"Pilot's discretion" gives us some really useful options if we know how to use it.
Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and much more! “Descend and maintain” is such a staple of IFR communications, it might as well be a single word. Yet there are times when that’s the last thing you want to do. Maybe those clouds are bumpy, and more »
Instrument pilots have a thing for regulatory minutia. An information morsel you’ll often hear repeated is “being able to descend to 100 feet AGL when you can see only the approach lights.” That’s too bad, because it belittles a beautiful piece of information design by turning it into a gouge for aviation trivia night. It’s more »
Some tips to cut risk when you descend on an approach
Back in the day, vertical guidance on final approach was reserved for the Cadillac approaches, which almost always meant an ILS. Airports whose tax base or FAA grant status didn’t cut it were stuck with non-precision approaches. Without vertical guidance, we’d cross a fix and step down to the next altitude, fix after fix, until more »
Planning a departure alternate before leaving the ground can make all the difference in an emergency
I’m paranoid about emergencies on IFR departures. Maybe it’s because I’ve had four attitude indicator (AI) failures in flight, twice in IMC. One of those was even a certified primary flight display (PFD) from a major manufacturer, so don’t assume glass panels are immune. Indulge me in the retelling of one of those to illustrate more »
I never liked the saying, “Plan the flight and fly the plan.” Most GA flying requires bending the plan to fit the reality of the moment—or ends with the breaking of something valuable. When the aircraft capabilities are limited and crew resource management consists of talking to oneself, flexibility is king. Flexibility flows from a more »