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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
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) -
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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 - Assigned...by route assigned in last ATC clearance
V - Vectored...go direct from point of radio failure to fix, route, airway in vector clearance
E - Expected...by route that ATC has advised may be expected
F - Filed...by 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
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)
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
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.
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?
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 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 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)
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.
Permission not required, flight plan advised. Extends from coast 3 NM outwards into domestic or international waters, contains activity that may be hazardous.
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.
Temporary Flight Restrictions
TFRs protect persons and property in the air or surface from existing or imminent hazard when low-flying aircraft are present that could magnify, alter, spread or compound the hazard. NOTAM will be issued. (e.g. Space flight, sports game, etc)
Standard Terminal Arrival Route - ATC coded IFR arrival route meant to simplify clearance delivery procedures and facilitate transition between IFR en route and approach. Availability found in Terminal Procedures Publication.
If ATC issues you a STAR, must you accept it?
No, because you need the approved chart. Can specify "No STAR" in remarks section of flight plan, or verbally request ATC.
Same as STAR, though only available to aircraft equipped with flight management system (FMS) or GPS. Typically includes fly-by waypoints with some fly-over waypoints.
When being radar-vectored for an approach, at what point may you start a descent from your last assigned altitude to a lower altitude if "cleared for the approach"?
At airport where no IAP, whenever you are cleared to land by ATC. With IAP, whenever the published chart specifies you to descend, usually after passing a fix.
Initial approach segment
Approach segment between the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) and intermediate fix
Intermediate approach segment
Approach segment between intermediate fix and Final Approach Fix (FAF)
Missed approach segment
Approach segment between missed approach point or point of arrival at Decision Height (DH) and the missed approach fix at the prescribed altitude
Standard IFR separation minimums
Within 40 miles of radar antennae, aircraft are separated by 3 miles; beyond they are separated by 5 miles.
Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA)
Lowest MSL altitude at which aircraft will be vectored by a radar controller, except at otherwise authorized for radar approaches, departures, and missed approaches. May be lower than MEA or J-route segment. Charts depicting MVA typically only available to controllers, not pilots
Routes on IAP charts that designate courses, distance, and minimum altitude to proceed from enroute structure to IAF. Meets obstacle clearance requirements (1000 ft in nonmountainous terrain; 2000 ft in mountainous area)
What procedure is to be used when the clearance "cleared for the visual" is issued?
Pilot must have airport in sight or preceding identified aircraft in sight. Must be authorized and controlled by appropriate ATC facility (tower). Reported weather must be VFR (ceilings greater than 1,000 ft and visibility greater than 3 SM)
Pilot on IFR flight plan requests to deviate from instrument approach procedure and proceed to destination airport by visual reference to surface. Ground visibility at airport must be at least 1 SM. Pilot must request this specifically.
When is a procedure turn not required?
a) IAP chart says "No PT"
b) "Radar Vectoring" is provided
c) Holding pattern is published in lieu of PT
d) Conducting a timed approach
e) Procedure turn is not authorized (absence of PT barb on plan view)
Standard procedure turn limitations?
a) Turn on depicted side
b) Adhere to depicted minimum altitudes
c) Complete maneuver within distance specified in profile view
d) Maximum speed not greater than 200 knots (IAS)
What procedure is followed when a holding pattern is specified in lieu of a procedure turn?
Holding pattern will be established over IAF or FAF. Maximum holding airspeeds apply; maneuver is completed when aircraft established on inbound course after executing appropriate entry (teardrop, parallel, direct); additional circuits not required though if pilot chooses to do so (to lose altitude, for example) then should advise ATC
Precision approach (PA)
Instrument approach with both localizer (horizontal guidance) and glide slope (vertical guidance). Examples: PAR, ILS, and GLS
Visual and aural indications when crossing outer, middle, and inner markers of standard ILS
Outer: blue light, dull tone, slow speed - - - - - -
Middle: amber light, medium tone, medium speed - . - . - .
Inner: white light, high tone, high speed . . . . . .
Distances from landing threshold to outer, middle and inner markers
Outer: 4 to 7 NM
Middle: 3,500 ft
Inner: between middle marker and threshold
When is inner marker used?
