March 2002 Issue

IFR Planning: Tactics vs Strategy

If you get the big picture first then fill in the details, you won’t find many days unflyable

[IMGCAP(1)] A friend of ours likes to say that flight training is supposed to be difficult and unpleasant, otherwise everyone could learn to fly. We have to wonder if his grim humor forms more of the underpinning of the flight training edifice than we’re willing to admit.

Perhaps that’s one way to explain the illogical way pilots learn the basics of flight planning generally and IFR planning specifically. The IFR written still contains a series of impenetrable questions that require pin point use of a whiz wheel to calculate time en route and fuel burns to a resolution of a couple of minutes – this despite the fact that no one does that in the real world and probably hasn’t since the 1950...

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