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Preparation for Instrument Rating Checkride

IFR Flight Time Requirements

a) 50 hours cross country as PIC (at least 10 in airplanes)
b) 40 hours Instrument (actual or simulated)
c) 15 hours instrument dual training from CFI (in same type)
d) 3 hours instrument training within 60 days prior to test
e) 250 NM cross-country conducted under IFR with 3 different types of approaches

When is Instrument Rating required?

a) On IFR Flight Plan
b) In Class A Airspace
c) In weather conditions less than VFR
d) Under special VFR within Class B, C, D, and E surface areas between sunset and sunrise (night)

Recency-of-experience requirements for IFR

a) 6 instrument approaches, holding patterns, and intercepting/tracking of courses using navigation aids within the preceding six months.
b) 3 take-offs and landings within preceding 90 days (full stop at night) to carry passengers
c) Biennial flight review

If instrument currency expires, what can be done to become current again?

Within six months of expiration, complete the requirements (instrument approaches, holding patterns, and intercepting/tracking courses) with a safety pilot in simulated IFR conditions only. After that, must get a check with an examiner, authorized instructor, or FAA-approved person.

Requirements of safety pilot

a) Possess a current medical certificate
b) Possess a private pilot's license with appropriate category/class ratings
c) If flight is conducted on an IFR flight plan, safety pilot must have instrument rating

Info a PIC must be familiar with before a flight

All available information, including:
a) weather reports and forecasts
b) fuel requirements
c) alternatives if flight cannot be completed as planned
d) known ATC delays
e) runaway lengths of intended use
f) takeoff and landing distances

What are fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions?

With alternate airport: enough fuel to fly to intended airport (holding pattern included), then to alternate, then for 45 minutes after at cruise speed

Without alternate airport: enough to fly to destination airport and land with 45 min fuel remaining

Before conducting IFR flight using GPS equipment for navigation, what checks should be made?

a) verify that GPS equipment is properly installed and certified for planned IFR
b) verify that database is current (not expired)
c) review the GPS NOTAM/RAIM information for planned route of flight

Aircraft instruments/equipment required for IFR flight

G - generator or alternator of sufficient capacity
R - radios for navigation
A - altimeter (sensitive)
B - ball (for turn coordination)

C - clock with sweep-second hand
A - attitude indicator
R - rate-of-turn coordinator
D - directional gyro
D - DME / RNAV (for flight at FL240 and above if VOR equipment necessary for planned route)

Required tests/inspections of aircraft/equipment for IFR flight

A - annual
V - VOR (30 days)
1 - 100 hour
A - altimeter (24 months)
T - transponder (24 months)
E - ELT (12 months)

Pitot/static system (within past 24 months)

Portable electronic devices on aircraft

Not allowed, especially on commercial operators/carriers or any aircraft operated IFR.

Exceptions: portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemakers, electric shavers, or any other portable electronic devices that will not cause interference with NAV/COM.

Documents on board to be legal for IFR

A - airworthiness certificate
R - registration certificate
R - radio station license (if international operations)
O - owner's manual or operating limitations
W - weight and balance data

How often is GPS waypoint information updated?

Every 28 days, and maintained by National Flight Data Center (NFDC)

When must pilot file an IFR flight plan?

Prior to departure from within or prior to entering controlled airspace: submit flight plan and receive clearance from ATC if weather conditions are below VFR minimums. File 30 minutes prior to departure to preclude delay in receiving departure clearance.

When can you cancel IFR flight plan?

Any time the flight is operated during VFR conditions outside of Class A.

Be aware that other procedures may be applicable in area, such as designated TRSA, Class C, or Class B.

What type of aircraft equipment determines your "special equipment" suffix when filing IFR?

a) radar beacon transponder
b) DME equipment
c) TACAN-only equipment
d) Area Navigation equipment (RNAV) - LORAN, INS
e) Advanced Area Navigation equipment - Global Positioning System (GPS)/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
f) Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) authorization

Block 7 of flight plan - altitude specified?

Initial altitude, make subsequent requests to controller when in air

**Alternate Airport Requirements**

1-2-3 rule: Alternate required if from 1 hour before to 1 hour after forecast arrival at destination airport has 2000 foot ceilings and less than 3 SM visibility. Alternate requirements:
a) If IAP is published for alternate, use those minimums, otherwise 600-2 (600 foot ceilings, 2 SM visibility) for Precision Approach, and 800-2 for Nonprecision Approach
b) If no IAP has been published, ceiling and visibility minimums are those required for descent from MEA, approach, and land under basic VFR

Define "ceiling"

Height above Earth's surface (AGL) of lowest cloud layer defined as obscured, broken, overcast, but not thin or partial.

