ICAO Flight Plan, Again

August 2019, marked the end of the FAA Domestic Flight Plan. The ICAO Flight Plan form is required in the U.S. for all VFR and IFR flights. Yet, there are two areas that still create confusion: Item 10. Equipment, and Item 18, Other Information. Many pilots struggle with these codes and ask: 1.) Does ATC […]

Under Pressure

Dialing in the altimeter setting is perhaps one of the most universal, timeless rituals of aviation, spanning decades, continents, and cultures, and tying all pilots to one another. This underscores the importance of atmospheric pressure and its effect on flight safety. But how much do you know about where those numbers come from? In this […]

Remember VORs?

Area navigation using GPS has been around (for us) for about 30 years. Before that we did mostly the same thing using LORAN for a while. But, the National Airspace System was designed around VHF Omni- Range navigation stations, VORs, that long preceded GPS. Technically, there are three types: VORs that just provide azimuth information, […]

Got GPS?

Our IFR avionics are getting evermore capable, allowing us single-pilot fliers to shoot RNAV approaches once reserved for the big iron. While most standard satellite-based approaches have become basic fare, there are now some new notes we’re finding on the charts that require figuring out what the onboard GPS really is allowed to do. This […]

You Could Fly a Cat II ILS

Category I ILS approaches, long our low-weather mainstay, offer us minimums as low as 200 feet above the touchdown zone with RVR 1800 feet...

GTN Essentials Training

Years ago, I attended Garmin’s combined G500 and GTN classroom training. This got me comfortable with my new avionics. However, not everyone is able...

AFCS: Friend or Foe?

Full-regime automatic flight control systems (AFCS) consist of at least a flight director (FD) and an autopilot (AP). “Full regime” means the AFCS has enough modes to control the aircraft from after takeoff to short final. It also means the AP controls the trim to operate over the full airspeed and centerof- gravity envelope. Selecting […]

Advanced Avionics Errors

The FAA and NASA have identified errors commonly made by pilots using advanced avionics. Each of the errors discussed below were unearthed during research...

Budget EFIS

Pricey EFIS retrofits have been available for years, but today the market offers more affordable options. Plus, most all of the choices permit removing the vacuum system, saving weight and space with an all-electric instrument suite totally immune to dreaded vacuum pump failures. New standards for instrument certification allow blanket approval via AML-STC (supplemental type […]


The FAA’s Minimum Operating Network (MON) focuses on serving general aviation. Why? How will the airlines and heavy corporate birds survive a significant GPS outage, and why can’t we have that same resiliency? To answer that question, we need to start by exploring how the “airlines and heavy corporate birds” navigate. But, before we go […]

New IFR Website

We’re pleased to present to you IFR’s brand-new website. On the site, you’ll find more than a thousand articles, lessons and reenactments to keep...

ILS on the Block

In 2015, the FAA began looking to rationalize ILS approaches. In this context, rationalize means cut. The following year, the FAA developed a cost/benefit quantitative model and conducted an analysis at about 2900 airports with few or no RNAV SIDs or STARs. The finished product was a plan to decommission Cat I ILS approaches at some of these airports between 2020-2030. Before a decision was reached, the project was shelved in 2017.