Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
50

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 so in total reliance upon instruments. A PPL does require you to have at least 6 hours of simulated instrument flying with an instructor. That may keep you ...


39

It is very rare for weather to go IMC unexpectedly. A responsible pilot should see that weather is deteriorating, and begin planning for the nearest available landing. If they cannot find a landing, they should contact ATC while still in VMC, declare an emergency, and begin working with ATC to get down safely. In some cases, a pilot may inadvertently ...


33

VFR aviation maps called "sectionals" (and now GPS map displays) depict the types of airspace through borders with different colors and dashed lines. You can buy or download the maps for free from this FAA site. It is always the responsibility of a pilot to know where they are and follow all applicable laws. In the US, a pilot that breaks a rule because ...


28

(This answer is based on light aircraft in the US.) Leaving aside any scenarios where you must file IFR (class A, IMC) and any where you can't (pilot and/or aircraft not IFR-capable), it comes down to whether the 'overhead' and benefits of operating IFR are worth it for your particular flight. By the way, your question seems to assume that IFR is required ...


28

14 CFR Part 25 describes the requirements for an airliner like the 737 to be certified by the FAA. §25.1303 Flight and navigation instruments. (a) The following flight and navigation instruments must be installed so that the instrument is visible from each pilot station: ... (3) A direction indicator (nonstabilized magnetic compass). ...


27

The FAA treats large airplanes the same as any other airplane when it comes to VFR flight. They are required to maintain the same distance from clouds, only fly with the same minimum visibility, see and avoid other aircraft, etc. However, since only IFR flights are allowed above FL180 (without a special exemption), and large turbine airplanes are ...


27

The answer is: no, normal flights are not allowed under the canyon rim. If you look at the sectional chart, you see this notice: Searching through the CFR (Title 14, Part 91) brings up this Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 50-2 - Special Flight Rules in the Vicinity of the Grand Canyon National Park, AZ. Ther is also Supbart U of Part 93. The ...


27

A visual pilot flying into instrument conditions is a serious emergency. It's much better to avoid the situation in the first place which is why there's a significant amount of training around preventing that from happening , namely in learning meteorology and practicing good flight planning. Pilots should always be looking out for deteriorating conditions, ...


26

As fooot has described, the aircraft has a mechanical compass, which will work even if the electrical systems fail. Though unlikely, it is possible to imagine a situation where the crew of an aircraft loses all heading indicators. In such a situation, ATC can still provide radar vectors. ATC will instruct the crew which turn rate to use, and when to start ...


24

As SkipMiller said, you can basically request flight following at any time and any certificate level - student, sport pilot, private pilot - the service is available to anyone. Also: We're told that FF is "workload permitting". I used to think that meant they'd give you services when they can. But I was wrong about that. Instead, once they accept you, ...


23

Since a student pilot posed the query, here are some various thoughts based on my experience with FF. I'm a low-time VFR pilot (500 hours). I rarely make short flights; mostly cc for 1-3 hours. (I wouldn't typically use FF for a 30-min hop). I consider FF a HUGE privilege that could easily be taken away if enough GA pilots abuse it, neglect it, or don't ...


22

If I'm flying along in my C-152 and I am trying to go in a straight line through the "center" of C airspace, but the controller tells me to remain clear, what should I do? Well, the obvious answer is remain clear of the Class C airspace :-) HOW you remain clear is entirely up to you - you can go over, under, or around - you just can't go through, and I ...


22

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 horizon miles across rather than an inside artificial horizon a few inches across. We can do it, and we can even internalize doing it just as we have internalized ...


22

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.) Try landing a plane like this: (hint: you're on a ~30 degrees intercept to an ILS) Ops, it appears that you just lost your vacuum pump and your attitude ...


22

The indicator must be calibrated to read zero when that tank is actually empty of all usable fuel (in level flight). Bouncing is fine as long as they do not bounce when the tank is actually empty. See regs: 23.1337 91.205


21

I was wondering how long that it would take for this question to come up. It is the old "pitch -vs- power" airspeed control technique debate that rages throughout the aviation world. There are strong proponents of both techniques (and they seem to view it almost as a religious debate in that the other side can never be right, no matter what), and both ...


