Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

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News Stories

Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Briefing the Approach, iPhone iOS 11 update + GA News


Everyone knows that when flying VFR, that a pilot’s priorities are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. But when flying IFR, pilots are often confused by their priorities when faced with a high task load while preparing to fly an instrument approach. 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year Max Trescott explains that IFR pilots should prioritize these three things above all other activities. 1. Rolling out onto headings 2. Leveling off at Altitudes 3. Intercepting the final approach course Getting the ATIS, briefing the approach, talking to ATC and everything else are all lower priorities. Max then talks about how to brief an instrument approach while in cruise flight and setting up for an instrument approach.

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News Stories

Overcoming Checkride Anxiety – 14 ways to reduce your fears + GA News



Everyone feels nervous to some extent when they go for a checkride, so we share 14 ways to reduce your anxiety before and during a checkride. Checkride anxiety applies to student pilots in particular because it’s your first checkride. But it also applies to all pilots who think that someday they’ll go for an instrument, or maybe a multiengine, seaplane, glider, Commercial, ATP, or CFI checkride. Professional pilots working for a Part 135 charter company or an airline, also have to periodically be rechecked.

Here’s a brief summary of the 14 ways to reduce your nervousness about a checkride. Note: You’ll hear far more details about each one in the podcast.

  1. If possible, meet the examiner ahead of time.
  2. Clear the deck for at least a week before the checkride.
  3. Do whatever it takes to guarantee that you get a decent amount of sleep the night before the checkride.
  4. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order.
  5. Become intimately familiar with the ACS oral section,
  6. Use a study guide like the ASA Private Oral Exam guide to help you prepare for the oral.
  7. Do a mock checkride with your instructor or another flight instructor.
  8. If there’s a gouge available, a report that someone has written about their checkride with your examiner, see if you can find it and read it ahead of time.
  9. Don’t get upset if you make some mistakes on your last flight before the checkride.
  10. Prepare for a long day; bring some food!
  11. When you walk in for your checkride, exhibit confidence, but not cockiness.
  12. Know that it’s OK to tell the DPE a joke.
  13. If you start getting nervous, and feel you’re not doing well, ask for a timeout.
  14. Go into the checkride with just the tiniest bit of indifference or apathy, so you won’t be too upset if you don’t pass.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

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News Stories

The CAA has launched a survey for GA pilots flying in U.K. airspace in an effort to encourage ADS-B usage by the flying community. The survey seeks information on the types of devices already used by private pilots and the devices they would prefer to use.

FAA WINGS program, Marvel Comics, Non-towered airport pattern entry, More ADS-B products, Flight Design Sold + GA News


We talk about the benefits of participating in the FAA WINGS program in lieu of doing a Flight Review (formerly called a BFR), which pilots in the U.S. must do every two years. Instead of spending an hour on the ground reviewing Part 91 rules and regulations, the FAA WINGS program lets you can take free online courses instead, which may be a better use of your time, if you choose courses that help keep you safer when you fly.

We had lots of feedback on entering the traffic at non-Towered Airports. Not everyone likes the FAA preferred entry for crossing over the field at 500 feet above pattern altitude and then turning to enter on the 45. But we don’t get to pick which rules to follow and not follow, just because we don’t like them!

Plus an Air Canada flight 759 near miss update. Oddly, that aircraft was not visible on SFO’s surface radar for 12 seconds, and we explain why. Plus listener questions. An instrument pilots asks about how to activate an instrument approach on his Garmin GPS.

Click here for the survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

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News Stories

Private Pilot Tips for Non-Towered Airports, Free Cirrus Training, ATC Privatization, and Air Canada Near Miss Update + GA News


We talk about flying at non-Towered Airports, including how to enter on the 45, when on the opposite side of the airport. The preferred method of entry from the opposite side of the pattern is to announce your intentions and cross over midfield at least 500 feet above pattern altitude; here in Northern California, pilot examiners look for pilots on checkrides to cross at 1,000 feet above the traffic pattern altitude. When well clear of the pattern—approximately 2 miles—scan carefully for traffic, descend to pattern altitude, then turn right to enter at 45° to the downwind leg at midfield.

Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, and a retired Air Canada captain told me that their procedures require pilots to back up visual approaches with electronic navigation. But apparently this pilot didn’t follow that procedure, and he nearly landed on top of several airliners on a taxiway. Plus listener questions how to legally exit an airport under a TFR, and an instrument pilots asks about whether to load an instrument approach with vectors or an IAF.

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

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News Stories

Private Pilot Tips for Traffic Patterns, Cirrus Crash, ATC Privatization, and Air Canada Near Miss Update + GA News


We talk about flying the traffic pattern, and talk in detail about flying a Cessna 172 in the traffic pattern. For example, many people don’t know the exact meaning of “Make Right Traffic.” It means, fly to a position where you can enter the traffic pattern on the 45, then turn to downwind and fly the traffic pattern. It doesn’t mean to enter on the downwind. And of course you should be at pattern altitude when you’re on the 45. We also talk about doing a forward slip in a Cessna 172 and use of flaps during crosswind landings.

Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, when it inadvertently lined up to land on a taxiway instead of on the runway. We talk about how confirmation bias may have contributed to the lack of awareness that the Air Canada pilots had about their situation.

We also talk about a recent fatal Cirrus SR22 crash in Sonoma, California, and the importance of never pulling the parachute below 400 feet, as it will most likely make things worse! I give details about a recent flight I took from El Paso, Texas to Concord, CA with the new owner of a Cessna 206. We postponed the trip because of a heat wave 3 weeks ago.

Plus listener questions about using flaps during crosswind landings and whether you can fly if you’re legally using medical marijuana.

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

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News Stories

Air Canada News Near Miss at SFO, Private Pilot Tips on Squelch and Audio Panels, ATC Privatization + GA News


Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, when it inadvertently lined up to land on a taxiway instead of on the runway. The FlightAware online tracking service showed the Air Canada Airbus 320 dropping to as low as 175 feet before increasing altitude above Taxiway C, flying over three fully loaded United Airlines and one Philippine Airlines airliners. At 11:55 p.m., the time of the incident, Runway 28L was closed with its lights dark, according to the FAA. It’s possible that shifted the Air Canada pilot’s orientation to the right, leading him to think that Taxiway C was actually runway 28R. We talk about the key reason that a disaster was narrowly averted, and how that applies to pilots flying general aviation aircraft.

We also talk about the poorly understood squelch controls on radios and intercoms and how to set them properly. And about how to operate the switches on older audio panels found in 1960s through 1980s Cessnas and Pipers. Plus listener questions: Should you Dive and Drive on an instrument approach? How should a future CFI learn to land from the right seat? What should you do if you violate the minimum altitudes over a wildlife or marine sanctuary?

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Air Traffic Control (ATC) Government Privatization Explained – Call to Action for General Aviation Private and Instrument Pilots and People Planning to Learn to Fly to Contact Congress



ATC Privatization
On June 22, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives released H.R. 2997, the AIRR Act, calling for the privatization of Air Traffic Control in the U.S. Later, both EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and NBAA, the National Business Aviation Association, issued an urgent call for members to contact their representatives in Congress to oppose ATC privatization. AOPA, the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association, also sent a call for their members to contact their representations just before we published this show, which is why we weren’t able to mention them in the podcast. Please take action by going to govt.eaa.org to generate a letter to your representatives in Congress.

Please support my show by checking out my new Patreon Page. You will ultimately find lots of free posts on the page. To kick things off, I just posted a pdf of the Delta Airlines study on privatization, which you can download and read for free now. I’ve also posted results of an ATC Privatization survey of US pilots conducted of Airplane Geeks podcast listeners in February 2017.

Please consider supporting my show with contributions of as little as $2 per month, also at my Patreon page.

Today, I’m devoting this entire episode to privatization. I’ll be playing audio clips from the President, members of Congress, Airline CEOs, EAA CEO Jack Pelton, and from pilots in other countries that have privatized their air traffic control system. I’ll also share results of a survey of pilot podcast listeners on privatizing ATC. And to help me, I’m joined by Senior Editor of Flying Magazine, Rob Mark.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

Audio Clip sources

  • Review of Air Traffic Control Reform Proposals – Hearing Before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives. February 10, 2016. Video   Hearing Transcript
  • Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Federal Aviation Administration Authorization – Hearing Before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives June 8, 2017. Video
  • Full Committee Markup –  Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives. June 27, 2017. Video