5 reasons why IFR preparation is important

5 reasons why IFR preparation is important

IFR is an abbreviation of Instrument Flight Rules, and as the name suggests, it sets the general standards and rules to be followed for a well-equipped aircraft to fly under. IMC which means Instrument Meteorological Conditions is used to set the standard for flying safely by analyzing visibility, cloud conditions, and distance from clouds. Flying IFR means that you have a predetermined route that dictates your path with intricate navigation aids to help you avoid airspace smoothly. When arriving at an airport, known instrument procedures take care of your landing and directly lead you to the runway threshold.

Nothing is perfect, the percentage of flights with no single issue isn’t a complete 100%; radio calls being less than perfect, issues with altitude due to weather, overshooting courses, and a rougher than usual landing. All these issues can be handled if preparations are taken into consideration and paid close attention to, and that’s why we’ll be discussing with you the main five reasons why IFR preparation matters.

Ignoring the legal limit can and will get you into trouble

This may sound strange, but some instrument pilots may deliberately drive through clouds for fun. It might be exciting, but getting into clouds will change the way you have to operate the plane because of other physical variables. You could easily believe you are flying leveled while you actually are deviating completely. In instrument flight rules training, it’s highly recommended that you give yourself a chance to test the clouds, expert pilot or a student, every pilot should practice avoiding driving through clouds regardless of their thickness as even thin clouds could hide another plane. Ignoring the rules and the legal limit in these cases can lead to severe consequences.

The rules for dealing with ugly Weather are critical

Even if you’re allowed to fly in terrible conditions, you shouldn’t always opt to. Thunderstorms can wreak havoc on a plane’s electronic functionality and damage its structural frame causing very dangerous situations. Thunderstorms aren’t the only element you should be afraid of; icing conditions aren’t to be messed with especially if your plane isn’t prepared and equipped with the right tools.

Staying calm is your most important rule

Generally, when it comes to flying, panicking will make you forget your training and all the rules that should be followed. This might get you in very bad situations. When your nerves get the best of you, you may not be able to do very ordinary tasks like gear control so staying calm is critical to be able to perform at your peak. Always remember to take a deep breath or two once you feel that your heart is beating faster than it should.

Forgetting Your Avionics Is Fatal

You certainly picked the worst time to learn your avionics if you’re just flying solo. You should study the system and know what each panel and button exactly do, for example, making an entry should be something that is already predetermined in your head that you shouldn’t have to think of twice. Autopilot is pretty much one of the best systems a plane could ever have, but if you have no clue what the autopilot is doing on a flight then you better take control, setting auto-pilot on the wrong setting could be disastrous.

Staying Current with IFR Is Your Savior

Regular practice is going to help you stay current with IFR, it is easy to get lost in all the preparations that are needed to be taken care of, but with enough cautious practice, you should be able to get yourself acquainted with a lot of possible scenarios that will help you in tough situations.

It’s Not Shameful to Write It Down

Having clearances, frequencies, and vectors written down is certainly a wise idea. It is extremely hard to remember everything from memory, while you are busy on a flight, notes that record altitude changes and other parameters are going to be very handy.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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