When there is a Category II ILS; usually only an Outer Marker (blue) and Middle Marker (amber)
Control of glide slope and airspeed on ILS approach
Airspeed: power (throttle)
Glide slope: pitch (attitude)
Location of localizer/transmitter antennae; range of standard localizer
Far end of approach runway; range of 18 NM
Changes in airspeed, pitch, and altitude when on final and wind shears from tailwind to calm or headwind
Required thrust..........Reduced, then increased
Vertical speed............Decreases, then increases
Airspeed.....................Increases, then decreases
Reaction....................Reduce power initially, then increase
Changes in airspeed, pitch, altitude when on final and wind shears from headwind to calm or tailwind
Required thrust..........Increased, then reduced
Vertical speed............Increases, then decreases
Airspeed.....................Decreases, then increases
Reaction....................Increase power initially, then decrease
Location of glide slope antenna and usable range
Location: between 750-1,250 ft from approach end of runway (down runway), and offset 250-650 ft from it. Usable to distance of 10 NM
Angular width of localizer signal
3 to 6 degrees, as necessary to provide linear width of 700 ft at runway approach threshold
Normal glide slope angle for a standard ILS
3 degrees, such that plane is 200 feet above middle marker and 1,400 feet above outer marker
Sensitivity of CDI tuned to localizer signal versus VOR
Localizer: 2.5 degrees is full deflection left or right
VOR: 10 degrees is full deflection left or right
Localizer is 4x more sensitive
Decision Height (DH)
Height at which decision must be made, during ILS, MLS or PAR instrument approach to either continue approach or execute a missed approach
When can pilot descend below MDA or DH?
a) aircraft continuously in position from which descent to landing on intended runway possible with normal rate and maneuvers
b) flight visibility not less than those prescribed in standard instrument approach procedure being used
c) at least one of the following visual references is visible and identifiable:
- approach light system (ALS), but not able to descend below 100 ft unless red terminating bars or red side row bars are visible
- threshold markings
- threshold lights
- touchdown zone markings
- touchdown zone lights
- runway and runway markings
- runway lights
Legal substitution for inoperative outer marker
compass locator (combo of radio beacon and outer marker)l precision approach radar (PAR) or airport surveillance radar (ASR); DME, VOR, or NDB fixes authorized in standard instrument approach procedure; or suitable RNAV system in conjunction with SIAP fix
PAR and ASR approaches
PAR: radar approach in which controller provides highly accurate navigational guidance in azimuth and elevation to the pilot (precision)
ASR: controller provides accurate navigational guidance in azimuth only (nonprecision)
Radar approach/vector provided in case of a malfunctioning gyro-compass or directional gyro. Headings not provided by controller; rather controller observes radar track and instructs "turn right/turn left" or "stop turn" as appropriate
Rate of turn for "no-gyro" approach
Standard rate (180 degrees per minute; 3 deg per second)
On final: half-standard rate (18 deg per 2 minute; 1.5 deg/s)
Nonprecision approach (NPA); Types
Provides course deviation information, but no glidepath deviation information (such as VOR, NDB, or LNAV). Types: VOR, NDB, ASR, SDF, LDA, TACAN, and LOC.
Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) is lowest altitude, expressed in ft MSL, to which descent authorized on final or during circle-to-land maneuvering (where no glide slope is provided)
Visual Descent Point - defined point on final approach course of a nonprecision straight-in approach procedure from which normal descent from MDA to runway touchdown point may be commenced (provided runway or approach lights are identifiable). If not equipped to receive VDP (e.g. DME), proceed as though not VDP provided. Approach charts identify VDP with profile view by "V".
Vertical Descent Angle - nonprecision approach feature describes computed path from FAF and altitude to runway threshold at published Threshold Crossing Height (TCH). Optimum is 3.00 degrees. Provides means for pilot to establish stabilized descent from FAF or stepdown fix to TCH.
Will SIAPs always have a final approach fix (FAF)?
No, when a FAF is not designated (e.g. on-airport VOR or NDB), a final approach point is designated and is typically where procedure turn intersects final approach course inbound
What conditions are required for instrument approach procedure to have "straight-in" minimums published?
