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65 votes
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Why does flying IFR require a rating?

The short and sweet answer to this question: That kind of thinking is what kills a lot of pilots. A non-instrument rated pilot may know how to fly and navigate but does not yet have the skill to do ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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48 votes
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What did Chuck do wrong in this Chicken Wings comic?

Chuck landed blindfolded. He's using a hood, a device worn like a visor which blocks part of your vision so you can only see the instrument panel and nothing outside. Pilots practicing instrument ...
TypeIA's user avatar
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39 votes
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Was it possible to land a Boeing 707 with 300 feet cloud ceiling in the 70s?

ILS approaches were in common use in 1970 when I got my instrument rating. The normal (Cat I) ceiling minimum was 200 feet. So, yes, a 707 would have been able to land with a 300 foot cloud ceiling in ...
Terry's user avatar
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31 votes

Why does flying IFR require a rating?

Because it is very difficult to navigate with instruments alone. I just wished to illustrate to you by giving you an example. (These are flight simulation images, but should illustrate the idea well.)...
kevin's user avatar
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27 votes

Why does flying IFR require a rating?

Once in the air, the pilot's most basic task in manipulating the controls is to keep the airplane right side up. As it turns out, this is much easier to do when we have reference to an outside real ...
Terry's user avatar
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27 votes

How do pilots align the HUD with their eyeballs?

The other way around - you set up the pilot for eye-to-HUD alignment. When you are in the right position then you can see all the data-fields on the HUD - if you can't see them, you move your seat.
RAC's user avatar
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25 votes
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Is the pilot required to keep visual lookout during IFR operations in VMC?

You didn't mention which country or jurisdiction you're asking about, but in the US 14 CFR 91.113(b) says: When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under ...
Pondlife's user avatar
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25 votes
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Is there a penalty for changing the approach procedure after accepting one?

There is no penalty per se, but visual approaches in particular have lower separation requirements, so having to switch you back to a non-visual approach may require ATC to make corrections (e.g. ...
StephenS's user avatar
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25 votes
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How many holds to be IR current?

According to this AOPA article, quoting the FAA person who actually wrote 61.57, it’s one hold: When paragraph 61.57(c)(1)(ii) [i.e., "Holding procedures"] was written it was not intended ...
Pondlife's user avatar
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24 votes
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May a non-instrument pilot legally file IFR as long as he amends and doesn’t accept an instrument clearance?

My instrument students, when they get more advanced, file FP with their name, and in remarks say "Training xxxxxx CFII" That way it is clear. The FAA office investigated one student, dug up his ...
mongo's user avatar
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23 votes

Why do helicopter operations avoid IFR?

Helicopters do not avoid IFR. They will, however, try to avoid IMC for safety reasons. The same is true for airplanes in the same weight class. Just because the pilot is IFR rated and the aircraft is ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
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21 votes
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Why must IFR be cancelled?

It's all about making sure everybody knows what's going on. While you are on an instrument approach and thus flying IFR, ATC is responsible for spacing you, giving instructions on heading and speed in ...
KeithS's user avatar
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21 votes
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How do pilots align the HUD with their eyeballs?

A pilot will usually adjust his seat height to align his eyes roughly with the design eye-position in an aircraft. As there is almost no parallax error, even with the wrong seat height, HUD-elements ...
John K's user avatar
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19 votes

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

Since your question explicitly mentions emergency situations: Especially during time-critical emergency landings, the workload of the flight crew is at a higher level anyway. The answer by ymb1 ...
nabla's user avatar
  • 1,216
19 votes

Why do helicopter operations avoid IFR?

Helicopter IFR operations do exist, but the short answer to the thrust of your question is: helicopter IFR is inherently more dangerous than fixed-wing IFR due to the lack of stability. A properly ...
Ben's user avatar
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18 votes

If you were to fly an ILS in a knife edge would you receve GS and LOC be flipped?

No, the directional part of ILS is located at the ground. (Ground) transmitter creates lobes with specified frequency and modulation to mark the high, low, right and left areas. LOC and GS signals ...
Martin's user avatar
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17 votes
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What do solo pilots do between reporting points on longer flights?

The short answer is that you keep checking everything in the aircraft is doing what it should. For light piston GA operations, one common acronym for en route checks is FREDA. Here are some things ...
Pondlife's user avatar
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17 votes

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

To my knowledge there's nothing illegal about practicing partial panel in real IMC, however it's a spectacularly bad idea to do so. A failure of vacuum instruments in IMC is an emergency because you ...
GdD's user avatar
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17 votes

What organisation owns intersection names?

The allocation of waypoint names is actually handled by each country's individual aviation authority. This means that there are actually duplicates in different countries or regions. The ICAO has made ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
17 votes

VFR aircraft on a practice instrument approach—is the aircraft IFR? Do they receive separation?

Is the aircraft now IFR? No. The only way ATC can initiate an IFR clearance is by saying the words "CLEARED TO [location]" (7110.65 4–2–1b). The location they say is the clearance limit. If ...
randomhead's user avatar
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17 votes
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Can a pilot tell a controller they don't need IFR clearance?

Can a pilot tell a controller they don't need IFR clearance? This is backward, you don't tell a controller what you don't need. You request what you do want and they'll usually do their best to ...
Jamiec's user avatar
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16 votes
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Does an IFR flight-plan include the approach?

US-based answer. No, the specific instrument approach is not part of the flight plan and is not included in the initial IFR clearance. The flight plan is just that, a plan. It can change in flight, ...
randomhead's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why do double-ended ILS runway share the same frequency from both sides?

Listen to the identifier... That will tell you if you have the 10R I-MRY or the 28L I-MTB ils. Some runways use the same frequency like this, while others use different frequencies for opposite ...
Ralph J's user avatar
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15 votes
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How is a conflict between aircraft with TCAS I and II resolved?

TCAS 1 will only give a Traffic Advisory (TA). The crew will lookout for the other aircraft and take evasive action if necessary. They also may contact ATC for instructions. They will follow ATC ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.6k
15 votes

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

You don't have to have permission to fly in IMC in uncontrolled, class G, airspace. However, you must have an instrument rating and be in an IFR-certified aircraft. In uncontrolled airspace, you may ...
GdD's user avatar
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15 votes
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Vertical and horizontal separation between cruising and climbing aircraft

I think you may have answered your own question note the use of the word OR To my understanding, aircraft at these altitudes should always have a separation of least 1000 ft or 5 nm. If you ...
Dave's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why were DHL611 and Bashkirian 2937 on a collision course?

The Airways that the planes fly on criss-cross the sky and there are many, many intersections where there can be a potential for 2 aircraft to meet. So yes, it is normal that aircraft are routinely ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
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