Some confusion exists as to what a pilot is supposed to do when a “Cleared as Filed” clearance is issued by ATC from an airport, but no Departure Procedure (DP) is assigned in the clearance. ATC at some airports may not issue a Departure Procedure as part of the clearance.
However, the pilot is expected to determine a way to safely depart the airport and join the enroute structure defined in the ATC clearance (or flight plan if “cleared as filed”). One way to accomplish this—and normally the safest way in IMC—is to fly the appropriate published Departure Procedure. If a textual DP has been established for the airport, it will be found in the front of the U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication under TAKE-OFF MINIMUMS AND (OBSTACLE) DEPARTURE PROCEDURES. (Digital procedures are available at http://aeronav.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=aeronav/applications/d_tpp.)
If there is more than one Departure Procedure, the pilot should fly the one most appropriate to the route of flight. Absent specific departure instructions from ATC, the pilot may also elect to “climb on course,” but only if he/she has determined that adequate terrain and/or obstruction clearance can be maintained until reaching the minimum IFR altitude (MIA), or minimum enroute altitude (MEA.)
Weather conditions permitting, a pilot may request a “VFR climb” for the initial portion of the flight. While this will often expedite your departure clearance, note that this provision applies only to the vertical aspect of the ATC IFR clearance. The pilot is expected to follow the ground track as assigned, overflying the fixes or airways stated in the clearance. A “VFR climb” is not permission to deviate from the cleared route.
As part of your IFR preflight planning always familiarize yourself with the airport written and graphic departure procedures. You may not always be assigned one by ATC but you are expected to determine a safe departure method—a published DP is one way to accomplish that.
Following a published DP is also appropriate if you depart VFR expecting to pick up an IFR clearance en route, especially at night when terrain features, such as mountains, are not clearly visible – just remember to stay VFR until you have your IFR clearance.
By: Jason Blair
As I give checkrides, especially instrument checkrides, I regularly ask about how pilots can keep current for instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. I typically get good answers that detail the number of procedures that a pilot must complete within the first six months, what they can do for currency after that, and when they must complete an instrument proficiency check (IPC) with an instructor or examiner (that is, when they've fallen out of currency for more than a year).
But when I follow this up by asking what they'd have to do on an IPC, I get widely variable answers to a simple, but important, question. Pilots who are instrument rated should know what they must do, and so, too, should instrument instructors understand what they must ask these pilots to demonstrate during an IPC. Both start with knowing where to find that information, and most pilots (and many instructors) will head to the FARs to see what must be completed; unfortunately, they won't find this information there.
The requirements for an IPC are listed only in the instrument practical test standards (PTS). On page 1-vii, you'll find the rating task table. This table is most commonly used to determine what areas of the practical tests must be demonstrated on a particular test (such as an Instrument Airplane-IA or Instrument Helicopter-IH). However, the last column in the matrix is labeled "IPC."
Each area of operation that must be demonstrated can be found by looking at the letter designation, then referring to the content area of the PTS document, but the gist is this: In most cases, an IPC will include three approaches (one precision and two-non precision), tracking, and holding operations.
When pilots don't know what's required on the IPC, or at least how to find out, I find it hard to consider them knowledgeable of the responsibilities that come with being an instrument pilot. Personally, I don't consider this a "bust" question on an initial instrument-rating practical test, provided the applicant is strong in the rest of their knowledge base, but I think it should be for an instrument-instructor applicant. It shows a lack of knowledge of what they must require of customers before signing them off to fly alone in the clouds.
The take-away is that not all reference material is in the FARs. This can be an example to use with your students, fellow pilots, and peer instructors to show that the FAA produces many reference guides that are available to an instructor. Proficiency requires us to know how to use all of them, too.
Share your own thoughts about the business of flight training by submitting them to NAFI@nafinet.org.
The steps required to earn a pilot certificate can sometimes seem endless, but the practical test — more commonly known as the flight test — is the last obstacle. The practical test, generally administered by a designated pilot examiner, consists of two parts: an oral examination and the flight test itself. Here are answers to some common questions about this evaluation.
FAA Advisory Circular 61-65D, Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors
There may be some weather moving in during my checkride. Should I start my checkride or wait until another day? That's the never-ending decision in aviation, particularly when it comes to interpreting weather reports, forecasts, and their nuances. If this sounds familiar, you're certainly in good company. If you are ever in this situation, it may be advisable to at least complete the oral part of the exam. The flight can occur on another day as long as you ensure that your knowledge tests and your endorsements don't expire between the oral and the flight.
Related article >
What should I do if I disagree with my examiner during the checkride? If a disagreement between an applicant and an examiner becomes serious, the applicant may contact the FAA's governing Flight Standards District Office. This is a no-win situation that can usually be prevented with professionalism on the part of all concerned. Disagreements over actual test procedures are infrequent, but can occur. Become familiar with the rules, which are described in FAR 61.43. Remember to maintain your composure and be professional.
Related article >
Is there a source for the rules and regulations that examiners have to follow? The General Aviation Operations Inspector's Handbook, Order 8700.1 is the source, which will give you the guidelines for FAA inspectors. Additionally, the Pilot Examiners Handbook is the basic equivalent for the FAA designated examiner.
Examiner's Handbook> (PDF version)
General Aviation Operations Inspector's Handbook (FAA Web site)>
Once my instructor signs me off, how long do I have to take the checkride? You have 60 days. If the 60-day time frame has lapsed, you will need to fly with your instructor again and receive another endorsement. See FAR 61.39, Prerequisites for practical tests, Paragraph 6.
PART 61 -- Certification: Pilots, flight instructors and ground instructors>
When rolling out from a crosswind landing, more and more aileron should be applied to keep the upwind wing from rising. Since the airplane is slowing down, there is less airflow around the ailerons and they become less effective. At the same time, the relative wind is becoming more of a crosswind and exerting a greater lifting force on the upwind wing. When the airplane is coming to a stop, the aileron control must be held fully toward the wind. Remember, if the upwind wing starts to rise during a crosswind landing roll you should immediately apply more aileron pressure toward the high wing in order to maintain directional control.
Do you want to know more? The Airplane Flying Handbook and other FAA manuals are available here.
This Approach and Landing safety tip is provided by the FAA Safety Team because loss of control on landing is one of the top ten reasons reported for accidents or incidents.
Getting close to a checkride? Here are a few of things that could be show stoppers before your checkride ever begins.
1. Aircraft Logs. Make sure the airplane is airworthy! Play close attention to the ADs and make sure none of them are due. It is a good idea to use a sticky note to mark each inspection for easy recall.
2. Application. 97% of applicants are using IACRA! For the most part, IACRA will prevent most errors but I have discovered it won't catch them all. For example, if you have a middle name but only enter a middle initial, it won't catch it. The FAA requires the full middle name. If you don't have a middle name, you enter "NMN" (or check that box). If you already hold a pilot certificate, make sure your pilot certificate matches the IACRA application.
If you are applying with the paper 8710, make sure you follow the directions. The FAA prefers that it is typed. You can down load a PDF 8710 and type into it. To find it Google "8710-1".
3. Requirements. Make sure you meet the requirements for the certificate or rating you're applying for. Don't go by memory. Get out the regs and check them off. If you have any questions regarding a requirement, call the Examiner. I also recommend using a sticky note to mark the requirements in your log here too.
4. Endorsements. The fed published a whole AC on them, and I won't list them here. The most missed endorsement is 61.39. A close second would be the one for the additional instruction for the areas found deficient on the knowledge test.
The manual for the Garmin 430 lists a specific sequence of events for flying an ILS. It teaches us that it is OK to fly outbound from the IAF through the procedure with the GPS.
The manual reads: “Once established on the inbound approach course to the FAF, CDI coupling will automatically switch from the “GPS” to the “VLOC” receiver. (If the ILS frequency has been activated, as indicated in step #4.)”
Please confirm that the Garmin manual’s teaching is acceptable for a checkride.
The manual is correct and the technique is acceptable for a checkride. BTW, it is also acceptable to fly the Missed Approach using the GPS after executing the ILS. I'll see if I can find an additional reference to fall back on.