What are preferred routes, and where can they be found?

Routes in high traffic areas that ATC designates to- and from- busy airports. Found in A/FD

What are Enroute Low-Altitude Charts?

Provide aeronautical information for navigation under IFR conditions below 18,000 feet MSL (under Class A). Revised every 56 days.

What are Enroute High-Altitude Charts?

Provide information for navigation above 18,000 feet MSL. Four-color chart series includes jet route structure; VHF NAVAIDs with frequency, identification, channel, geographic coordinates; selected airports; reporting points. Revised every 56 days.

What are "area charts"?

Area charts show congested terminal areas such as Dallas/FW or Atlanta at a large scale. They are included with subscriptions to any conterminous US set Low (Full set, East or West sets). Revised every 56 days.

Where can information on possible navigational aid limitations be found?

NOTAMs as well as A/FDs will contain current limitations

What are the required reports for equipment malfunction under IFR-controller airspace?

a) Failure of VOR, TACAN, ADF, or low frequency navigation receiver capability
b) GPS anomalies while using IFR-certified GPS/GNSS receivers
c) Complete or partial loss of ILS receiver capability
d) Impairment of air/ground communication capability
e) Loss of any other equipment installed in the aircraft which may impair safety and/or the ability to operate in IFR

How can IFR clearance be obtained?

a) At airport with ATC tower in operation, clearance may be received from ground control or specific clearance delivery frequency
b) At airports without a tower or FSS on field, or in outlying area:
- Clearance may be received over radio through remote communication outlet (RCO) or over telephone
- Clearance delivery frequency is available that is usable at airports within specific area, say Class B airspace
- If above not available, clearance can be received from ARTCC once airborne as long as you stay in Class E airspace VFR
Ask the nearest FSS for appropriate means.

What does "cleared as filed" mean?

ATC will issue abbreviated this statement of IFR clearance based on route of flight as filed in the IFR flight plan

Which clearance items are given in an abbreviated IFR clearance?

C - Clearance Limit (destination airport or fix)
R - Route (initial heading)
A - Altitude (initial altitude)
F - frequency (departure)
T - transponder (squawk code)
Note: ATC procedures require controller to state the Departure Procedure (DP) within Route info if applicable as well

What does "clearance void time" mean?

When operating from non-towered field, this is the time after which the IFR clearance is voided and pilot must report intentions to ATC (within 30 minutes)

What does "hold for release" mean when included in IFR clearance?

Delays the aircraft's departure for traffic management reasons. May not depart under IFR clearance until a release time or additional instructions are provided by ATC

Minimums necessary for IFR takeoff under 14 CFR Part 91? Under Parts 121, 125, 129, or 135?

Part 91: None
Other Parts (assuming Takeoff Minimums not prescribed for that airport under Part 97): 1 SM visibility for aircraft with 2 engines or less, 1/2 SM for aircraft with 3 or more engines

What is "good operating practice" in determining takeoff minimums for IFR flight?

Use the minima in the Instrument Approach Procedure for that airport. If none available, use basic VFR minimums (1000 feet ceilings, 3 miles)

What are DPs and why are they necessary?

Departure Procedures (DPs) are preplanned IFR procedures that provide obstruction clearances from runway to enroute airway. Provides obstacle clearance protection and, at busier airports, increases efficiency by reducing communication and departure delays. Pilots under Part 91 are strongly encouraged to file and fly a DP at night, during marginal VMC and IMC, when one is available.

What are two types of DPs?

a) Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) - textually/graphically,
obstruction clearance via least burdensome route,
No need for ATC clearance unless alternate departure procedure (SID or radar vector) has been specifically assigned by ATC.

b) Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) -
always graphically,
obstruction clearance and transition,
system enhancement and reduce pilot/controller workload,
ATC clearance must be received prior

What criteria are used to provide obstruction clearance during departure?

Based on:
pilot crossing departure end of runway > 35 ft above that elevation,
climbing to 400 ft above runway before making initial turn
maintaining minimum climb gradient of 200 ft/NM (unless required to level off by crossing restriction). Gradient may vary based on obstacles.

Where are DPs located?

Listed by airport in "IFR Take-Off Minimums and Departure Procedures," Section C of the Terminal Procedures Publications

Must you accept a SID if assigned one?

