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Questions tagged [instrument-flight-rules]

Instrument flight rules (IFR) are a set of regulations governing aircraft operations. IFR permits flying and navigating by instruments alone in conditions where there is no visual reference outside the aircraft.

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55
votes
6answers
13k views

Instrument landing: why do all electronic devices need to be shut off?

A few days ago, I took a flight home. Towards the end of the journey, the captain asked us to shut down any electronic device that we had on board, including iPods, CD players, phones and so on, ...
33
votes
9answers
11k views

What happens when a pilot has no Instrument Rating and visibility drops?

Note: I'm not a pilot, so I don't have much basic knowledge of how the pilot licence ratings work If a pilot doesn't have an Instrument Rating, and the weather conditions drop below VMC; what do they ...
31
votes
5answers
10k views

Why are visual approaches (in the US) preferred by US pilots, but not European pilots?

I listen to ATC a lot and often hear airliners cleared for visual approaches in the USA. Interestingly, if it's European airliner pilots they deny the visual approach and request ILS even if they are ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

Why fly VFR at all?

Really novice question here: if both the pilot and the aircraft are instrument-rated, why would anyone fly VFR? IFR lets one fly in a wider range of weather conditions and at night while there are no ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Was it possible to land a Boeing 707 with 300 feet cloud ceiling in the 70s?

In the movie Airplane! (1980), the main characters had to land a Boeing 707 in Chicago airport in low visibility. The dialog says the pilot "should be able to see the runway at 300 feet". Given the ...
23
votes
2answers
8k views

May a non-instrument pilot legally file IFR as long as he amends and doesn’t accept an instrument clearance?

Say a pilot plans to make a cross country flight along Victor airways, but under VFR. Depending on workload and communication effectiveness along the way, our hero may provide the planned fairly ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the weather requirements to log an instrument approach?

So let's assume that I'm the sole manipulator of the flight controls in an aircraft in which I'm rated and that I fly an instrument approach. What weather does the FAA require (assuming that I'm not ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

Why does flying IFR require a rating?

It may seem like a silly question, but my analogy is, some countries issue automatic-transmission-only driving licenses. Automatic transmission in this case would be the powerful avionics now ...
22
votes
4answers
9k views

Can you bust a TFR while operating under IFR?

Is it possible for the pilot to be held responsible for violating a Temporary Flight Restriction if the controller makes a mistake while you are operating under an Instrument flight plan (ie: does not ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Is skydiving in IMC (through clouds) legal and safe?

(1) What are the legal considerations for skydiving into clouds? I see many skydivers did fall into and out clouds in online videos. However, the clouds are mostly scattered or thin-layered. How about ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is a clock necessary for IFR?

According to FAR 91.205 (d)(6), one instrument required for IFR is: A clock displaying hours, minutes, and seconds with a sweep-second pointer or digital presentation. Why is it necessary to ...
20
votes
1answer
778 views

Is it legal to take off with an iced windscreen?

Looking at this video on Youtube, I'm wondering if it is actually legal to take off with a windscreen iced like that? For VFR this is a no go, but what about IFR and under what conditions?
19
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5answers
14k views

When are procedure turns not required?

Today, at my part 141 flight school I failed a stage check (flight test), because I did not perform a hold. I'm in com-multi training and was shooting a single engine approach in a Beechcraft Baron. I ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Lost radio communication after take-off in IMC - what are my options?

This might be "yet another lost comms questions", but I've tried to read a lot and there are different answers everywhere. Here's the scenario: (The flight plan as filed is - KSSI SSI V441 MONIA GNV ...
19
votes
1answer
799 views

Do you need clearance from ATC to switch to a different approach at non-towered airport?

When coming in on an instrument approach at a nontowered airport, the approach/center controller will clear you for the approach and approve your frequency change to the CTAF. Once you're cleared ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Airplane longitudinal control: pitch or power?

I recently came across some slides from a flight school teaching, for the initial climb after take-off and for the approach, the strategy of controlling/adjusting RoC/RoD with power Speed with ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Why must IFR be cancelled?

