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Fly IFR in busy airspace and eventually youll have one of those much ado about nothing experiences. It starts with a clearance you dutifully put in your navigator-and then repeatedly change or completely ignore until you get a clearance to resume the plan you were given at the start.

VORs for Armageddon

Its the summer of 2020, and youre tooling along in your G10,000-equipped bugsmasher, dutifully tracking that magenta line direct to your destination because NextGen allows free flight RNAV-direct navigation. Weve come so far from the days of A/N ranges and dead reckoning.

When ATC says unable

Judgment is the cornerstone of the air traffic control profession. This basic trait, common among thousands of successful air traffic controllers worldwide, allows controllers to face a variety of situations-including unusual pilot requests-and act appropriately.

The ASOS blind spot

ASOS myopically reports conditions when unattended. It won't spew out random observations, but it can't be counted on for an accurate and complete picture...

Alternative attitudes

Even though glass panels dominate the pages of aviation magazines and seem almost required to get flight training students in the door of a flight school, there are plenty of pilots and aircraft trolling the skies with conventional instruments. Retrofitting electronic flight information systems (EFIS) often exceeds the hull value of the aircraft. Even adding a simple electronic attitude indicator ends up being over $5000 in investment.

Tales of ipad mischief

There is a lot of talk about the paperless cockpit these days, and some airlines have even embraced the iPad as a replacement for a bag full of charts. I have been committed to this for several years, and the best-integrated, most reliable package I found before Jepp FD was from Anywhere Map, who make a bulletproof product, and recently announced a new, cross-platform product for iPad and Android.

Varied TRSA Depictions

In-betweens are always tough, and have the potential for trouble. Flying some IFR practice in VFR conditions is a perfect example. Youre emulating one set of rules (IFR) but youre actually bound by another set (VFR). There are all sorts of potential traps here: maintaining cloud clearances, conflicting with traffic youd normally be separated from, and blundering into airspace without the required communication or permission.

ATC: Friend or Foe?

The controller is usually a great resource. But sometimes other demands can produce some real challenges.

Its Time For GPS

Ever plan on running an errand on the way home only to arrive home having made no stops? It happens to me all the...

ATC Sees Weather, too

It's been a pretty smooth flight so far, but out of the haze, you see the emerging outline of a huge towering cumulus. Oh,...

What you really need

We recently had a thought-provoking exchange of e-mails with Henry, a reader who asked a multipart question: What equipment does he need in his...

Readback: September 2013

Just Let DownAs an instrument student, thank you for a great magazine. I especially always look forward to the Killer Quiz.But the Canadian rules...