Final approach course needs to be within 30 degrees of runway alignment (15 deg for GPS IAPs) and a normal descent can be made from IFR altitude shown on IAP to runway surface.
Permits additional descent within a segment of an IAP by identifying a point at which a controlling obstacle has been safely overflown
Visual Approach Slope Indicator, provides a 3 deg visual glide path; safe obstruction clearance within +/- 10 degrees of runway centerline up to 4 NM from threshold
Major differences between SDF and LDA approaches?
SDF - Simplified Directional Facility; may or may not be aligned with runway; signal emitted fixed at either 6 or 12 deg; usable off-course indications limited to 35 deg each side of course centerline
LDA - Localizer-Type Directional Aid; compares in accuracy to localizer, but not part of complete ILS. LDA course width is 3 or 6 degrees; some LDAs have Glide Slope; course not aligned with runway, but straight-ins when course within 30 degrees of runway; circling minimums published if greater than 30 degrees
What criteria determines whether or not you may attempt an approU
Under 14 CFR Part 91, no regulation prohibits the attempt of an approach. However, upon reaching MDA (nonprecision) or DH (precision) need to have minimum flight visibility as published
What regulations require use of specified procedures by all pilots approaching under IFR
14 CFR Part 97
What are several types of GPS approach procedures?
a) GPS overlay of pre-existing nonprecision approaches
b) VOR/DME based RNAV approaches
c) Stand-alone RNAV (GPS) approaches
d) RNAV (GPS) approaches with vertical guidance (APV)
e) RNAV (GPS) precision approaches (WAAS and LAAS)
What is the GPS overlay program?
GPS Approach Overlay Program is authorization for pilots to use GPS avionic under IFR for flying designated NPAs, except LOC, LDA and SDF.
What is a GPS stand-alone approach?
Consists of a sequence of waypoints defining the point-to-point track to be flown, including the initial approach, intermediate, final approach, missed approach, missed approach turning, and missed approach holding waypoints. All except missed approach at runway threshold are labeled with five-letter alpha character name.
What is a TAA with regard to GPS approaches?
Terminal Arrival Area provides a NoPT for aircraft using approach (transition from enroute to approach) and has three standard area: straight-in, left base, and right base. (The T on the GPS approach)
When flying a GPS approach, is it necessary to monitor ground-based NAVAIDs as a backup to the GPS equipment?
No, those avionics for other ground-based NAVAIDs are not required to be installed, operational, turned on or monitored.
When can RNAV equipment be used as a substitute means of navigation guidance? (AIM 1-2-3)
a) Determine aircraft position over or distance from a VOR, TACAN, NDB, compass locator, DME fix; or a named fix defined by a VOR radial, TACAN course, NDB bearing, or compass locator bearing intersecting a VOR or localizer course,
b) Navigate to or from a VOR, TACAN, NDB, or compass locator,
c) Hold over a VOR, TACAN, NDB, compass locator, or DME fix,
d) Fly an arc based upon DME
[Note: these operations allowable even when a facility is explicitly identified as required on a procedure (e.g., "Note ADF required"). Also, these operations do not include navigation on localizer-based courses.
What restrictions apply to the use of GPS as a substitute for ADF and/or DME?
GPS database must be current and able to retrieve waypoints, fixes, intersections, and facility locations, otherwise not allowed for substitution.
What restrictions apply concerning filing an airport as an alternate when using GPS?
Alternate must have non-GPS approach that will be operational at ETA. If DME/ADF required, aircraft must have backup non-GPS DME.
Wide-Area Augmentation System is satellite navigation that augments GPS Standard Positioning Service (SPS); provides enhanced integrity, accuracy, availability, and continuity over and above GPS SPS.
Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV) is a new class of approach procedures that provides vertical guidance, but does not meet ICAO Annex 10 for precision approaches. Sometimes needs supplementation with barometric vertical navigation (Baro-VNAV)
Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) is type of APV approach, in addition to LNAV/VNAV, which tages advantage of high accuracy and integrity of WAAS. LPV minimums may have decision altitudes as low as 200 ft heigh above touchdown with visibility minimums as low as 1/2 mile.
How can you determine if your aircraft is equipped to fly an LPV approach procedure?
