Another aviation blog!  Today I planned on discussing the difference in flying using Visual Flight Rules versus flying under Instrument Flight Rules. There are a big number of reasons why it is worthwhile to go the extra mile by getting the rating.  As a private pilot, your options are essentially limitless towards where you can fly and when, but what happens when the sky develops and overcast layer 1000′ off the airport and you NEED to get to your destination? Well… Your screwed… Unless… You have an instrument rating!

Instrument Flying allows pilots to get into an airport while weather conditions are less than favorable by using precision           and non-precision approaches.                     

With an instrument rating, you can file a more precise flight plan via radar vectors or through a well-planned and thought-out route allowing you to get where you’re going!  Flying into the clouds, or entering IMC conditions as a VFR pilot has proven deadly as many “visual” signs of movement can cause spatial disorientation.  Spatial disorientation as a pilot is something that with training can be overcome, but even experienced pilots with lots of flight time still encounter this phenomenon.  Being spatially disoriented doesn’t mean spiraling at Vne through the clouds, well… It could lead to that, but mostly it is a condition where your instruments say you are straight and level, but your body says otherwise.

Spatial disorientation can occur quickly unless a proper instrument cross check is used and relied upon to navigate the aircraft.

By having a good cross-check (instrument scan), interpretation of what the airplane is doing can be accomplished very easily and becomes natural.  Once the basic understanding of how to scan the instruments panel properly while also knowing to push those “by the seat of your pants” feelings aside, flying under IFR even in clear skies weather is the most practical and efficient way to fly.  Problems with flying in visible moisture include icing, convective weather, and traffic separation.

6 pack
A good cross-check is important to precise and safe flight under IFR/IMC conditions.

However, all of these things can be addressed in a variety of features implemented into the airplane.  The precision of Instrument flight extends into live radar feed on a display to allow the pilot to make decisions to find better routing around weather, and overall fly safer flights with reduced pilot workload.  I will go into more depth in some future Blogs discussing the different avionics commonly used in instrument flight, including the Bendix King GPS currently equipped on the Cessna’s I fly.

As always, thanks for reading. Be sure to share and comment anything related to aviation!  Live the aviation dream and expect more blogs to come soon!

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2 thoughts on “VFR vs IFR

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