April 2008 Issue

Making Practice Count: IFR Self-Critique

A dot here, a dot there and the next thing you know, youíre in the CFIT database. Grade yourself on every flight and that wonít happen.

I fly a lot of IFR year round and a fair amount of actual IMC during the winter, but not much in the summer. Like everyone else, Iíve heard the wakeup call from Center in that unmistakable tone that says, "Weíre not amused that you think flex-altitudes are in use today...please get back to 5000 feet. Now." That sort of thing may be a minor mistake, but if you add up enough minor mistakes, youíve got a trend and that could lead to something ugly. The 24-month flight review and instrument proficiency checks are supposed to correct the inevitable decline in skill for those of us who donít fly much, but there may be a better way.

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