Receivers capable of flying LP but have statement in Flight Manual Supplement or Approved Supplemental Flight Manual stating that receiver has LP capability as well as capability for other WAAS and GPS approach procedures
What are circle-to-land approaches?
Not technically an approach, but a maneuver initiated by pilot to align aircraft with runway for landing when straight-in landing from SIAP is not possible or desirable. Need ATC authorization and pilot establishment of visual reference to airport.
Why do certain airports have only circling minimums published?
The straight-in minimums not published because the final approach course is more than 30 degrees off runway centerline (or 15 degrees for GPS IAPs), so circling minimum applies
Can a pilot make a straight-in landing if using an approach procedure having only circling minimums?
Yes, the fact that a straight-in minimum is not published not preclude pilots from landing straight-in, if they have the active runway in sight and sufficient time to make a normal approach to landing. Pilots then not expected to circle as long as ATC approved them.
If cleared for a "straight-in VOR-DME 34 approach" can a pilot circle to land, if needed?
Yes, a "straight-in-approach" is an instrument approach wherein final approach is begun without first having executed a procedure turn. Not necessarily completed with a straight-in landing or made to straight-in minimums.
When can you begin your descent to the runway during a circling approach?
Three conditions before descent from the MDA can occur:
1) Aircraft is in position to land using normal rate of descent and normal maneuvers
2) Flight visibility meets minimums
3) At least one of the specific runway visual references is visible and identifiable
While circling to land you lose visual contact with the runway environment. You're close to base leg at the circling MDA. What should you do?
Climbing turn towards runway and continue until established on missed approach course. Will ensure you are within circling and missed approach obstacle clearance areas
What obstacle clearance are you guaranteed during a circling approach maneuver?
Category A: 1.3-mile radius
Category B: 1.5-mile radius
Category C: 1.7-mile radius
Category D: 2.3-mile radius
Category E: 4.5-mile radius
Approach category minimums for aircraft
Determined by Vref or if not specified, 1.3xVs0 at maximum certificated gross landing weight:
A: speed less than 91 knots
B: 91 knots to 121 knots (not inclusive)
C: 121 to 141 knots (not inclusive)
D: 141 to 166 knots (not inclusive)
E: 166 knots or more
When must a pilot execute a missed approach?
a) Arrival at missed approach point and runway environment not in sight;
b) Arrival at DH on glide slope with runway environment not in sight;
c) Anytime pilot determines a safe landing is not possible;
d) When circling-to-land visual contact is lost; or
e) When instructed by ATC
On an NPA, how is the MAP determined?
a) Timing from the FAF when the approach aid is well away from the airport,
b) By a fix or NAVAID when the navigation facility is located on the field,
c) By waypoints as defined by GPS or VOR/DME RNAV
If no final approach fix is depicted, how is the MAP determined?
The MAP is at the airport (NAVAID on airport)
Where is the MAP on a precision approach?
For the ILS, the MAP is at the decision altitude/decision height (DA/DH)
Under what conditions are missed approach procedures published on an approach chart not followed?
When ATC has assigned alternate missed approach instructions
If, during the execution of an instrument approach procedure, you determine a missed approach is necessary due to full-scale needle deflection, what action is recommended?
Since obstacle clearance for missed approach is based on fact that you are at MAP when you begin execution, before turning to go missed you should fly to the missed approach point at or above the MDA or DA/DH before executing the turning maneuver
What is recommended action if it becomes necessary to execute a missed approach after passing the MAP on an approach?
Apply procedures used in take-off planning to climb faster and higher to compensate that you did not start climbing at the missed approach point (200 ft/NM). Refer to airport obstacle and departure data in the US Terminal Procedures publication prior to initiating an IAP
aka low-pass; go-around maneuver following an approach --> pilot may wish to expedite a particular operation (e.g. practice instrument approaches) so does not actually land or do a touch-and-go
What does "Cleared for the Option" mean?
Permits pilot to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop-and-go, or full stop landing. Pilot should make request for procedure passing the FAF inbound on an instrument approach
Is it legal to land a civil aircraft if the actual visibility is below the minimums published on the approach chart?