Watching flying videos and listening to LiveATC, you will sometimes hear a pilot cancel IFR approach. Why does the ATC care if you are on IFR or VFR? So long as you get on the ground safely, it seems ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the reasons for autopilot restrictions on instrument approaches?

On some instrument approaches, the autopilot-coupled approach is not authorized or not authorized below a certain minimum. For example, Autopilot-coupled NA (MRY: ILS OR LOC RWY 10R) Autopilot-...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the purpose of VFR-on-top?

VFR-on-top is an IFR clearance in the US that a pilot can request to allow an IFR flight to use VFR altitudes provided that it can remain in VMC. Requesting and receiving a VFR-on-top clearance doesn'...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the pilot required to keep visual lookout during IFR operations in VMC?

During VFR operations, the pilot must always self-assure separation from other aircraft, and thus must maintain a visual lookout all the time. For IFR operations but in VMC, are there any rules as to ...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

Is it possible to log IFR currency in a flight simulator without an instructor?

A flight simulator system company has a system that they say lets you "Log IFR Currency without an Instructor." Can someone explain to me how exactly that works? Does that mean that an Instrument ...
17
votes
2answers
37k views

How much should it cost to get IFR-rated? What to look for?

(Related to this question) Many pilots have told me that an IFR rating is the most valuable thing i can do to improve my flying and margin of safety. I know there are courses as quick as, "Get ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a monitored approach?

I've heard this term used to describe approaches into low weather (e.g. category 2 ILS), what is it? How is this different than an ILS approach?
16
votes
2answers
18k views

How do you request a “pop up” IFR clearance?

If you are flying VFR into deterioration weather conditions and would like to continue the flight under IFR, or you would like to climb to a better altitude but are restricted by a cloud layer, what ...
16
votes
2answers
723 views

Intercepts and aerial combat in IMC (or my no-fly zone is full of clouds?!)

If a reasonably modern fighter was placed into a situation where they had to engage in aerial combat while in IMC (say if radar picked up non-squawking aircraft coming from a hostile military airbase ...
16
votes
4answers
16k views

Is LPV considered a precision approach?

WAAS LPV approaches can have decision altitudes as low as 200 AGL, the same as many Cat I ILS approaches. Previous opinions on the Internet have quoted the FAA as saying LPV is considered a non-...
16
votes
5answers
10k views

Is an alternate airport always required when flying internationally?

When flying a domestic US flight, an alternate airport is not required unless the weather is below specific minimums at the destination. What are the rules when on an international flight plan and ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

During instrument approach, is an abbreviated racetrack course reversal allowed?

I was flying the RNAV (GPS) RWY 33 approach into KFNL during instrument meteorological conditions. The plate identifies a non-standard 6 NM racetrack reversal at IMOMY: Denver approach cleared me ...
15
votes
1answer
6k views

What is a Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA)?

I have heard about Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA), special procedures for runways that are spaced particularly close together. How exactly do they work? What are the requirements for ...
15
votes
2answers
6k views

Can GPS be used in lieu of DME for instrument approaches?

Instrument approach charts list the equipment required to fly them in their name. For this example let's say we have an ILS or LOC/DME 36R approach. This approach requires an ILS receiver for the ILS ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Are you required to report leaving an altitude if you have been given a crossing restriction?

If ATC gives me a clearance to cross a fix at a specific altitude or a descent at pilot's discretion and I read back the clearance, is my readback considered the report specified in the AIM, or do I ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

How do you open and get a IFR clearance while in the air?

I once had a traffic controller give me a hard time about how I requested IFR clearance once in the air. I had previously filed an IFR flight plan, and took off from my untowered home airport. On ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is this VDP not authorized?

I have to admit that I’ve always kind of struggled with the Visual Descent Point (VDP) concept. Looking at the Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS) definition: “The VDP is a defined point on the ...
15
votes
1answer
14k views

Why do some approaches have suffix letters such as Y and Z?

