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Reading Surface Charts

Last month, we discussed upper-air charts and how they shed light on your flight plans. Now, let’s talk about surface charts. In the May 2021 issue we covered a little bit about surface charts, but focused mostly on how to read the station plots—the little groups of data found at each city. It’s time for […]

Flight Plans

How many of you file your own flight plan? How many of you file VFR flight plans? Of course, airlines have their own operations and dispatch departments who do all the background work and file the flight plans. With most Part 91 and some 135 operators, “Who filed what?” often gets to the person working […]

PDC: File, Read, Fly

Pre-Departure Clearance or PDC is an FAA computer service that provides clearance information in text form to your tablet in the cockpit via Boeing ForeFlight or Garmin FltPlan. No copying the ATIS or clearance calls are required. Great, eh? Clearances issued via PDCs are official text clearances issued for U.S. IFR flight plans. A PDC […]

Readback: December 2022

Got Fuel? I was recently reviewing the fuel requirements for IFR flight, and I realized that they were not what I was thinking. I thought that §91.167 said we couldn’t begin a flight under an IFR flight plan without enough fuel to reach our filed destination, etc. Instead, it says we can’t operate a flight […]

On the Air: December 2022

I was talking to New York Approach when I heard the following: GrayRider 5 (NY State Police): “Albany Approach, GrayRider 5. Change of mission. That plane in the water, well it’s confirmed as a float plane, so it’s now direct to Deer Park for GrayRider 5.” Apparently they were under the mistaken impression that an […]

Briefing: December 2022

Pandemic Creates BizAv Boom The post-pandemic hangover has turned out to be a tonic for business jet manufacturers who are tapping a new market created by the general travel hassle COVID-19 spawned. In its annual forecast of business aircraft activity, Honeywell predicted sales of business aircraft would jump 15 percent over the next 10 years, […]

Download The Full November 2022 Issue PDF

  • Hey, You Can’t Do That!
  • Which Way is Up?
  • Weather Encounters
  • Runway Incursions
  • Icing Quiz
  • Where the Ice Lives
  • Reading the Charts

VFR Pilot, Instrument Rated

Recently I realized that there are VFR pilots, VFR pilots with an instrument rating, and instrument pilots. Which are you? Reading this, you are more likely to be in the latter category, or at least in the middle but aspiring toward the latter. Let me explain. We all know what VFR pilots are. They’re the […]

Which Way Is Up?

Expect vigorous debate on how best to orient your moving map. Here, I’ll address that debate about the best orientation. But rather than reiterating all the opinions, I’ll focus on what the published scientific research completed in the 1980s and 1990s had to say on that specific question. Life Before Moving Maps Remember the old […]

Weather Encounters

The abstracts below derive from ASRS reports on Inflight Weather Encounters involving IFR. They illustrate a variety of real-world IFR weather problems and solutions. If Mother Nature throws you a curve, something you learn here might help someday. The Icicle Twin An ATC supervisor in Boston Center asked a controller/pilot to assist with an emergency […]

Hey, You Can’t Do That!

There’s an old joke about the retired airline pilot who checks out in a Cessna 172 after years of flying heavy iron. The pilot calls Tower from the hold short line saying, “I’ve lost my first officer, have only basic functioning equipment, and I’m down to one engine … I’d like to declare an emergency […]