No. Since they're only graphical, if the pilot does not have access or does not have equipment to fly the SID, he or she can notify ATC verbally (less preferred) or when filing the flight plan specify "NO SID".

How does pilot determine if takeoff minimums are not standard and/or departure procedures are published for an airport?

A "triangle T" or "trouble T" (black triangle with a T inside it) will be placed in notes sections of the instrument procedure chart. Signifies non-standard take-off minimums.

When a DP specifies a climb gradient in excess of 200 ft/NM, what significance should this have?

There will be no obstacle departure procedure (ODP) if pilot can turn in any direction from a runway and remain clear of obstacles (satisfies diverse departure criteria). SID may be provided for ATC reasons. Otherwise, the DP was designed with a steeper than normal gradient or specifies departure route for purposes of avoiding obstacles near runway end.

Climb gradient of 300 ft/NM at a ground speed of 100 knots requires what rate of climb?

300 * (100/60) = 500 ft/min

What is recommended climb rate procedure, when issued a climb to an assigned altitude by ATC?

Climb at Vy (or Vx if necessary) until 1000 feet below. Then 500-1500 fpm until assigned altitude is reached.

(If ATC does not use "At Pilot's Discretion" nor impose climb/descent restrictions, pilot should initiate change in altitude immediately upon acknowledgement of clearance).

What are different methods of checking the accuracy of VOR equipment?

a) VOR Test Signal (VOT) check; +/- 4 deg
b) Ground checkpoint; +/- 4 deg
c) Airborne checkpoint; +/- 6 deg
d) Dual VOR check; within 4 deg of each other
e) Select a radial over a known ground point; +/- 6 deg
A repair station can use a radiated test signal, but only technician performing test can make an entry in the logbook

What records must be kept concerning VOR checks?

Each person making a VOR check shall enter the date, place and bearing error, and sign the aircraft log

Where can a pilot find the location of airborne/ground checkpoints and VOT testing stations?


What procedure is used when checking VOR receiver accuracy with a VOT?

Tune in the VOT frequency of 108.0 MHz. With CDI centered, the OBS should read 0 degrees FROM and 180 degrees TO (remember "Cessna 182" - 180 TO for VOR accuracy checks using a VOT)

Where is altitude encoding transponder equipment required?

In general, need Mode C Transponder when:
a) At or above 10,000 feet MSL over contiguous US/DC, excluding airspace below 2,500 feet AGL
b) Within 30 miles of Class B airspace primary airport, below 10,000 feet MSL
c) Within and above all Class C airspace, up to 10,000 feet MSL
d) Within 10 miles of certain airports, excluding that outside Class D surface area and below 1,200 feet AGL
e) All aircraft flying into, within, or across the contiguous US ADIZ

What are important transponder codes to know?

1200 - VFR
7500 - Hijacking
7600 - Communications Failure
7700 - Emergency

Discuss transponder operation in the event of a two-way communications failure

Adjust the transponder to reply on Mode A/3, Code 7600 (pilot should understand that aircraft might not be in area of radar coverage)

Would an incorrect altimeter setting have an effect on Mode C altitude info transmitted by your transponder?

No, since Mode C altitude info is preset to 29.92. Check your own altimeter if controller indicates that altitude readout is invalid.

What are ALS, VASI, PAPI, and REIL?

ALS - Approach Light System
VASI - Visual Approach Slope Indicator
PAPI - Precision Approach Path Indicator
REIL - Runway End Identifier Lights

What color are runway edge lights?

White, except on instrument runways, yellow replaces white on the last 2000 feet/half the runway length (whichever is less) as caution zone

What colors and color combinations are standard airport rotating beacons?

Lighted land airport - White / Green
Lighted sea airport - White / Yellow
Military airport - 2 White / Green

What does operation of rotating beacon at airport during daylight hours mean?

In Class B, C, D, and E surface areas, operation of beacon during daylight indicates below VFR conditions (under 1000 ft ceilings, less than 3 SM visibility). ATC clearance then required to land, takeoff and fly in the traffic pattern.

What are runway touchdown zone markings?

Identify touchdown zone for landing - provides distance information in 500-ft increments (one, two, three rectangular bars arranged symmetrically in pairs about runway centerline).

What is purpose of runway aiming point markings?

Visual aiming point for landing aircraft. Two rectangular markings (broad white stripe, each side of centerline and approximately 1000 ft from landing threshold.

How far down a runway does the touchdown zone extend?

First 3000 feet of runway, beginning at threshold. (Used to determine touchdown zone elevation in the development of straight-in landing minimums for instrument approaches)

What is RWSL?

Runway Status Light System - fully automated system that provides runway status to pilots/surface vehicle operators to clearly indicate when it is unsafe to enter, cross or takeoff from runway. Two statuses: ON - lights illuminated red, OFF - lights not illuminated

Does lack of illumination of RWSL give a pilot permission to enter, cross, or takeoff from runway?

No, RWSL is independent safety enhancement so you still need ATC clearance to do these things.

What are important altitudes to know?



Minimum En-Route Altitude:
ensures acceptable navigational signals & obstacle clearance


Minimum Obstacle Clearance Altitude:
ensures obstacle clearance requirements (on routes) & navigational signal coverage within 25 SM (22 NM) of VOR


Minimum Crossing Altitude:
lowest altitude at certain fixes at which aircraft must cross when proceeding in the direction of a higher MEA


Minimum Reception Altitude:
lowest altitude at which intersection can be determined


Maximum Authorized Altitude:
maximum usable altitude or flight level for route/airspace that ensures adequate reception of navaid signals


Off-Route Obstacle Clearance Altitude:
obstruction clearance by 1000 ft in non-mountainous terrain (2000 ft in mountainous terrain). May not provide signal coverage from ground-based navaids, ATC radar, or communications coverage.

If no applicable minimum altitude is prescribed (no MEA or MOCA), what minimum altitudes apply for IFR operations?

Minimum altitudes are:
a) mountainous terrain - at least 2000 ft above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 NM from course
b) other than mountainous terrain - at least 1000 ft above highest obstacle within horizontal distance of 4 NM from course

What cruising altitudes while operating under IFR in controlled airspace (A, B, C, D, E)? In uncontrolled airspace (G)?

Controlled: altitude/flight level that ATC assigns
a) below 18,000 ft MSL: 0 to 179 deg (magnetic course) - odd thousand MSL; 180 to 359 deg - even thousand MSL
b) above 18,000 ft MSL: 0 to 179 deg (magnetic course) - odd flight level; 180 to 359 deg - even flight level

On a direct flight not flown on radials or courses of established airways or routes, what points serve as compulsory reporting points?

Each and every point used to define that particular route.

What are "unpublished" RNAV routes?

Direct routes based on area navigation capability, between waypoints defined in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates, degree-distance fixes, or offsets from established routes/airways at specified distance and direction. Radar monitoring by ATC is required on all unpublished RNAV routes.

What reports should be made to ATC at all times without a specific request?

a) vacating any previously assigned altitude/FL for newly assigned one
b) altitude change will be made if operating on a VFR-On-Top clearance
c) when unable to climb/descend at a rate of at least 500 fpm
d) When approach has been missed (request clearance for specific action; i.e. to alternate airport, another approach, etc)
e) Change in average true speed (at cruise) when it varies by 5% or 10 knots (whichever is greater) from that filed in the flight plan
f) The time and altitude or flight level upon reaching a holding fix or point that pilot is cleared to
g) when leaving any assigned holding fix or point
h) any loss, in controlled airspace, of VOR, TACAN, ADF, low -frequency navigation receiver capability, GPS anomalies while using installed IFR-certified GPS/GNSS receivers, complete or partial loss of ILS receiver capability or impairment of ground/air communications capability
i) any information relating to the safety of flight
j) upon encountering weather or hazardous conditions not forecast

What reporting requirements are required by ATC when not in radar contact?

a) When leaving FAF inbound on the final (nonprecision) approach, or when leaving the outer marker (corresponding fix) inbound on final (precision) approach

b) A corrected estimate at anytime you realize that a previously estimated estimate is more than 3 minutes off

What information should be included in every position report?

a) Identification
b) Position
c) Time
d) Altitude/Flight Level
e) Type of flight plan
f) ETA and name of next reporting point
g) Pertinent remarks

Are you required to report unforecast weather encountered enroute?

Yes, must report weather conditions which have not been forecast or hazardous conditions that have been forecast to ATC.

Explain the terms "maintain" and "cruise" as they pertain to IFR altitude assignment

Maintain: maintain last altitude assigned

Cruise: assigns a block of airspace to pilot, from minimum IFR altitude up to and including altitude in cruise clearance. Pilot may level off at any intermediate altitude and climb/descent may be made at discretion of pilot. Once descends and verbally reports leaving altitude in the block, may not return to that altitude without additional clearance.

