IFR Clearance and Radio Communication – MzeroA Flight Training
Hey, MzeroA nation. Back with Joel and Bob once again. Still in the IFR realm, we’ve been talking about
the past few weeks now. IFR approaches,
IFR approach clearances. I was always taught the acronym,
PTAC. My position, altitude,
turn, and clearance. But, I remember,
as a private pilot, this is before Joel, I
was weak on radios. So, stepping in the IFR environment,
that is where I really lack. So, when I get that
big, long radio call, “23MZ, you’re five
miles to the final approach fix. Turn left this heading,
2,000 ’til established. Clear ILS three-six.” It’s not great. Thank you.
Now– We’ve done it all. Then, I would look at my instructor,
look at Joel, “Joel, what are you doing?” I don’t know what they’re saying. Help me with that,
both from a very experienced corporate pilot perspective, but also from
a controller perspective. Why are you so wordy
with everything? I’ve got stuff printed
in front of me, so I know a lot of this stuff
ahead of time. Bob, what don’t you kind of start? Well, obviously, a lot of it has to do
with the legal aspects of it. So, we don’t get
to choose those things. They tell us how we want to say it. We talked about radio things
and when I was very young and learning to do
approach and clearances. My trainer sat down and had me do
an ILS approach clearance 10 times in a break room
before they figured it out. But, it’s altitude, heading. And then,
we’re clear for the approach. I get a variety of read backs,
ton of read backs . Some read back everything. Some go, “Clear for the approach.” But, you can’t take that, right? I will take anything–the read back
is just as important as I see the turn coming
and I see you established. Because my next requirement
is to ensure that you’re established
on the final, you’re established on the final
in a safe manner. If you’re not,
then, I would query use, “Jason, do you want
to continue this approach or do you want to do
something else?” Those are the kind of things.
That’s my main concern. So, I’ll issue the approach clearance. A lot of times,
it comes out really, really fast. Because I’m under the gun
and with a lot of things. And because
it’s so second nature to me, as you’re a pilot, what are you listening for
when I issue the approach? Are you listening for anything
or are you just waiting for that? I want to hear the magic words,
“I’m cleared for the approach.” – Right.
– And usually, a heading. – I know my altitudes.
– That’s right. I know when this approach is at 1,700.
I know it. So, once I hear,
“Clear for the approach,” I kind of go altitude.
– Do you listen to the heading? Absolutely, because I’m assuming
you know the best intercept, right? Correct. But then,
it brings up another weird thing. We talked about this before. We were filming that what happens
when we have that T-style approach? We can take 90 degrees. But sometimes,
your baby is around the turn. Sometime, you throw us
right through final. – What’s up with that?
– And that’s good. – We talked about this before.
– That’s right. As the air traffic controller,
what is the procedure and how far outside
of the approach fix do you have to put us.
– Correct. So, on a standard ILS,
for example, we are IMC, and we’re going to shoot
a real ILS approach, the requirements for us are:
final approach fix. Then, the approach gate. It’s one side of it. What’s that approach gate now?
What’s that? It’s just a fictitious miles
from final approach fix. It’s what they call the approach gate. And then, we have to establish
two miles outside of that. So, essentially, three miles
from the final approach fix. It’s a lot wordy. So, most fixes are five miles. So, we’re talking eight miles
from the airport? Correct, my requirement
as a controller to get you established prior to that point. Three miles, essentially,
from the final approach fix. If I don’t do that, then, I have to make arrangements,
otherwise. There are ways in which
I can resolve that situation, but that is what I’m shooting for
every time when we’re doing ILS in a real ILS environment. So, what if I’m VFR flight falling
and practicing? If you are practicing,
or you can also say, for your IMC,
I want to go right at the marker. He calls that the slam dunk approach. – Slam dunk, right.