21

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 past flight plans, and determined that the way he filed was acceptable. The FAA told me they had reports of him going actual prior to his receiving a rating. I ...


20

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 order to fit you in with other inbound aircraft. In that situation they expect you to confirm and follow those instructions, and if you don't it makes for a ...


20

When asked for altitude, you report the altimeter reading, utilizing the correct barometric pressure entered into the Kollsman window. ATC separates traffic based upon indicated altitude. The indicated altitude may include errors, such as the pressure ATC provides, but all aircraft in the area will presumably be using the same barometric pressure, and will ...


20

Use of a sectional chart and pilotage. You will have to be aware of where you are using ground references while cross referencing where the boundaries of controlled airspace lies in relation to those references. For example if you’re flying around to the west of John Tune (KJWN) airport in Nashville, TN and will notice the river bends near the airport. ...


19

Wait until the frequency isn't terribly busy on one of your flights, then just: "Unfamiliar with Creek waypoint, Request clarification" You can reasonably expect them to either explain the waypoint, or if they're busy, potentially give you a phone number or other contact info to try from the ground. You can also call an Airport Manager (801-852-6715) for ...


18

The answer, as best I can discern it from my training & my own experience, is "You can't!" -- every instructor I've flown with has said that cloud clearances are the most inadvertently-busted regulation, even when pilots are doing their best to obey the requirements. Our eyes and brain are really good at judging distance relative to landmarks and objects ...


18

Yes, it's legal to operate under VFR without any visual reference to the surface. It's called operating VFR over-the-top, not to be confused with VFR-on-top which is an IFR clearance. Over-the-top is defined in 14 CFR 1.1: Over-the-top means above the layer of clouds or other obscuring phenomena forming the ceiling. There are some exceptions and ...


18

I'm in a similar boat to you and I just did my first XC from KDYL to KDDH a few months ago. Which was the first time I had been to an airport I did not go to during training. It was a lot of fun but here are a few things to consider, Get the G430 simulator as Ron mentions. You should always familiarize yourself with all systems in an aircraft before flying ...


18

Generally: By Using a (Physical) Map Aviation charts have landmarks and airspaces on them, which you can use to estimate where you're at. Other answers give great examples of this already, I don't have to repeat it. But I thought I could add some real life experience here: 1) Memorizing the Area Glider pilots, especially trainees, often fly without maps ...


18

It depends on the operator's "opspecs" which are negotiated between them and the FAA. Generally in the US the vast majority of part 121 scheduled airline operations are required to be IFR, but plenty of part 135 charters are permitted to fly VFR. They may be subject to weather minimums higher than the general VFR limits.


17

While distances are hard for many people to estimate, time is much easier for many people to estimate. Pull out your trusty E6B, and work out the distance in terms of seconds. For example, at a cruising speed of 110Kts (typical for many small GA student planes), 3 Miles is 1 minute 30 seconds 2000 feet is 10 seconds. So if you cannot see where you'll be ...


17

Visual separation is addressed specifically in the AIM (see below). It is an ATC instruction sometimes given when the pilot reports another aircraft in sight. ATC is then able to instruct the pilot to "maintain visual separation" from the other aircraft, and it doesn't matter if they are IFR or VFR. Then it becomes quite simple: Don't hit the other ...


17

Special case: our university has an exceedingly good autopilot installed in all of our trainers. If one of our private pilot students gets into IMC by mistake, they hit the button marked "Straight & Level" and then let Otto fly the 180 turn to exit IMC. While not every student or private pilot has access to the level of cockpit automation that we do, ...


17

You should generally report what you see on your altimeter (at least that is what i was always instructed to do) but this presumes that you are up to date on your local pressure settings (which you should be). This also insures proper separation in the airspace system. FWIW Transponders generally report the altitude calibrated to a set 29.92 and then ...


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