Chapter 2


A. Authority and Limitations of the Pilot

1. Discuss 14CFR §91.3, “Responsibility and Authority of PIC”. (14 CFR §91.3)

The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft.

2. What are the right-of-way rules pertaining to IFR flights? (14 CFR §91.113)

When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is under IFR or VFR, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft.

3. What are the required reports for equipment malfunction under IFR in controlled airspace? (AIM 5-3-3)

You must report:
a. Any loss in controlled airspace of VOR, TACAN, ADF, or low-frequency navigation receiver capability.
b. GPS anomalies while using installed IFR-certified GPS/GNSS receivers.
c. Complete or partial loss of ILS receiver capability.
d. Impairment of air / ground communication capability.
e. Loss of any other equipment installed in the aircraft which may impair safety and / or the ability to operate under IFR.

B. Departure Clearance

1. How can your IFR clearance be obtained? (AIM 5-1-8)

a. At airports with an ATC tower in operation, clearances may be received from either ground control or a specific clearance delivery frequency when available.
b. At airports without a tower or FSS on the field, or in an outlying area:
• Clearances may be received over the radio through a RCO (remote communication outlet) or, in some cases, over the telephone.
• In some areas, a clearance delivery frequency is available that is usable at different airports within a particular geographic area, for example, Class B airspace.
• If the above methods are not available, your clearance can be obtained from ARTCC once you are airborne, provided you remain VFR in Class E airspace.
The procedure may vary due to geographical features, weather conditions, and the complexity. To determine the most effective means of receiving an IFR clearance, pilots should ask the nearest FSS for the most appropriate means of obtaining their IFR clearance.

2. What does “cleared as filed” mean? (AIM 5-2-4)

ATC will issue an abbreviated IFR clearance based on the route of flight as filed in the IFR flight plan, provided the filed route can be approved with little or no revision.

3. Which clearance items are given in an abbreviated IFR clearance? (AIM 5-2-4)

Clearance Limit (destination airport or fix)
Route (initial heading)
Altitude (initial altitude)
Frequency (departure)
Transponder (squawk code)

Note: ATC procedures now require the controller to state the DP name, the current number and the DP transition name after the phrase “Cleared to (destination) airport” and prior to the phrase, “then as filed”, for ALL departure clearances when the DP or DP transition is to be flown.

4. What does “clearance void time” mean? (AIM 5-2-5)

When operating from an airport without a tower, a pilot may receive a clearance containing a provision that if the flight has not departed by a specific time, the clearance is void.

A pilot who does not depart prior to the clearance void time must advise ATC as soon as possible of his / her intentions. ATC will normally notify the pilot of the time allotted to notify ATC. This time cannot exceed 30 minutes.

5. What is the purpose of the term, “hold for release” when included in an IFR clearance? (AIM 5-2-5)

ATC may issue “hold for release” instructions in a clearance to delay an aircraft’s departure for traffic management reasons (weather, traffic volume, etc.). A pilot may not depart utilizing that IFR clearance until a release time or additional instructions are received from ATC.

C. Departure Procedures

1. What minimums are necessary for IFR takeoff under 14 CFR Part 91? Under 121, 125, 129, or 135? (14 CFR §91.175)

For 14 CFR Part 91, none. For aircraft operated under 14 CFR Parts 121, 125, 129, or 135, if takeoff minimums are not prescribed under Part 97 for a particular airport, the following minimums apply to take offs under IFR for aircraft operating under those parts:
a. For aircraft having two engines or less – 1 statute mile visibility.
b. For aircraft having more than two engines – ½ statute mile visibility.

2. What is considered “good operating practice” in determining takeoff minimums for IFR flight?

If an instrument approach procedure has been prescribed for that airport, use the minimums for that approach for takeoffs. If no approach procedure is available, basic VFR minimums are recommended (1,000 feet and 3 miles).

3. What are DPs and why are they necessary? (AIM 5-2-7)

Departure procedures are preplanned IFR procedures that provide obstruction clearance from the terminal area to the appropriate en route structure. The primary reason they are established is to provide obstacle clearance protection. Also, at busier airports, they increase efficiency and reduce communication and departure delays. Pilots operating under Part 91 are strongly encouraged to file and fly a DP at night, during marginal VMC and IMC, when one is available.

4. What are the two types of DPs? (AIM 5-2-7)

a. ODPs (Obstacle Departure Procedures) – printed either textually or graphically, provide obstruction clearance via the least onerous route from the terminal area to the appropriate en route structure. ODPs are recommended for obstruction clearance and may flown without ATC clearance unless an alternate departure procedure (SID or radar vector) has been specifically assigned by ATC).
b. SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) – always printed graphically. Standard Instrument Departures are air traffic control (ATC) procedures printed for pilot / controller use in graphic form to provide obstruction clearance and a transition from the terminal area to the appropriate en route structure. SIDs are primarily designed for system enhancement and to reduce pilot / controller workload. ATC clearance must be received prior to flying a SID.

5. What criteria are used to provide obstruction clearance during departure? (AIM 5-2-7)

Unless specified otherwise, required obstacle clearance for all published departures is based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the runway (flying runway heading or reciprocal) at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation before making the initial turn, and maintaining a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile, unless required to level off by a crossing restriction. A greater climb gradient may be specified in the DP to clear obstacles or to achieve an ATC crossing restriction.

6. Where are DPs located? (AIM 5-2-7)

DPs will be listed by airport in “IFR Take-Off Minimums and Departure Procedures”, Section C of the Terminal Procedures Publications (TPPs).

7. Must you accept a DP if assigned one? (AIM 5-2-7)

No. Pilots of civil aircraft operating from locations where SIDs are established may except ATC clearances containing a SID. Use of a DP requires pilot possession of the texual description or graphic depiction of the approved current DP. RNAV SIDs must be retrievable by the procedure name from the aircraft database and con form to charted procedure. ATC must be immediately advised if the pilot does not possess the assigned SID, or the aircraft is not capable of flying the SID. Notification may be accomplished by filing “NO SID” in the remarks section of the filed flight plan or by less desirable method of verbally advising ATC.

8. How does a pilot determine if an airport has a DP or nonstandard take off minimums? (AIM 5-2-7)

A large “T” in a black triangle printed at the bottom of the approach chart in the notes area signifies the airport has non-standard IFR take off minimums and / or a DP has been prescribed. The appropriate section in the front of TPP should be consulted.

9. When a DP specifies a climb gradient in excess of 200 feet per nautical mile, what significant should this have to the pilot? (AIM 5-2-7)

If an aircraft may turn in any direction from a runway, and remain clear of obstacles, that runway passes what is called diverse departure criteria and no ODP will be published. A SID may be published if needed for air traffic control purposes. However, if an obstacle penetrates what is called the 40:1 slope obstacle identification surface, then the procedure designer chooses whether to:
a. Establish a steeper than normal climb gradient; or
b. Establish a steeper than normal climb gradient with an alternative that increases take off minima to allow the pilot to visually remain clear of the obstacle(s); or
c. Design and publish a specific departure route; or
d. A combination or all of the above.

10. A climb gradient of 300 feet per nautical mile at a ground speed of 100 knots requires what rate of climb? (Instrument Approach Procedure DP Chart)

Ground speed divided by 60 minutes times climb gradient = feet per minute; therefore,
100 / 60 * 300 = 498 feet per minute

11. What is the recommended climb rate procedure, when issued a climb to an assigned altitude by ATC? (AIM 4-4-9)

When ATC has not used the term “At Pilot’s Discretion” nor imposed any climb or descent restrictions, pilots should initiate climb or descent promptly on acknowledgement of the clearance. Descend or climb at an optimum rate consistent with the operating characteristics of the aircraft to 1,000 feet above or below the assigned altitude, and then attempt to descend or climb at a rate of between 500 and 1,500 fpm until the assigned altitude is reached.

D. VOR Accuracy Checks

1. What are the different methods for checking the accuracy of VOR equipment? (14 CFR §91.171)

a. A VOR Test Signal (VOT) check ;+ / – 4°
b. A ground checkpoint; + / – 4°
c. An airborne checkpoint; + / – 6°
d. A dual VOR check; within 4° of each other
e. Selected radial over a known ground point; + / – 6°
A repair station can use a radiated test signal, but only the technician performing the test can make an entry in the logbook.
2. What concerning VOR checks? (14 CFR §91.171)

Each person making a VOR check shall enter the date, place and bearing error, and sign the aircraft log or other reliable record.

3. Where can a pilot find the location of airborne checkpoints, ground checkpoints and VOT testing stations? (AIM 1-1-4)

Locations of airborne checkpoints, ground checkpoints, and VOTs are published in A/FD. They are also depicted on the A/G voice communication panels of the NOS IFR area chart, and IFR en route low-altitude chart.