Can a cruise clearance authorize you to execute an approach at the destination airport?

Yes. ATC may issue cruise clearance that allows you to execute an approach upon arrival at destination airport.

Why would pilot request a VFR-On-Top clearance?

If in VFR conditions, pilot may want to be able to choose altitude based on reasons like turbulence, favorable winds aloft, etc. Applies also to pilots desiring to climb through a cloud, haze, smoke, or other meteorological formation and then either cancel IFR flight plan or stay on VFR-On-Top Clearance, may request a climb to VFR-On-Top

Is VFR-On-Top clearance a VFR clearance or an IFR clearance? Which airspace prohibits VFR-On-Top clearances?

Yes it is IFR clearance. Class A prohibits such clearances.

What operational procedures must pilots on IFR flight plans adhere to when operating VFR-On-Top?

a) Fly at appropriate altitude
b) Comply with the VFR visibility and distance from cloud criteria
c) Comply with IFR rules that are applicable to this flight; i.e., minimum IFR altitudes, position reporting, radio communications, course to be flown, adherence to ATC clearance, etc

What is a "clearance limit" and when is it received?

Pilot is cleared to a fix within or just outside destination airport area (not to the actual airport), and needs to wait until receive a long-range clearance direct from center controller

What information will ATC provide when they a request a hold at a fix where the holding pattern is not charted?

a) Direction of holding from the fix (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, S, NW)
b) Holding fix (may be omitted if previously transmitted in clearance limit)
c) Radial, course, bearing, airway or route on which the aircraft is to hold
d) Leg length in miles if DME or RNAV is to be used (specified in minutes on pilot request or if controller considers it necessary)
e) Direction of turns if holding pattern is nonstandard (left turns nonstandard)
f) Time to expect further clearance (EFC) and any pertinent additional delay information.

What are maximum airspeeds permitted for aircraft while holding?

MHA - 6000 ft --> 200 KIAS
6001 - 14000 ft --> 230 KIAS
14001 ft - and above --> 265 KIAS
Note: Holding patterns in middle range may be restricted to max airspeed of 210 KIAS

What is a nonstandard versus standard holding pattern? What are leg lengths of standard holding pattern.

Nonstandard - turns to left
Standard - turns to right.
Standard leg lengths - 1 minute inbound at or below 14000 ft MSL; 1.5 min inbound above 14000 ft MSL

Describe procedure for crosswind correction in holding pattern

Compensate for wind effects primarily by drift correction on the inbound and outbound legs. When outbound, triple inbound drift correction to avoid major turning adjustments.

What action is appropriate when approaching a holding fix at an airspeed in excess of maximum holding speed?

Start speed reduction within 3 min or less from fix. Speed may be reduced earlier, but ATC must be advised of change.

Why is it important for pilot to receive an EFC time with initial holding instructions?

If you lose two-way radio communication, EFC allows you to depart holding fix at a definite time. Plan last lap of holding pattern to leave fix as close as possible to exact time.

Describe different recommended entry methods for holding


If assigned a DME/GPS hold, what procedures should be used?

Same entry and holding procedures, except that distances (NM) are used in lieu of time values. Controller or IAP chart will specify length of outbound leg.

When does the timing for the outbound leg in a holding pattern begin?

Begins over/abeam the fix, whichever occurs later. If abeam position cannot be determined, start timing when turn to outbound is completed.

What regulations apply concerning supplemental oxygen?

a) 12,500 - 14,000 ft MSL: crew must use supplemental oxygen after 30 minutes
b) 14,000 ft MSL - 15,000 ft MSL: crew must use supplemental oxygen continuously
c) above 15,000 ft MSL: crew and passengers must be provided with supplemental oxygen

When may the PIC of aircraft deviate from ATC clearance?

Only in case of emergency

If emergency action requires deviation from 14 CFR Part 91, must a pilot submit a written report, and if so, to whom?

Only if requested by ATC, submitted within 48 hours to manager of that ATC facility

Concerning two-way radio communications failure in VFR, what is procedure for altitude, route, leaving holding fix, descent for approach, and approach selection?

