Keeping One Step Ahead of ATC when flying IFR

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Gone are the days of making an educated guess on a route, only to have ATC respond with a full route clearance with intersections and airways. It now takes only a moment in ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot or FltPlan.com to enter a departure and destination airport and then see recently issued clearances to other aircraft flying the same route.

ILS approach with Spencer Suderman to Jacksonville Int’l

The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a precision approach that provides instrument pilots with both lateral and vertical guidance to a runway. In this video, Spencer Suderman demonstrates what it's like to fly an ILS in a Cessna 172 with a Garmin G1000 avionics system, and how to use the runway approach lighting system to descend below the decision altitude and find the runway when the ceiling is less than 200' AGL.

Understanding TEC routes in busy IFR airspace — Advanced IFR, by Pilot Workshops

The flight will utilize and explain a Tower Enroute Control (TEC) route which is an FAA program of standard routes that keep a flight solely within approach control airspace instead of working with air route traffic control centers.

Basic attitude instrument flying – the foundation for IFR flight

As the complete instrument pilot, you should be able to maintain heading, altitude, and airspeed at speeds ranging from cruise to approach. Within the normal speed range of an airplane, there are many combinations of power and pitch which will maintain altitude at different airspeeds.

Choosing an IFR arrival procedure (STAR) — Advanced IFR, by Pilot Workshops

STARs may have mandatory speeds and/or crossing altitudes published. Other STARs may have planning information depicted to inform pilots what clearances or restrictions to “expect.” Learn to the nuances of selecting an appropriate STAR from Pilot Workshops.

Instrument Flying (IFR) FAQs – top questions this week

Sporty's CFI team is answering a series of IFR-related questions, or FAQs. Questions are answered daily on the IFR Month homepage.

IFR holding pattern interactive scenarios

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Instrument-rated pilots are required to perform and log holding procedures at least once every six months, along with six instrument approaches and intercepting/tracking navigation courses to maintain IFR currency. Most pilots hit their peak of holding proficiency during instrument training, but the details tend to fade over time since holding procedures are rarely flown.

Planning an IFR departure

Departure procedures are designed primarily to provide obstacle clearance and should be used when published.  These procedures come in two varieties:  Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) and Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs).

3 holding scenarios to perfect in a flight simulator

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You can practice all these maneuvers effectively in a flight simulator, where you can add winds and keep sharp for the times you may need to perform a hold in a slightly different context than just going missed. Challenge yourself to maintain your situational awareness and workload during these sessions.

Choosing the best IFR departure procedure (SID) — Advanced IFR, by Pilot Workshops

SIDs are air traffic control procedures created to provide obstruction clearance and a transition from the terminal area to the en route structure. This helps reduce both pilot and controller workload and enhance safety. Multiple SIDs may be published for a particular airport.