4. What procedure is used when checking VOR receiver accuracy with a VOT? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Tune in the VOT frequency of 108.0 MHz. With CDI centered, the OBS should read 0 degrees with TO/FROM indication showing FROM or the OBS should read 180 degrees with the TO/FROM indication showing TO.
Remember: “Cessna 182” – 180 TO for VOR accuracy checks using a VOT.

E. Transponder

1. Where is altitude encoding transponder equipment required? (AIM 4-1-19)

In general, the regulations require aircraft to be equipped with Mode C transponders when operating:
a. At or above 10,000 feet MSL over the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia, excluding that airspace below 2,500 feet AGL;
b. Within 30 miles of a Class B airspace primary airport, below 10,000 feet MSL;
c. Within and above all Class C airspace, up to 10,000 feet MSL;
d. Within 10 miles of certain designated airports, excluding that airspace which is both outside the Class D surface area and below 1,200 feet AGL;
e. All aircraft flying into, within, or across the contiguous United States ADIZ.

2. What are the following transponder codes? (AIM 4-1-19, 6-2-2, 6-3-4, and 6-4-2)

1200 VFR
7700 Emergency
7600 Communications Emergency
7500 Hijacking in progress

3. Discuss transponder operation in the event of a two-way communications failure. (AIM 6-4-2)

If an aircraft with a coded radar beacon transponder experiences a loss of two-way radio capability, the pilot should adjust the transponder to reply on Mode A/3, Code 7600.
Note: The pilot should understand that the aircraft might not be in an area of radar coverage.

4. Would an incorrect altimeter setting have an effect on the Mode C altitude information transmitted by your transponder? (AIM 4-1-19)

No. While an incorrect altimeter setting has no effect on the Mode C altitude information transmitted by your transponder (transponders are preset at 29.92), it would cause you to fly at an actual altitude different from your assigned altitude.
When a controller indicates that an altitude readout is invalid, the pilot should initiate a check to verify that the aircraft altimeter is set.

F. Airport Facilities

1. Where can a pilot find information concerning facilities available for a particular airport? (AIM 9-1-4)

In the Airport/Facility Directory; it contains information concerning services available, communication data, navigational facilities, special notices, etc. The A/DF is reissued in its entirely every 56 days.

2. What do the information acronyms stand for? (AIM 2-1-1, 2-1-2, and 2-1-3)

ALS Approach Light System
VASI Visual Approach Slope Indicator
PAPI Precision Approach Path Indicator
REIL Runway End Identifier Lights

3. What color are runway edge lights? (AIM 2-1-4)

The runway edge lights are white-except on instrument runways, yellow replaces white on the last 2,000 feet or half the runway length, whichever is less, to form a caution zone for landings.

4. What colors and color combinations are standard airport rotating beacons? (AIM 2-1-8)

Lighted Land Airport White / Green
Lighted Water Airport White / Yellow
Military Airport 2 White / Green

5. What does the operation of a rotating beacon at an airport within Class D airspace during daylight hours mean? (AIM 2-1-8)

In Class B, Class D, Class D, and Class E surface areas, operation of the airport beacon during the hours of daylight often indicates that the ground visibility is less than 3 miles and/or the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet. ATC clearance in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91 is required for landing, takeoff ad flight in the traffic pattern. Pilots should not rely solely on the operation of the airport beacon to indicate if weather conditions are IFR or VFR. There is no regulatory requirement for daylight operation and it is the pilot’s responsibility to comply with proper preflight planning as required by 14 CFR Part 91.

6. Where would information concerning runway lengths, widths and weight bearing capacities be found? (A/FD)

The Airport / Facility Directory has this information.

7. What are runway touchdown zone markings? (AIM 2-3-3)

Touchdown zone markings identify the touchdown zone for landing operations and are closed to provide distance information in 500-foot increments. These markings consist of groups of one, two, and three rectangular bars symmetrically arranged in pairs about the runway centerline. Normally, the standard glide slope angle of 3 degrees, if flown to the surface, will ensure touchdown within this zone.

8. What is the purpose of runway aiming point markings? (AIM 2-3-3)

The aiming point markings serve as a visual aiming point for a landing aircraft. These two rectangular markings consist of a broad white stripe, located on each side of the runway centerline, and approximately 1,000 feet from the landing threshold. The pilot can estimate a visual glide path that will intersect the marking ensuring a landing within the 3,000-foot touchdown zone.

9. How far down a runway does the touchdown zone extend? (P/CG)

The touchdown zone is the first 3,000 feet of the runway beginning at the threshold. The area is used for determination of Touchdown Zone Elevation in the development of straight-in landing minimums for instrument approaches.