No, 14 CFR Part 91 states no pilot operating aircraft (except a military aircraft) may land when flight visibility is less than minimums.
When landing at an airport with operating control tower following an IFR flight, must the pilot call FSS to close the flight plan?
No, the flight plan will automatically be closed upon landing
You are operating on an IFR flight airport without operating control tower, and have forgotten to close flight plan after landing. Discuss effect on ATC.
Airspace surrounding that airport cannot be released for use by other IFR aircraft until your flight status has been determined
What conditions are necessary for a pilot to log instrument time?
Must have been flying with reference solely to the instruments, under actual or simulated flight conditions
When two or more straight-in approaches with the same type of guidance exist for a runway, how will they be designated in the approach title?
Letter suffix is added to title of approach; starting with Z and in reverse alphabetical order; generally approach Z will have lower minimums than approach Y. Example: RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 13C and RNAV (RNP) Y RWY 13C at MDW (Chicago Midway)
When logging instrument time, what should be included in each entry?
Include place, type of each instrument approach completed and name of safety pilot
What conditions needed to log "actual" instrument flight time?
FAA has never defined the term "actual" instrument time. 14 CFR Part 61 defined "instrument flight time", and reasonable to think "actual" refers to controlling aircraft solely with reference to instrument in actual IMC (below VFR minimums of 1000 ft ceilings, 3 SM visibility)
If a particular approach name has a letter "A" attached as a suffix (such as VOR DME A), what does this indicate?
Letter after the approach name indicates that approach does not meet straight-in criteria and only circling minimums are available
Do all SIAPs have FAFs?
No, some NPAs may not have FAF and usually have NAVAID upon which approach based located at airport
With no FAF available, when would final descent to the published MDA be started?
When flying full procedure: after completing procedure turn and established on final approach inbound course
When being radar-vectored: descent within specified distance from NAVAID on inbound course
What significance does a black triangle with a white "A" appearing in the Notes section of an approach chart, have to a pilot?
Indicates nonstandard IFR alternate minimums for the airport. If an "NA" appears after the "A", alternate minimums are not authorized. Info found at beginning of TPP.
What is the significance of the term "radar required" found on some approach charts?
On charts/plates and in FDC NOTAMs - alert pilots that segments of instrument approach procedure or route are not navigable because of absence or unusability of a NAVAID. Pilot can expect radar navigational guidance.
What are frequencies for locator outer marker and middle marker beacons?
Locator frequency: 365 kHz (specific case)
All marker beacons transmit on frequency of 75 MHz
Where does the final approach segment begin for the ILS 16L approach?
On all precision approaches (PAs), the final approach segment begins when glide slope is intercepted at glide slope altitude. For nonprecision approaches (NPAs), such as straight-in LOC 16L, final approach segment begins at Maltese cross (*) which is MUFIN LOM.
Threshold Crossing Altitude - height at which glide slope indicator crosses landing threshold (in planview under GS indicator)
If glide slope becomes inoperative, could you continue your ILS approach if established on localizer at time of malfunction? Why?
Yes, as long as notify ATC that it is now a LOC-only approach and your DH/DA becomes MDA and the approach is now a nonprecision procedure with MAP being a time or DME point
Substitutes for outer marker (OM)
Compass locator (365 kHz), 5.3 DME I-FTW, Maverick Vortac (TTT) radial 269
Required Navigation Performance. Similar to RNAV (Area Navigation), though differs in that RNP requires on-board monitoring and alerting system.
General characteristics of air flow around high and low pressure systems in Northern hemisphere
Low pressure - inward, upward, counterclockwise
High pressure - outward, downward, clockwise
Cause of winds aloft flowing parallel to isobars? Cause of surface winds flowing across isobars at angle?
Winds aloft: Coriolis force
Surface winds: surface friction
Difference between stable and unstable atmosphere
Stable atmosphere resists upward or downward displacement.
Unstable atmosphere allows upward or downward disturbance to grow into a vertical or convective current
How do you determine atmospheric stability?
Stable: temperature does not change much with altitude
Unstable: temperature decreases rapidly and uniformly (around 3 degrees C per 1000 ft). When air near surface is warm and moist, suspect instability.
