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IFR Study Guide

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Planning Steps
1. Check enroute chart
2. review approach plates
3. ETE
4. alternate requirements
5. File with fss
6. Obtain Weather
7. Check for SID and DP’s- Ensure you look for Terrible T’s and A’s and A N/A’s
8. Plan Route - Consider: Take off mins, enroute weather, obstacle clearances,
navigational aids
9. Enroute Consideration: - Obstructions clearance, Navigation aids, Freezing levels
10. Approaches - Consider: Weather mins, , is an alternate required (1-2-3 rule),
other ways to get
into field, check foot notes on approach plates
11. IFR – 1000ft 3 miles visibility
Filing and Picking Up Clearances
• File at least 30 minutes before you need it
• Pick up clearance 10 minutes before take-off
• Filed flight plans remain in system for 2 hours from ETD
• Void time allows you to depart IMC from an uncontrolled field
Filing an Alternate Airport:
• if 1 hour before and 1 hour after time of intended landing at primary airport the
weather is predicted to be below
2000’ ceiling and 3 SM visibility. (1-2-3 rule ,Filing an alternate airport is
• Or if the primary airport does not have a published instrument approach. You
always have to file an alternate
airport regardless of the weather
• The exception to filing an alternate without an instrument approach is if a descent
can be made from the MEA
and land at the airport visually (VFR)
Alternate requirements
• When an alternate is required, check the approach plate to see if the airport can
legally be filed as an alternate.
Look for (A NA) It needs to have approved weather reporting.
• Alternate airport weather requirements at ETA : precision approach must have
600’ AGL ceiling and 2 miles
visibility. non-precision approach must have 800’ ceiling and 2 miles visibility if no
alternate weather minimums
are published.
Departure Procedures (DP’s) can be either
SIDs – Established for traffic flow, can be avoided by requesting "no sids’ on flight
plan. or...
DP’s – Established for obstacle clearance, must be followed.
ATC- Pilot Navigation – Formerly SIDs
ATC- Radar Vectors - Formerly SIDs
Obstacle Clearance (front or TRPPS) note terrible "T"s (
Standard take off min = 1 mile Vis for 2 eng or less ½ mile Vis for more than 1 eng.
Climb rate =Ground speed/60 xfeet/nm=climb rate
Approach Speeds are Based on Vso x 1.3
A= below 90 knots
B= 91 to 120 knots
C= 121-140 Knots
D= 141-165 knots
E= Greater than 165 knots
Flight review, Inspections & currency
• Biennial Flight Review 24 Calendar Months
• Medical Certificate 24 Calendar Months
• Transponder 24 Calendar Months
• Altimeter/Pitot/Static 24 Calendar Months (PAT 24)
• Annual 12 Calendar Months
• ELT 12 Calendar Months
• 100-Hour 100 hours-If for hire
• IFR Currency 6 Calendar Months
category and class)
• VOR Test 30 Days
1. The Transponder/Mode C and the Altimeter/Pitot/Static test are usually
concurrently and recorded under a single logbook endorsement.
2. ELT
• Battery: Replace or recharge after more than 1 hour of continuous use or at ½ the
• To test: Tune to 121.5 during the first 5 min of every hour
3. VFR w/passengers
• 3 Take-offs and landings for day currency
• 3 Take-offs and landings to a full stop for night currency
4. IFR Currency
• All VFR requirements
• 6 approaches in the past 6 months with holding, intercepting and tracking courses.
Simulator or hood is acceptable.
• There is a 6-month grace period if approaches are not completed within the
previous 6
months; If not completed in next 6 months an instrument proficiency check by at
least a CFII
is required.
5. VOR Test Note date, place, bearing error, and signature
• Over airborne checkpoint: +/- 6
• Over ground checkpoint: +/- 4
• Against two VOR’s: 4
maximum difference.
