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TECHNIQUE

Down to the Driggs

On a fine spring day, you trundled off to Driggs, Idaho, to meet your buddy and sneak off to the best-kept-secret fishing spot in the west Tetons. Your buddy made a killing because he was an Apple geek in the '80s and bought no stock but theirs. He chartered a plane to Driggs. You invested heavily in the DeLorean Motor Company-and arrived in your dads old 172H.

Ready to Return in IMC

After a long weekend at the cabin with the family, youve packed up the flying family truckster for the Sunday afternoon return from Rural Island Muni back to Bigtown International. Passing through 1000 feet AGL, you push Direct-Direct to re-center the GPS route and turn on course-no obstacle departure procedure from this uncontrolled field-when the engine stumbles badly.

The right time to descend

The M.O. of IFR magazine is bringing to daylight all those little corners of instrument flying where the real-world practices differ from the regs, or at least where playing the game a bit differently than you learned in ground school has payoff without jeopardizing safety.

Stupid Pilot Tricks

As the holiday season gives way to the interminable darkness of winter, we pause in our discontent to honor, ridicule and learn from those pilots whove slipped the surly bonds of reason and, once again, slapped the face of God-knows-what foolishness.

Filing for a Lat/Long

Every year I fly from my home base at Rock Hill, S.C., to Fond du Lac, Wisc., for the Oshkosh AirVenture fly-in. I normally take a route east of both Cincinnati and Chicago, which takes me over Lake Michigan. As I near the lake, I always get the following re-route: Cleared direct Pullman, then via the Pullman 333 radial to intercept V510, Falls, direct Fond du Lac.

Fly Into BigCity IntL

If none of your vast experience involves a major international airport, it is incomplete. There are times when flying into a big airport is...

Cutting Corners

It's Food Network's fault. You and your buddies from Jacksonville have a hankering for some Cajun food from New Orleans. Hundred dollar gumbo, here...

Danger Below MDA?

Recently, an airline began to receive notices that crews flying the RNAV (GPS) RWY 36 approach into Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) were receiving GPWS alerts while descending from the MDA to the runway. Since it wasnt an isolated incident, the airline suspected that the approach was flawed and notified the FAA, who flight checked the approach. The results of that inspection are educational to instrument-flying pilots at all levels.

Fine Tune Your ILS

My instrument instructor was a glass half-full kind of guy. His response to my first ILS was, Well, at least there is room for improvement. An ILS became the one approach I most dreaded. But now that Ive got a bunch of em under my belt, its actually the approach I prefer. Howd I get there? Im glad you asked.

Stupid PIlot Tricks

As another year dawns bright on aviations horizon its time to glance back with jaundiced eye at what our fellow pilots have accomplished in the you-wont-believe-this department. Each year we scour the latest NTSB accident/incident reports for which probable cause has been determined and cherry pick those aviators whove made the supreme effort to ding a wing or to go the extra mile on the last whiff of avgas. We seek the best of the worst-the crme de lbuffoons-whove taken pranging airplanes to new lows and survived. Well analyze 2009, but given that we pilots try the same spar-bending antics over and over again, hoping for different results (the very definition of insanity), this could be from any year.

High-Latitude Approach

You asked for an iPad 4 last month, but the guy in the red suit brought you a mini. You want to visit him to discuss his error, so you plan a trip to the airport closest to the north (magnetic) pole: Resolute Bay. But, when you open the approach plates, youre confused.

Deadly Disorientation

Any activity that regularly kills between one half and one percent of its participants has room for improvement. Cutting the GA accident and death rate has been a cause celeb recently, and we heartily approve. Here at IFR, we decided to make our own contribution by delving into the accident rate specifically for IMC, focusing on where the outcomes were fatal.