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Testing Tuesday: Transitioning from VFR to IFR on a Composite Flight Plan

VFR-IFR Transition

Last week's Testing Tuesday post was one of the questions on my Instrument Knowledge test that I had missed while I was studying for the exam. It was one that, this time around, I answered correctly (I always attempt to answer the question before I post it here). Here is one that I answered wrong before, and answered wrong AGAIN before deciding to post it on Smart Flight Training (how embarrassing!). But that's the point, right? Expand our knowledge together and admit our mistakes and missteps in the hope that other pilots will learn from us without having to make the same mistakes we did. After all, there are plenty of mistakes to go around!

On to today's question:

What is the recommended procedure for transitioning from VFR to IFR on a composite flight plan?

  1. Prior to transitioning to IFR, contact the nearest FSS, close the VFR portion, and request ATC clearance.
  2. Upon reaching the proposed point for change to IFR, contact the nearest FSS and cancel your VFR flight plan, then contact ARTCC and request an IFR clearance.
  3. Prior to reaching the point for change to IFR, contact ARTCC, request your IFR clearance, and instruct them to cancel the VFR flight plan.




Click here to display the answer...


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio.

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Testing Tuesday: Weather – Lenticular Clouds

Welcome again to #TestingTuesday! Learn to fly smarter by being prepared for your lesson - your instructor (and your wallet) will thank you!

The presence of standing lenticular altocumulus clouds is a good indication of

  1. a jetstream.
  2. very strong turbulence.
  3. heavy icing conditions.



Click here to display the answer...


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, OH. He makes seven figures but the first two are zero.

ABOUT TESTING TUESDAY: Each Tuesday, Smart Flight Training will post a sample question that a pilot should expect to see on an FAA Knowledge Test or hear during the oral portion of a checkride. A little known secret to saving money and time during your flight training is PREPARATION! Hopefully Testing Tuesday posts will be one small step in helping you live up to your side of learning to fly by being prepared when you meet with your flight instructor, saving you money and time! Good luck on the below question – click the link at the bottom to see the answer and explanation!

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Testing Tuesday: IFR Fuel Requirements

Each Tuesday, Smart Flight Training will post a sample question that a pilot could expect to see on an FAA Knowledge Test or hear during the oral portion of a checkride. A little known secret to saving money and time during your flight training: PREPARATION! Hopefully Testing Tuesday post will be one small step in helping you live up to your side of learning to fly by being prepared when you meet with your flight instructor, saving you money and time! Good luck on the below question – click the link at the bottom to see the answer and explanation!

IFR Approach

What are the minimum fuel requirements for airplanes in IFR conditions if the first airport of intended landing is forecast to have a 1,500-foot ceiling and 3 miles visibility at flight-planned ETA? Fuel to fly to the first airport of intended landing,

  1. and fly thereafter for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.
  2. fly to the alternate, and fly thereafter for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.
  3. fly to the alternate, and fly thereafter for 30 minutes at normal cruising speed.




Click here to display the answer...

I hope this Testing Tuesday question was helpful and thought-provoking, as usual! If you have any questions or concerns about this answer (or have a question that you would like to see on an upcoming Testing Tuesday post), contact us and let us know!


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio. He wonders why his daughter's diaper holds nowhere near the 12-18 pounds it promises.

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Weather Cancellations

You just have to love social media - the weather was stormy and ugly yesterday and my student and I decided that it was no good for a flight lesson we had scheduled. We discussed and cancelled the lesson.

Later, on Facebook, I saw she had posted this:

Student Facebook Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I felt the very same way!

Tailwinds,

Andrew

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Weather Terminology: Winds

windsockHere's something dumb - "direction-erly" winds.

Have you ever heard someone say the winds are easterly today, and wondered what that meant? I always assumed that easterly winds meant that the winds were going towards the east (like an easterly facing wall, or a boat moving in an easterly direction).

But when it comes to winds, easterly actually means "from the east," - so the winds are actually moving from east to west.

WTF?

I actually discovered this because of an aviation quiz question in a magazine - probably AOPA Pilot or Flying Magazine.

I got the answer wrong, so I googled the term so I would understand it if I heard it or saw it again.  Personally, I think it is dumb.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Here's why:

Winds in aviation are always reported using the compass direction they are coming from and then their velocity, in knots.

An example of this is on a METAR:

KCMH 021551Z 33011KT 10SM BKN042 07/M03 A2995 RMK AO2 SLP147 T00671028

In bold, above, this METAR says that winds at Port Columbus airport in Columbus, Ohio, are from 330 degrees (from the northwest) at 11 knots.

Another example of this is when you listen to ATIS or get your departure clearance from the tower - they will almost always give you the current winds in degrees and speed, just like the METAR above does.

In summary, since all other aviation winds are reported as "from" some direction, it makes sense that "westerly" winds would be "from the west."

So, below, I offer a handy "key" to direction-erly winds:

easterly = from the east

westerly = from the west

northerly = from the north

southerly = from the south

You can apply this as well, if you like, for non-cardinal directions - like north-westerly winds in the METAR example above.

Just don't try to tell the tower or your instructor that the winds are 330 degreeserly.


Anybody else out there who struggled with this kind of seeming inconsistency? Tell us about it in the comments. Erly.

Andrew Hartley is a Certificated Flight Instructor in Columbus, Ohio.

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