• VOT test signal: +/- 4 with 180 TO indication or 360 from
Minimum equipment required for IFR flight. (GRABCARD)

Attitude indicator
Adjustable altimeter
Rate of turn indicator
Directional gyro
Partial-panel compass turns: UNOS
Compass dip: ANDS
Compass errors
compass deviation- caused by metals and electrical accessories in aircraft
variation- Difference between true north and magnetic north
Magnetic dip- magnetic north is below horizon due to curvature of the earth.
Flight Clearance: CRAFT
IFR mandatory reports: FAME Performance
Fixes: arriving or leaving
Altitude changes
Missed approach
Equipment: loss or problems
Performance: poor climb/descend, TAS change
Much of the procedural elements of the IFR rating involve dealing with radio
communications failure. If we could completely count on radio contact, then such
things as initial clearances, procedure turns, and even expected arrival times would
be largely unnecessary, because we could simply expect ATC to give vectors to final
and keep aircraft separate in real time.
If you experience a radio failure, put the code 7600 on your transponder. If you
can still hear ATC (but not transmit), keep listening for instructions. (A standard
procedure for ATC is to ask if you can hear them and have you IDENT in reply.
Other questions can also be answered with an IDENT.) If radio reception is also a
problem, listen over nearby VOR and NDB channels, which ATC will also try.
The procedures for two-way radio communications are covered entirely by FAR
91.185, and, of course, here:
I. VFR: If communications failure happens in VMC, or if VFR conditions are
encountered after the failure and you can stay in VMC, you should continue the flight
under VFR and land as soon as practicable.
II. IFR: If the failure occurs in IFR conditions, then you should continue your
flight, and ATC will also assume that you are continuing, and clear airspace
accordingly. The three elements of the navigation are:
Leaving the clearance limit in order to shoot the approach
Think of "Avenue F": AVE F. This is the order of priority to your routing:
as Assigned
as Vectored
as Expected
as Filed.
1. Assigned: Fly the route assigned in the last ATC clearance received.
2. Vectored: If being radar vectored, fly directly to the fix, route, or airway
specified in the vectoring clearance.
3. Expected: In the absence of an assigned route, fly the route that ATC told you to
expect (in a further clearance).
4. Filed: In the absence of an assigned or expected routing, fly what you filed in
your flight plan.
Fly the highest of these three, for the segment of flight you're on:
Assigned Altitude
Expected Altitude
Assigned: The altitude assigned in your last clearance.
Expected: The altitude that ATC has told you to expect. ("Cherokee 2RJ expect
7,000 in ten minutes.")
MEA: The minimum enroute altitude for the segment you are on, as given on the
enroute chart.
In flying the highest of these three, your altitude may change repeatedly, because
the altitude assigned may be lower than the MEA for certain segments. In this case,
you should climb to the higher MEA, and then descend again when the MEA is lower
than your assigned or expected altitude.
Plan to leave the clearance limit or the IAF (if the limit was the airport itself) at the
time calculated from your flight plan. On the plan was an expected time enroute: add
that to your departure time off, and start your instrument approach procedure at
that time. If you arrive at the clearance limit before then, hold there until that
expected arrival time.
Preflight Planning Required by FARs §91.103:
• Weather reports and forecasts
• Known traffic delays as advised by ATC
• Runway lengths of intended use
• Alternatives if flight cannot be completed as planned
• Fuel requirements
• Takeoff and landing distance data in the approved aircraft flight manual
Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) Is the safe altitude within 25NM of the airport or
navaid and provides 1000’ obstacle clearance in both mountainous and non-
mountainous terrain. It is usually located within 30 miles of airport and is for
emergency use only.
Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA) Is the minimum altitude in which ATC can vector
an aircraft. This guarantees 1000’ obstacle clearance in non-mountainous, 2000’ in
mountainous, and 300’ within airspace.
Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA) Is usually the lowest published altitude between
radio fixes that guarantees adequate navigation signal reception and obstruction
clearance (2000’ mountainous within 4NM, 1000’ elsewhere) Adequate communication
can be expected but not guaranteed. There may be gaps up to 65 miles as indicated
by "MEA GAP."
Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude (MOCA) guarantees obstacle clearance
(2000’ mountainous within 4NM, 1000’ elsewhere), but only guarantees navigation
signal coverage for 22 NM from the navigation facility. It is proceeded by a * on
NOS charts and a "T" on Jeppesen charts
Minimum Crossing Altitude is the lowest altitude at certain fixes at which an
aircraft must cross when proceeding in the direction of a higher minimum enroute
IFR altitude
Minimum Reception Altitude is the lowest altitude at which an intersection can be
Off-Route Obstruction Clearance Altitude (OROCA) gives 2000’ obstruction
clearance in mountainous areas
and 1000’ elsewhere within a latitude and longitude grid area.
Non-Precision Approach is a standard instrument approach procedure in which no
electronic glide slope is provided; for example NDB, VOR, TACAN, ASR, LDA, or
Precision Approach is an IAP in which an electronic glideslope is provided such as a
ILS, MLS, or PAR approaches.
Procedure Turn (PT) is a maneuver prescribed when it is necessary to reverse
direction in order to establish an aircraft on the intermediate approach segment or
on the final approach course. A procedure turn begins by overflying a facility or
fix. The maximum speed for a PT is 200 KIAS
Final Approach Fix (FAF) is at the glideslope intercept (lighting bolt) on a precision
approach. If ATC directs a glideslope intercept altitude which is lower than that
published, the actual point of glideslope intercept becomes the
FAF. The Maltese cross indicates the FAF on a non-precision approach.
Final Approach Point (FAP) applies only to non-precision with no designated FAF
such as on-airport VOR or NDB. It is the point at which an aircraft has completed
the procedure turn, is established inbound on the final approach course, and may
start the final descent. The FAP serves at the FAF and identifies the beginning of
the final approach segment.
Glideslope is a glide path that provides vertical guidance for an aircraft during
approach and landing. Applying the glideslope angle and the ground speed to the rate
of descent table gives a recommended vertical speed.
Height Above Touchdown (HAT) is the height above the highest point within the first
3000’ of the runway. It is
published in conjunction with straight-in approaches and appears next to the MDA or
DH of the approach plate.
Height Above Airport (HAA) is the height above the highest point on any of the
landing surfaces. It is published in conjunction with circling approaches and appears
next to the MDA of the approach plate.
Threshold Crossing Height (TCH) is the height above the threshold of the runway for
a given glideslope.
Touchdown Zone Elevation (TDZE) is the highest point within the first 3000’ of
Field Elevation is the highest point on any of the landing surfaces. It is not the
highest point on the field, just the landing surface.
Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) is the altitude on a non-precision approach in
which you must go missed or land visually and guarantees 300’ obstacle clearance.
Pilot can only go below MDA 30 degrees of the runway. Field Elevation + HAA=
Decision Height (DH) is the altitude on a precision approach while following a
glideslope in which you must go missed or land visually. HAT + TDZE =DH
• Cruise Clearance - Can fly between MEA and assigned altitude at Pilot’s
discretion but must
request lower once altitude attained.
• "CRUISE 6000"
• "You may climb and descend between your clearance altitude and MEA all you want
unless you report leaving an altitude. The key is to not report leaving an altitude!
• You are cleared to your destination airport and may shoot ANY of the instrument
approaches upon arrival without further clearance.
• Cannot get a cruise clearance on the ground.
• Review a sectional for terrain and obstacles to avoid CFIT.
• VFR on Top - Maintain visual separation but still IFR, and may want to get back
down. Must maintain cloud clearances (2000’ hor, 1000’ above, 500 below)
• Climb to VFR on Top - Cancel IFR once VFR on Top, your on your own, NOT
• SVFR – Special VFR must be 1 mile clear of clouds, and can only be accepted at
night if pilot and aircraft are IFR. Allowed in Class B, C, D, E airspace.
• Weather Minimums of LAHSO - 1000 feet, 3 miles visibility