The A-B-Cs of a successful instrument approach

Flight instructors and student pilots as well as experienced pilots have come up with numerous acronyms, checklists or phrases to remind themselves of all the information necessary for a proper instrument approach and some of these hints so to speak are easier to remember than others. However, Hugh Gommel (an instructor at The Flight Academy in Las Vegas) has recently posted this simple and easy to remember A-B-C method for an ILS approach on the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) blog. His method is the following:

– A is for ATIS as you need to get the ATIS information before descending.

– B is for BRIEF the approach. Hugh recommends that you always brief the approach details out loud to both your flying partner or yourself because the approach chart contains a lot of information. He also recommends that you check and verify the following important items:

  1. The chart (make sure that its current and the approach you intend to fly).
  2. The localizer frequency.
  3. The final approach course.
  4. The on glideslope altitude at the final approach fix.
  5. The minimums for the approach.
  6. The exact lighting configuration of the intended landing runway
  7. The missed approach procedure including the final level off altitude.

– C is for CHECKLIST.

Hugh also recommends that you try using this approach during a flight simulation a few times to see how well it works for you before actually using it in the cockpit – definitely good advice worth following.

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