– Yeah. We got that falling checks
back in the day. In practice approach world,
I can put you right on the marker on VFR conditions as well. It just depends on what’s going on. But, when we talk about
90-degree turns to the final, one of the things
that I get a lot of questions about is turning to final
and late turns to final, early turns to final,
how does that work, what’s going on with that. And my response to that is,
for me, personally, it’s a feel thing. I’m basically thinking,
“Turn them now. Turn them now.
Turn them now. Turn them now.
Turn them now.” And sometimes, I go,
“I nailed it. It looks great.” Other times, you go,
“It’s little early.” And sometimes, “I’m late.” And even the most seasoned controller
will miss a turn to final. – Wow.
– It just happens. As a pilot, though,
I find in–go head. Now, if that happens and we see that,
do we query the– Well, there are different ways
you can do that. One is we are required. If we’re going to drive you
through the final, to tell you, this is a vector through the final
for spacing, as an example. That is in the book.
We required to do that. But, generally speaking, you can tell
when it’s not a turn spacing thing. It’s just we get distracted. “Hey, I was on the line
with another controller,” or, “Somebody else called,” or, “Just as I’m getting ready
to turn you, I’m feeling the hair
in the back of my neck where somebody calls me
for something.” And you’re like,
“Oh, my god. The 10 seconds
this guy is coming in.” And here you go
through the final. But you just have to lay with
the last clearance which you got. If that means you’re going
through the final, you’re going
through the final. How you resolve that afterwards
if you are in a situation where it’s now cranking
big turn back to the final, for example, and it’s going to put you
in an unsafe position? You have to, as a pilot,
and I’m finding this out as well, raise your hand and say,
“I can’t continue with this approach. We need to do something different.” That is the biggest takeaway
from flying that I found was, don’t allow me,
the controller to put me, the pilot, on a
bad situation. That’s a really big issue
I’m finding out more in that regard. And it’s important for me. I also see in larger airplanes
as you’re working on commercial, the technically advanced airplanes
with the autopilots, if you set up the approach
on the autopilot and you intercept, the autopilot automatically
track inbound. And if you don’t have
your clearance first, that’s where communication comes in
with the controllers. – And knowing the technology.
– And knowing technology, which you have to have now
in airplanes to get you commercialized. Yeah, absolutely. It’s kind of one of those
neat things that you– I don’t think
we over-resolve it, but awareness is more important. And how you handle a situation, because remember,
I am sitting in a radar room. I am, then,
issuing an instruction and may put a pilot
behind the power curve. And we certainly don’t want that. So, the most important thing is
fly a safe approach. It’s a teamwork effort thing. Sure.
Last question for you, Bob. You mentioned someone send me
through the final approach course. How do I raise my hand?
I was always taught, maybe, ident. – Is that appropriate?
– No. I mean, there are different ways. Ident would not get my attention,
typically. Very unusual for you to be identing,
certainly. – But, it’s not looking for it?
– No, not at all. It would be a situation
where if I go through the final and I’m bringing you back,
I’m may go, “Okay, is he established on a final
prior to the three miles from the final approach fix?” If not, I have to ask,
“Hey, did we box this thing around or we don’t want to continue?” That’s one option. Another is we need to
just do something else, or, “Hey, just maintain 2,000.
We’re going to do it again.” It’s a teamwork effort. There’s a big concern. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing
when used in moderation. And controllers are definitely going,
“Hey, nice turn to final.” And you go, “Ah.” So, there’s a peer pressure inside
so that you don’t do these things. But, they still occur.
They will continue to occur. How you handle them
is make sure your plane is in a safe flying manner. That’s the biggest part. And if it’s not, then,
you have to tell the controller, “I can’t continue this.
I need to do something different.” That’s the best way. Just get on frequency,
“I can’t do it.” – All right?
– Super, super good point. Again, some great IFR tips over
these previous three weeks. Like the previous weeks, Joel and Bob will be
in the comments as well, helping you all with any really VFR-
or IFR-related questions with that. So, listen,
enjoy the rest of your day. And Bob, what’s the most
important thing to remember? A good pilot is always learning. The snap was too late, but it’s fine. – We’ll work on it the next time.
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