23

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 IFR certified, it does not mean they will always fly IFR, whether they are fixed or rotary wing. Light aircraft in general don’t do well in extreme IMC, whether ...


22

Here's an investigation report on this very sort of thing in Canada. Note that the standard procedure to alert ATC that you have a total electrical/comms failure is to fly a left hand triangle twice with 2 minute legs, every 20 min. If they can see your non-transponder target they will quickly get the idea, and then make allowances for whatever you do next ...


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

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.


18

The trick my CFI taught me is to use your Course Deviation Indicator or ADF to keep track of landings. After your first landing, bug a course of 010. After your second landing, bug 020. You can reach over and adjust the knob after every landing without having to juggle a pen and a notebook. It's still a manual step, though. You could also use a product like ...


17

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 trimmed fixed-wing aircraft in good conditions could fly upwards of 30 seconds without pilot intervention, whereas a helicopter needs almost continual control ...


16

The altitude you fly at should be determined by the following: Where you are safest. Crossing 5500 foot mountains at 6500 simply is not a good safe practice. Your altitude should be higher at night, if for nothing else, to give you more time to diagnose a problem or pick a suitable landing spot. When my primary students fly the hills around here, I ...


15

The other answers have provided some easy ways to increment your count without too much distraction, but if you are really "prone to forget [...] when things get busy" as you say, this might not be good enough. I would therefore recommend a solution which does not require any action on your side. Most smartphones today have a pressure sensor. There ...


12

Can you do it? Sure. It is recommendable? That depends. If you are planning to use it as your primary source of navigation, then I would say definitely no. Aviation GPS units are designed to be used on aircraft, they are reliable and have airspace maps. There's a reason they are expensive. The same cannot be said for your phone GPS. But, if you remain ...


12

Get a Tally Counter, and push the button once per landing. No batteries, nothing to fail, easy to use. Not much more you could ask for. https://tallycounterstore.com/finger-tally-counter-quantity-discounts/ There are even options for mounted ones. https://tallycounterstore.com/mounted-tally-counter/


11

While full electrical system failure is uncommon, it does happen. It has happened to me personally on a flight over north Texas, due to an alternator failure. It's important to discern the cause as best you can and assess the remaining resources at your disposal. For example, in my case, I was able to preserve the remaining battery power by turning off all ...


9

The trick is not to fixate on small details, but to scan on the chart along your route for landmarks and features that combine into large geometric shapes that are easy to pick out from the air (while cruising the higher the better). Like; highway, river, and railway line that form some shape like a large 5 mile long triangle so that there is a unique ...


7

When you are on short final and something is on, is entering, or even seems to be entering the runway, you execute a go around. As for the second part of your question, given the loose parameters I'm afraid there is an infinite amount of different scenarios, and therefor I can't provide a comprehensive answer.


7

(Disclaimer: I'm not a pro at all, I don't even have any license yet) If you do indeed have a smartphone with you, you might consider just letting a voice recording run for the duration of your pattern work and call out your landings. When you're back on the ground, you can just listen through the recording and count the landings. This might also have ...


6

If you are flying IFR the FAA expects you to be on the centerline of the airway, as per the FAA's IFR flying manual to operate an aircraft within controlled airspace under IFR, pilots must either fly along the centerline when on a Federal airway or... I can't find any references in the Airplane Flying Handbook to airways at all and keep in mind under ...


5

I'd like to add something to Ron's answer. Use of geographic checkpoints is used a lot in initial training but it can become a debilitating crutch that leaves you in the lurch as soon as you go to another airport. I teach in gliders where getting the circuit right is fairly critical the first time, there being only one chance to land. The really important ...


5

You should have an alternate planned that is forecast VFR, with appropriate fuel reserves in place, before you left. But if you didn't, you'd call an ATC unit and tell them your predicament. Maybe they can send you to VFR conditions either reported by PIREP or by calling around to other tower units in range. Otherwise, you're going to have to do an ...


5

J. Hougaard is correct. With Tower, Approach and Center, yes you can use waypoints in communications. Be prepared for them not to know immediately where a lesser used waypoint is. I have had Center not know where particular Class G airports in their jurisdiction were. Some know the names by heart, but not the airport codes. When it comes to communicating ...


4

For SA to Namibia: Factors to consider Buying all the appropriate charts. Clouds: if you can't maintain the required separation, you need to switch to IFR, which means the plane needs to be IFR-equipped, and for you to be IFR rated. Sources: Namibia AIP GEN 3.2 and ENR 1.2 En route airway paths All airways from SA to Namibia are Class A, so VFR is not ...


4

To add to the above points... Circling Approaches are used when the Approach you want to use and the runway you want to use are not aligned with each other. Say for instance, you are arriving to the terminal area from the North. The runway you want to use is from the South (probably due to wind). You want to get down to the ground ASAP. You can get cleared ...


4

A handheld (or yoke-mounted) GPS such as the Garmin 76S (very ancient now) is very inexpensive and quite useful for VFR navigation, especially for choosing the right heading to end up where you want to go despite crosswinds, and for estimating ETA. For seeing airspace boundaries or having quick access to the location of nearby airports in case of an in-...


4

No, you can't be both VFR and IFR at the same time. It would be like saying that a ball is both red and blue at the same time. You are either one or the other, never both. If the pilot hasn't received an IFR clearance from flight services, then they are operating under visual flight rules, regardless of their intentions, capabilities, or flight plan. The ...


3

By regulation you just have to be sure that the conditions at destination allow you to maintain VFR clearance from cloud for your descent. Pretty much all you have to go on is the TAF for the area of your destination. If there isn't a TAF for an airport within say 20 or 30 miles from destination that would be a problem for me. Assuming a TAF is available,...


3

If you don't already have one, get a SLC Terminal Area Chart. Sometimes they will depict VFR reporting points that the Sectionals will not. Also, airports themselves will publish local area course rules that contain points like this. Check with an FBO, flight school, or tower. And if not published anywhere, just ask as Abelenky suggested.


3

You have to get the concept that there is a "safe" cruising altitude above some level, because that idea bubbling along in the back of your mind will influence decisions, over such things as weather, which can work against you. The most dangerous area in the VFR world is within a few miles of airports, because you have airplanes on converging tracks and ...


3

Airservices Australia now publishes electronic versions for free. Use requires acceptance of an agreement. Access as follows: Click Publications on the Air Services Australia website. Click Aeronautical Information Products – (AIP) at the top. Accept the agreement Select an AIP Charts option on the subsequent page.


3

Some towers have a data terminal that allows them to create and update flight plans*; these are typically the ones busy enough to have a separate Clearance Delivery frequency, but you'll find exceptions both ways. Other towers do not and would have to call a facility that does, which takes that controller away from actually controlling traffic; these towers ...


3

It looks like by default, night VFR isn't allowed in oceanic airspace. The 8-8-5 text you quoted appears to be an exception that does allow night VFR in certain specific Control Areas (CTAs) that are in US airspace. This is from the US AIP 7.1: 1. IFR/VFR Operations 1.1 Flights in oceanic airspace must be conducted under Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) ...


3

I will caveat my answer by saying that most of my night flying has been under IFR, but because of that I have lots of experience going in and out of clouds at night. It starts with a good weather brief, and don’t forget to ask for PIREPS that might cover areas further away from the field. True enough the bases can be ragged, and little puffies can lurk ...


3

A circling approach is executed on an instrument approach procedure which or where the final approach segment is not aligned directly with the runway of intended landing. Circling approaches can also be flown on instrument approaches where the pilot opts to land on another runway not aligned with the final approach segment, but which has more favorable wind ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible