a three-day trip to the Denver area mixing business and recreation, you’re heading eastbound for home with a stop in Medford, Oklahoma, to visit a friend. Medford Muni (Oscar-53) doesn’t seem to have much to it, though, so you review the logistics to confirm it’ll work for an overnight. One runway at 3007 feet? […]
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KMFR LOC/DME BC-B

In this reintroduction of a past series of articles, we’ll fully dissect a particular chart or procedure. While many of the points we’ll make should be uncovered in a normal briefing, our analysis will extend far beyond. Our hope is that by exploring the edge cases of available procedures, you’ll better understand how to handle […]
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THAT ELUSIVE PROFICIENCY

Many consider the instrument rating as the most difficult aeronautical achievement. This is probably even more the case today than when I earned that coveted capability almost a half-century ago. While aircraft haven’t changed much, the avionics, regulations, and AIM have all undergone significant metamorphosis. Today’s GPS equipment and the procedural techniques required in Technically […]
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More Hide and Seek

Flight-planning your Washingtonstate mini-vacation taught you a lot about identifying obstacles on approach. Overall, IFR into Deer Park won’t be too onerous for terrain or procedures. But it does mean unseen obstructions—some close to the final approach path (see “Obstacle Hunt” in last month’s IFR). It took time to piece together the details using all […]
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Dead Reckoning in IFR

GPS in general aviation aircraft has become ubiquitous. So much so that the FAA’s move to a Performance Based Navigation (PBN) world based primarily on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is well underway. We are already seeing the cancellation of “redundant” and “underutilized” VOR (and NDB) approaches. For en-route navigation, we have the Minimum […]
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Obstacle Hunt

When briefing an approach, we might not care what a given “obstacle” actually is. But they do come in all shapes and sizes; the chart symbols indicate as much. So it’s a good idea, especially in unfamiliar areas with lots of obstacles, to know what’s down there, be it metal, dirt, rocks or trees. The Aeronautical […]
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Final Stage Check

Some people say that it doesn’t matter where you practice IFR because all procedures use the same cookbook. An ILS is an ILS whether it ambles downward over the flatlands of Kansas or threads a nervous CDI needle between Colorado mountains. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done the approach a hundred times or this is […]
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