Re: Do you need to know all the IFR approach and stuff to...
If you're going for a Private Pilot Single Engine Land (PPSEL) certificate you don't need to know anything about IFR approaches. You will learn to fly traffic patterns and all the maneuvers and procedures required for that and for safe flight, learn how to navigate, and learn about airplane systems. You can get a huge head start by looking at websites and you tube links from places like Boldmethod.com, MzeroA.com, and UND aviation.
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It is not only ******* for a VFR only pilot to fly in the IFR system, it is also potentially very dangerous. Even many IFR rated pilots are killed each year from spatial disorientation. IF you are on a straight in approach to a runway with a localizer or ILS and just tune it in and fly the ILS I don't think that's an issue.
There are many good schools in the UK and CAE is a good one if money is no object. If you have a tight budget then you could consider some of the multitude of other training establishment, certainly up to PPL level. The downside to learning in the UK is that it can be a little slow and frustrating at times due to the inclement weather. However, don't be put off by that since you will learn significantly more about flying in the weather we have in the UK than any of the "fair weather fairies" that learnt in a climate of continual sunshine. When the time comes and you get your commercial pilot job, your new employer won't be too pleased if you told them you can only fly when the sun is shinning. learning to fly in the UK gives you a good grounding and experience that you can take with you anywhere in the world.
Older planes are usually very good purchases, IF they have been well maintained over the years. Airplanes have to be inspected annually by an A&P mechanic with an Inspection Authorization so they are usually very well maintained. Any purchase should include having an A&P mechanic review the airframe and engine logs and evaluation of the plane, including looking at how many hours the engine has since overhaul and checking compression. I had a 1966 Cherokee 140 for several years and finally sold it when I bought my current Experimental aircraft (a BD-4). It helps a LOT if you can get an A&P license and maintain you own plane though.
160 is the final approach heading to runway 18. You notice that this approach does not align exactly with the runway, you make a slight right turn to land. 115deg is the outbound leg heading for a procedure turn and 295 is the return heading from the procedure turn, from which you would turn 160 on final and fly the 160 line to the missed approach point. DME is required for this approach so you would either need DME or a GPS that can supply distance information. To fly this full approach (from southerly directions) you would fly to the VOR, fly outbound at 3000' MSL on a 340 heading for about 7 miles then turn left to heading 115 for 1 minute then right turn to 295 and intercept the 340 radial, turn right to 160 and descend to 2300' by GRAMA and continue descending to 1220" at 1.6 DME from the VOR. From that point, if you have the proper visual cues you may descend below 1220' to land, if you can't see the runway environment from 1220 feet at 1.6 DME then you must stay at that altitude until you do see it or you reach the missed approach point at .3DME. There's a very real reason that an instrument rating is required for IFR flight. It takes a lot of training and practice to learn to do it right - and even then you may not have it all correct. (I may well have missed something on this approach but I haven't been IFR current in several years)
Technically is you are flying domestic you are not flying over foreign airspace. If flying IFR you must file one. Needless to say when filing a flight plan you must decalre if you are domestic of international flight.
There are some speed limits for certain types of airspace. Airliners are always in contact with air traffic control and in order to keep the required separation of aircraft sometimes the controllers will ask the pilot to maintain an airspeed. More than likely you experienced a slowdown while your plane was beginning an approach, During approach controllers have to maintain specific spacing between aircraft and often must slow them down behind slower aircraft. Your plane very likely was slowing down from approx 570 knots to 250 knots or less for the approach.