December 2013 Issue

Departure Difficulties

Too many IMC departures go off the rails. It shouldn’t be this hard to use smart pre-takeoff procedures and follow the clearance.

Too often, instrument training can focus only on approaches, those procedures at the end of a flight allowing us to find a runway and land on it. But well before we’re cleared for an approach, we have to take off, climb to altitude and get through the en route system to someplace close to our destination. Sure, approaches are sexy, but other portions of an instrument flight are just as important. Take initial climb and departure, for instance, something at which pilots routinely fail.

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