Effects of stable/unstable air on clouds, turbulence, precipitation, visibility
Stable: stratiform, smooth, steady, fair to poor visibility
Unstable: cumuliform, rough, showery, good visibility
Types of structural ice
a) clear ice - large drops strike aircraft surface, slowly freeze
b) rime ice - small drops strike surface, rapidly freeze
c) mixed ice - combination of clear and rime, building a rough accumulation
Intensity categories of aircraft structural icing
a) Trace - ice becomes perceptible; deicing/anti-icing equipment not used unless encountered for over 1 hour
b) Light - occasional use of deicing/anti-icing to ensure safe flight
c) Moderate - short encounters become potentially hazardous; use deicing/anti-icing equipment or divert
d) Severe - divert immediately; deicing/anti-icing equipment will not reduce or control hazard
What is a freezing level, and how can you determine it?
Lowest altitude at which air temperature is 0 degrees C. Use icing forecasts and PIREPs to determine approximate freezing level. Area forecasts, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and Low-Level Significant Weather Charts are examples of aviation weather products that contain icing information.
Factors necessary for thunderstorm
a) source of lift (heating, fast-moving front)
b) moisture (temp and dew point close)
c) unstable air (nonstandard lapse rate)
"Squall line" thunderstorms
non-frontal, narrow band of active thunderstorms that often develops ahead of cold front in moist, unstable air. Presents single most intense weather hazard to aircraft; usually forms rapidly during late afternoon.
Cause of radiation fog
clear sky, little-to-no wind, and small temperature-dew point spread (high relative humidity). Fog forms almost exclusively at night or near daybreak.
Advection fog, and where it usually forms
Forms when moist air moves over colder ground or water. Most common along coastal areas; may occur with winds, cloudy skies, over a wide geographic area, and at any time. Deepens as wind speed increases up to 15 knots; stronger winds lift fog into a layer of low stratus or stratocumulus.
Moist, stable air cooled adiabatically while moving up sloping terrain (because of wind). Can often be dense and extend to high altitudes (can form under cloudy skies, unlike radiation fog).
Occurs in cold weather when temperature is below freezing and water vapor sublimates directly as ice crystals. Same conditions as radiation frog, though colder (-25 deg C or colder).
Relatively warm rain or drizzle falls through cool air, evaporation from precipitation saturates cool air and forms fog. Commonly associated with warm fronts, but can occur in slow-moving cold fronts and stationary front.s Can be quite dense and continue for long time.
Several other examples of IFR weather producers
Low clouds (stratus), haze, smoke, blowing obstructions to vision, and precipitation. Fog and low stratus restrict navigation by visual reference more often than all other weather phenomena.
Sources of weather information
a) Telephone information briefing service (TIBS) (AFSS): 1-800-WX-BRIEF
b) Weather and aeronautical info from private industry sources (e.g. Foreflight)
c) Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS)
d) Transcribed Weather Broadcast in Alaska (TWEB)
Pertinent information from weather briefing
S - synopsis
A - adverse conditions
C - current conditions
E - enroute forecast
D - destination forecast
W - winds aloft
N - NOTAMs (notices to airmen)
VFR flight not recommended
Upon request: information on Special Use Airspace (SUA), related airspace and MTR activity within flight plan area and 100 NM extension around, review of printed NOTAMs, approxiamte density altitude data, info on air traffic services and rules, customs/immigration procedures, ADIZ rules, search and rescue, LORAN-C NOTAMs, available military NOTAMs, and runway friction measurement value NOTAMs, GPS RAIM availability, and other assistance as required
Enroute flight advisory service (122.0 MHz) provides enroute aircraft with timely and meaningful weather advisories pertinent to type of flight, route, and altitude. Central collection and distribution for Pilot Reported weather information (PIREPs). EFAS ("Flight Watch") provides communications capabilities from 5000 AGL to 17,500 MSL.
Hazardous In-Flight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) is continuous broadcast of in-flight weather advisories, including summarized Aviation Weather Warnings, SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETs, Center Weather Advisories, AIRMETs, and urgent PIREPs.
Aviation routine weather report (METAR): two types - routine (every hour) and selected special weather report (SPECI) given at any time to update METAR for rapidly changing weather conditions, aircraft mishaps, or other critical info.