VFR: Continue the flight under VFR and land as soon as practicable

Concerning two-way radio communications failure in IFR, what is procedure for altitude, route, leaving holding fix, descent for approach, and approach selection?

a) Route
A - route assigned in last ATC clearance
V - Vectored...go direct from point of radio failure to fix, route, airway in vector clearance
E - route that ATC has advised may be expected
F - the route filed in flight plan

b) Altitude (highest of following altitudes for the route segment being flown)
M - Minimum...minimum altitude for IFR operations
E - Expected...altitude/flight level ATC has advised to expect in further clearance
A - Assigned...altitude/flight level assigned in last ATC clearance

c) Leave clearance limit:
- when clearance limit is fix from which approach begins (IAF, FAF), commence descent/approach as close as possible to EFC (expect-further-clearance) time if one has been received; if one has not been received, then close to arrive at estimated time of arrival (ETA)
- If clearance limit not fix from which approach begins, leave at EFC time (if assigned) otherwise try arriving as close to ETA

What does Single-Pilot Resource Management refer to?

SRM refers to effective use of /all/ available resources: human resources, hardware, and information. HR includes dispatchers, weather briefers, maintenance personnel, and air traffic controllers. SRM is similar to Crew Resource Management.

What procedure would you use if all communication and navigation equipment failed (complete electrical system failure)?

a) First determine you have complete loss. Determine cause (check circuit breakers, alternator, ammeter, etc)
b) Review preflight weather briefing for nearest VFR; determine heading and altitude and proceed to VFR conditions using VFR altitudes
c) If VFR conditions are not within range of aircraft, get off airway and determine heading to unpopulated area relatively free of obstacles (rural, large lake, ocean)
d) Establish descent on a specific heading to VFR conditions; proceed VFR to nearest airport

What angular deviation from a VOR course is represented by half-scale deflection of the CDI?

Full scale deflection - 10 degrees
Half scale deflection - 5 degrees
Each mark - 2 degrees

What is reverse sensing?

VOR needle indicates reverse of normal operation (fly away from needle to get on course, rather than to needle). Happens when flying inbound on back course or outbound on front course of ILS.

Procedure for determining intercept angle when intercepting a VOR radial?

a) Turn to heading parallel desired course, in same direction as course to be flown
b) Determine the difference between the radial to be intercepted and the radial on which you are located
c) Double the difference to determine the interception angle which will not be less than 20 degrees nor greater than 90 degrees
d) Rotate the OBS to the desired radial or inbound course
e) Turn to intercept heading
f) Hold heading constant until CDI centers
g) Turn to the magnetic heading corresponding to selected course, and follow tracking procedures inbound or outbound
Note: steps a-c may be omitted if you turn directly to intercept the course without initially turning to parallel the desired course

What degree of accuracy can be expected in VOR navigation?

VOR navigation is accurate to +/- 1 degree

If a thunderstorm is inadvertently encountered, what flight instrument and what procedure should be used to maintain control of the aircraft?

Attitude indicator - establish power for recommended maneuvering speed and attempt to maintain a constant attitude only. Do not attempt to maintain a constant altitude!

What are conditions needed for major structural icing to form?

a) Aircraft must fly through visible moisture, such as rain or cloud droplets
b) Temperature at the point where moisture strikes the aircraft must be 0 deg C or colder. Aerodynamics cooling can lower temp of airfoil to 0 deg C even though ambient temp is a few degrees warmer

What action is recommended if you inadvertently encounter icing conditions?

a) Move to altitude with significantly colder temperatures (no moisture)
b) Move to altitude with temps that are above freezing
c) Fly to area clear of visible moisture
d) Change heading and fly to area of known non-icing conditions

Which type of precipitation produces most hazardous icing conditions?

Freezing rain

If icing inadvertently encountered, how would your landing approach procedure be different?

a) Maintain more power during approach
b) Maintain higher airspeed
c) Expect a higher stall speed (occurs earlier)
d) Expect a longer landing roll
e) A "no flaps" approach is recommend (avoid stall)
f) Maintain a consistently higher altitude than normal
g) Avoid a missed approach (get it right the first time)

Within what frequency range to VORs operate?

108.0 MHz to 117.975 MHz (VHF band)

What are the normal usable distances for the various classes of VOR stations?

