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Unusual Alternate

You should know by now that ground-based navaids and approaches are disappearing. While some associated procedures remain for backup and alternate availability at smaller airports, most by now have been replaced by easier, safer, more convenient RNAV approaches to each runway. But here’s the rub: A lot of these still use course reversals, a single […]

ON THE AIR: April 2022

A while back we were transitioning Omaha’s airspace, and heard the following: Omaha: “American 123, climb and maintain 10,000, one zero thousand.” American 123: “One-zero thousand. Your timing was stupendous, I was just picking up the mic to ask for higher.” Omaha: “Actually, the clearance just came in from Center.” After several unrelated calls, Omaha: […]

Readback: April 2022

How Can They Do That? We have some Pilots and even CFIIs flying contact approaches into S50. The regulation for contact approach requires both flight and ground visibility of one mile. While there is some weather reporting on the field it doesn’t include any kind of visibility. Aren’t they breaking the rules? Shouldn’t ATC Approach […]

Briefing: April 2022

Canada Phasing In Space-Based ADS-B Canada has set Feb.23, 2023 as the deadline for compliance with the first phase of its space-based ADS-B mandate. Eventually all aircraft flying in controlled airspace in Canada will need ADS-B Out equipment that can send 1090 ES signals from belly and roof-mounted antennas or a combination unit that can […]

Staying Engaged

Recently I attended a Rusty Pilot session and learned (or re-learned as the case may be) several aspects of our aviating world that laid dormant in my little gray cells for far too long. Although I have been an active presenter of this constructive AOPA educational series for three years, it has been on hold […]

Creative Climb

Low IMC approaches are often the highest-workload procedure for single-pilot, single-engine flights. But departures can be a handful, especially when the weather is between VMC and IMC. Counterintuitive, yes. That’s because there’s more than one option in addition to flying an IFR published procedure. Visual departures followed by IFR routing, obstacle departure procedures (ODPs) that […]

The Severe Storm

Strong thunderstorms are one of the places aviation and fear often intersect. And for good reason: severe storms have led to countless disasters, perhaps the most famous one being the Delta L-1011 crash at DFW Airport in 1985. That tragedy brought far-reaching consequences to flight training programs and ATC equipment, and led to advances in […]

Close Look at Joint Use

Upon first glance, the ILS or LOC RWY 23 approach [A] at Westover Air Reserve Base/Metropolitan (KCEF) appears to be a typical ILS approach. But looking closely we notice that the MSA (minimum safe altitude) is based on the Westover (CEF) TACAN [B]. The center of the MSA circle is the symbol for a TACAN, . […]

Legal isn’t Always Safe

Sitting in seat 34F of a 737 MAX-9, I’m leafing through the dog-eared inflight magazine. It makes a big fuss about the airline’s offerings. Wi-Fi onboard, A/C power, luxurious first-class (in which I am not seated, alas). What isn’t advertised? Unexpected aerial thrill rides. Who would’ve guessed violent maneuvers weren’t big sales movers for the […]

The IFP Gateway

The FAA’s IFP Information Gateway offers all published Instrument Fight Procedures for download and status checks such as whether procedures are new, up for amendment, or on the block for cancellation. Uniquely, it gives pilots a fast, efficient way to query IFP designers concerning any issues. It even offers automatic notification of changes to a […]

Minimum Altitudes

Instrument training is littered with acronyms and abbreviations. Altitudes like MEA, MCA, MOCA, OROCA can end up being the bane of students. And that’s just the en-route altitudes. When we get into the terminal environment, we then have the procedural MEAs on SIDs and STARs and, of course, the minimum—and sometime maximum—altitudes for the various […]