There are cases with instrument approaches where there will be multiple approaches to the same runway, in many cases uses some of the same nav aids and positions, but differentiated using alpha ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How do pilots align the HUD with their eyeballs?

In fighter jets, how do pilots align the HUD with their eyeballs?
14
votes
5answers
4k views

In the US, is there a way for a pilot to legally “maneuver at will” in actual IMC?

In the US, is there a way for a pilot to legally "maneuver at will" in actual IMC? Let's say you want to practice a series of reversing 360-degree turns and not have to communicate every change in ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I circle to a different runway if cleared for an instrument approach without circling minimums?

Tom is flying a C172S/G on ILS RWY 31 approach to KSNS. He just established on the localizer at 6000, from the SNS-22 DME Arc. He obtained weather from ATIS, wind 240@20G23, ceiling OVC006, visibility ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How should I request an IFR approach at the end of a VFR flight?

Here's the scenario: The flight starts night VFR, with broken ceiling at destination (class C airspace) and expected to improve according to the pre-flight abbreviated briefing. I'm IFR certified but ...
14
votes
1answer
897 views

Do instrument approach procedures sometimes have a minimum temperature?

Non-precision instrument approaches generally have altitude restrictions which get lower when you get closer to the airport. I always figured these restrictions were AMSL using the current altimeter ...
14
votes
1answer
59k views

What are the FAA requirements for an aircraft to be IFR certified?

As I understand it, the FAA certifies certain aircraft types for IFR flight in general. All aircraft of that type are then certified, not something you have to do with each individual aircraft. What ...
14
votes
1answer
671 views

How were the graveyard spiral and other sensory illusions discovered?

The graveyard spiral has an infamous reputation for killing even experienced pilots which only have visual flight experience. What the wikipedia article does not mention is how and when the spiral and ...
13
votes
2answers
568 views

What do solo pilots do between reporting points on longer flights?

On some IFR flights, it can be a long time between waypoints. Obviously you must continue monitoring ATC for instructions, but during the rest of the "idle" time, what tasks do pilots have that keep ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I do a VFR climb-out on IFR flight plan?

Let’s suppose I wish to fly an IFR flight from KTUS (Tucson International Airport) to KFST (Fort Stockton-Pecos) for example. Given the surrounding terrain there is of course an ODP that reads as ...
13
votes
1answer
868 views

What coming changes might render current IFR equipment worthless in the foreseeable future?

I'm shopping for my first aircraft. I have found a very well cared for 172 that is VFR. I also found an IFR-certified 172 that is higher time and cosmetically is showing its age. I inquired about ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Who is responsible for airspace separation when an IFR flight is cleared for a visual approach?

In areas tightly packed with airports (FXE, PHF, and countless others) it is possible to enter the airspace other than that of your destination airport. Some are less than 5 miles apart. In ...
13
votes
1answer
863 views

Why is it not a good idea to climb higher than a level at which you would have a cruise weight-climb speed less than 500 ft/min?

In relation with What is weight-climb speed?, why is it not a good idea to climb higher than a level at which you would have a cruise weight-climb speed less than 500 ft/min?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Do non-towered airports commonly have ILS?

Is it common, uncommon or rare for a non-towered airport to have ILS (Instrument Landing System) runways? Can a non-towered airport have ILS?
13
votes
2answers
434 views

What altitude should you cross DBIGE at on the PALLEY FIVE Departure (SID)?

While at Henderson Executive airport you receive an IFR clearance containing the phraseology "Climb Via the PALLEY FIVE Departure, Coaldale Transition" and you receive no additional altitude ...
13
votes
3answers
895 views

Why is the clearance delivery frequency included on an approach plate?

Approach plates include frequencies in the order that pilots will require them, reading from left to right. The example below from McClellan-Palomar’s ILS or localizer/DME approach to runway 24 is a ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

In the US, is it legal to cover up some of the required gyro instruments during flight under IFR in actual IMC?

In the US, is it legal to cover up some of the required gyro instruments during flight under IFR in actual IMC? The purpose being for "partial panel" practice.