H-VORs (high altitude) and L-VORs (low altitude) have normal usable distance of 40 NM below 18,000 ft. T-VORs (terminal) are short range facilities which have power output of approximately 50 watts and usable distance of 25 NM at 12,000 ft and below. T-VORs are used primarily for instrument approaches in terminal areas, or or adjacent to airports.
Terminal = 1,000 - 12,000 ft AGL....25 NM
Low-Altitude = 1,000 - 18,000 ft AGL....40 NM
High-altitude = 1,000 - 14,500 ft AGL...40 NM
High-altitude = 14,500 - 18,000 ft AGL...100 NM
High-altitude = 18,000 - 45,000 ft AGL...130 NM
High-altitude = 45,000 - 60,000 ft AGL...100 NM

What is meaning of a single coded identification received only once every 30 seconds from a VORTAC station?

The DME component is operative, but VOR component is inoperative. If no ID is received, facility has been taken off the air for tune-up or repair, even though intermittent or constant signals are received.

Will all VOR stations have capability for providing distance information to aircraft equipped with DME?

No, only VOR/DME, VORTAC, ILS/DME, and LOC/DME stations can provide distance information to aircraft equipped with DME.

For IFR operations off established airways, the "Route of Flight" portion of an IFR flight plan should list VOR navaids which are no further than what distance from each other?

Above 18,000 ft MSL: 80 NM
Below 14,500 ft AGL or 18,00 ft MSL: 200 NM

Within what frequency range do NDBs normally operate?

Low-to-medium frequency band - 190 to 535 kHz

What is a compass locator?

A radio beacon used in conjunction with an ILS marker beacon

What limitations apply when using an NDB for navigation?

Subject to disturbances (lightning, precipitation static, interference from nearby stations) that cause erroneous bearing information

What operational procedure should be used when navigation or approaches are conducted using an NDB?

Since ADF receivers do not incorporate signal flags to warn pilot of wrong bearing information being received, pilot should continuously monitor the NDBs coded identification.

What is an HSI?

Horizontal situation indicator - combination of two instruments: vertical heading indicator and a VOR/ILS indicator.

What is an RMI?

Radio magnetic indicator - consists of a rotating compass card, a double-barred bearing indicator, and a single-barred bearing indicator

What is DME?

Distance measuring equipment. Provides distance and ground speed info when receiving a VORTAC or TACAN facility. Reliable signals may be received at distances up to 199 NM at line-of-sight altitude. DME operates on ultra-high-frequency spectrum between 960-1215 MHz (distance info is slant-range, not horizontal)

When is DME equipment required?

If VOR nav equipment is required for flight at or above FL240 (24,000 ft MSL) then pilot needs DME or appropriate RNAV. If the DME or RNAV fails above this altitude, need to notify ATC immediately and continue operations to next airport of intended landing where repairs or equipment replacement can take place.

As a rule of thumb, to minimize DME slant range error, how far from the facility should you be to consider the reading accurate?

Slant range error will be at a minimum if the aircraft is one or more miles from the facility for each 1,000 ft of altitude above the facility.


Area Navigation (RNAV) computes airplane position, actual track and ground speed, and provides meaningful info relative to route of flight. These include INS, LORAN, VOR/DME, and GPS systems.


LOng RAnge Navigation. Determines aircraft position based on measurement of time-difference receipt from two fixed transmitters (like GPS on the ground). RNAV equipment provides useful features.

Describe GPS

Global Positioning System (GPS) is satellite-based radio navigation system that broadcasts a signal used by receivers to determine precise position anywhere in world.

What are three functional elements of GPS?

a) Space element. Consists of 24 Navstar satellites ("constellation" in six orbital planes (4 per plane) at about 11,000 miles above Earth. At least 5 satellites are in view at all times.
b) Control element. Consists of a network of ground-based GPS monitoring, ensuring system accuracy (position/clocks). Currently there are five monitoring stations, three ground antennas, and a master control station
c) User element. Antennas and receiver-processors aboard aircraft that provide positioning, velocity, and precise timing to the user.

Is an alternate means of navigation appropriate to the route of flight required if using GPS navigation equipment under IFR?

Yes, GPS-equipped aircraft under IFR must have approved and operational navigational alternate. Active monitoring is not required when GPS receiver uses RAIM for integrity monitoring.
Note: aircraft equipped with a WAAS receiver may use WAAS as a primary means of navigation; no additional equipment required.

What is the purpose of RAIM?

Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) verifies integrity/usability of the signals received from the GPS constellation. Needs at least 5 satellites in view or 4 satellites and barometric altimeter (baro-aiding) to detect integrity anomaly).

If RAIM capability is lost while conducting your IFR enroute or approach operations, can you continue flight using GPS information?

No, without RAIM capability GPS may no longer be providing required accuracy.