Basic elements of a METAR
a) Type of report - METAR (routine) and SPECI (special observation)
b) Station identifier - (ICAO) four-letter station identifier, prefixed with K
c) Date and time of report - in UTC
d) Modifier (as required) - AUTO means no human intervention
e) Wind - five-digit group (six if speed over 99 knots)
f) Visibility - statute miles
g) Runway visual range (RVR, as required) - follows visibility
h) Weather phenomena - qualifiers and weather phenomena
i) Sky condition - Amount/Height/Type or Indefinite Ceiling/Height (vertical visibility)
j) Temperature/dew point group - temps below 0 are prefixed with an M
k) Altimeter - prefixed with an A
l) Remarks (RMK, as required) - operational significant weather phenomena, location of phenomena, beginning and ending times, direction of movement
Example: METAR KLAX 140651Z AUTO 00000KT 1 SM R35L/4500V6000FT -RA BR BKN030 10/10 A2990 RMK AO2
Runway 35 Left vRVR variable between 4500 and 6000 ft; light rain, mist, broken ceiling 3000 ft
Several types of weather observing programs
a) manual observation - reports made from airport locations staffed by FAA or NWS personnel
b) AWOS - automated weather observing system: various sensors, processor, computer-generated voice sub-system, and transmitter to broadcast local, minute-by-minute weather data to pilot.
c) ASOS/AWSS - automated surface observing system/automated weather sensor system: generates METARs and transmits over discrete VHF radio frequency or voice portion of local NAVAID
Are all AWOS and ASOS the same?
No. Although similar, there are several versions of AWOS with different arrays of sensors. The report format is similar and is controlled by international standards. Reports differ by the type of sensors on the system (system configuration). A01 indicates an automated station without a precipitation identification sensor. A02 indicates an automated station with a precipitation identification sensor.
An AWOS I processes and outputs temperature, dewpoint, barometric pressure, density altitude, wind speed, wind direction, and gusts. An AWOS II adds visibility to the AWOS I parameters. An AWOS III provides cloud height/condition in addition to the above parameters. An AWOSIII-P adds a precipitation type identification sensor.
An ASOS includes the parameters of an AWOS III plus a freezing rain sensor and thunderstorm reporting.
Difference between federal and non-federal AWOS system
The primary difference between federal and non-federal AWOSs is that the federal AWOSs are FAA owned and maintained while the non-federal AWOSs are state or locally owned and maintained. The federal AWOSs also have thunderstorm reporting capability through the FAA's Automated Lightning Detection and Reporting System (ALDARS).
What are PIREPs (UA) and where are they usually found?
Pilot weather reports of encountered meteorological phenomena enroute. Required elements: type of report, location, time, flight level, aircraft type and at least one weather element encountered. All altitudes in MSL unless otherwise noted. Visibility distance in SM; all others in NM. Time in UTC. Route PIREPs (UA) and urgent (UAA)
What are radar weather reports?
SD/ROB contains info about precipitation observed by weather radar. Textual product derived from WSR-88D radar without human intervention. Reports transmitted hourly and include: ID, time, configuration (CELL, LN, and ARA), coverage, precipitation type and intensity, location, maximum tops, cell movement, and remarks. Up to 80 min old; only be used if no other radar available.
Terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs)
Expected meteorological conditions within 5 SM radius from center of airport's runway complex. Same weather code used in METAR:
a) Type - routine forecast (TAF) and amended (TAF AMD)
b) ICAO station identifier - 4-letter
c) Date and time of origin
d) Valid period date and time - routine TAFs are valid for 24 hours and issued 4x daily (0000z, 0600Z, 1200Z, 1800Z)
e) Forecasts - wind, visibility, significant weather, sky condition, nonconvective low-level wind shear, change indicators, probability
Aviation area forecast
(FA) Forecast of visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and general weather conditions over an area the size of several states. Used along with inflight weather advisories to determine forecast enroute weather and interpolate conditions at airports where no TAFs are issued. FAs are issued 3x daily by Aviation Weather Center (AWC) for each of 6 areas in contiguous 48 states.
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