Where can pilot obtain RAIM availability information?

Civilian pilots may obtain GPS RAIM availability information for nonprecision approach procedures by requesting GPS aeronautical information from Automated Flight Service Station during preflight briefings. FAA briefers will provide RAIM information for a period of 1 hour before to 1 hour after the ETA, unless specific time frame is requested by pilot.

Can handheld GPS receivers and systems certified for VFR operations be used for IFR operations?

No, because:
a) RAIM capability - VFR GPS receivers and all handheld units lack RAIM alerting capability.
b) Database currency - IFR-approved GPS systems are required to update database; VFR not
c) Antenna location - IFR-approved systems take care to maximize antenna availability to satellites, whereas VFR do not (more a matter of convenience)

VFR systems may only be used as aid to situational awareness.

What are designated altitudes for the airways in the VOR and L/MF Airway System?

Depicted on Enroute Low Altitude Charts: go from 1,200 ft AGL up to but not including 18,000 ft MSL. Courses depicted on ELAC charts (airways depicted in black) are magnetic!

What are lateral limits of low altitude federal airways?

4 NM each side

What is a changeover point (COP)?

Point along route or airway segment at which changeover in navigational guidance should occur

What is a mileage breakdown point?

Occasionally an "x" will appear at a separated segment of an airway that is not an intersection. The "x" is a mileage breakdown or computer nav fix and indicates a course change

What is a waypoint?

Predetermined geographical position used for navigation. Defined relative to a VORTAC station (bearing/distance) or in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates

What are the two types of waypoints found on charts?

Fly-by waypoint (4-pointed star on chart) - enable smoother transition by beginning turn prior to waypoint

Fly-over waypoint (4-pointed star in a circle) - denotes a missed approach point, a missed approach holding point, or other specific points in space that must be flown over

Describe the climb procedure when approaching a fix beyond which a higher MEA exists

The climb may start after passing over the fox

Describe the climb procedure when approaching a fix at which a MCA exists

A pilot should initiate the climb so the MCA is reached by the time the intersection is crossed. MCA (transition to higher MEA) is usually indicated when approaching steeply rising terrain, and obstacle clearance and/or signal reception is compromised.

"T" and "Q" routes

Published (blue) RNAV routes. Provide more direct routing for IFR aircraft and enhance system safety and efficiency.
T-routes: 1,200 ft AGL to 18,000 ft MSL (not inclusive)
Q-routes: 18,000 ft MSL to FL450 inclusive

Class A airspace

18,000 ft MSL up to and including FL600. Within 12 NM of coast overlying waters.

Class B airspace

Surface up to 10,000 ft MSL surrounding nation's busiest airports; upside-down wedding cake. ATC clearance required; VFR operations is "clear of clouds"

Class C airspace

Surface to 4,000 ft above airport elevation within 5 NM radius. From 5-10 NM out, 1,200 ft to 4,000 ft above airport elevation.

Class D airspace

Surface up to 2,500 ft MSL surrounding airports with operational control tower. When tower not active, becomes Class E airspace down to 700 ft, below which Class G.

Class E airspace

Controller airspace not A, B, C, or D. Upwards from either surface or designated altitude (700 ft AGL or 1200 ft AGL depending) to controlled airspace above. Used for federal airways, transition areas, etc. Begins at most at 14,500 ft MSL over US. Floor is 700 ft AGL if designated in conjunction with airport with approved IAP; 1,200 ft AGL in conjunction with federal airway.

Class G airspace

Uncontrolled, extends from surface up to controlled airspace above (at most 14,500 ft MSL where class E airspace begins)

Prohibited area

Aircraft flight not allowed

Restricted area

Need permission from controlling agency if VFR; if IFR expect vectors around or through it. Contains unusual hazards (often invisible)

Military Operations area (MOA)

IFR cleared through or around. VFR permission not needed, though caution urged. Separates certain military training activities from traffic.

Warning area

Permission not required, flight plan advised. Extends from coast 3 NM outwards into domestic or international waters, contains activity that may be hazardous.

Alert area

No permission required; IFR cleared through or around; VFR use caution. High volume of pilot training/aerial activity

Controller firing areas (CFAs)

Not charted; activities suspended when spotter aircraft, radar, or ground lookout positions see approaching aircraft.

National Security Area

NSAs may be temporarily prohibited when necessary (for security/safety), and pilots urged to voluntarily avoid flying through depicted NSA. Defined vertical and lateral dimensions.

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