Monday, September 13, 2010

Single Pilot IFR

"Single Pilot IFR" had a lot of good advice for flying single pilot IFR. A lot of it was things that I was taught in ground school classes or during my training, but it went into a lot more detail and gave some good insight. The article gave helpful tips to being fully prepared to fly SPIFR. An interesting fact that I learned from the article is that studies have shown that people cannot juggle more than three to five tasks. Trying to add more tasks after that point will only deteriorate the pilot's ability to complete the tasks accurately and effectively. That being said, one of the helpful tips that I came accross that apply to helping a pilot stay ahead of the aircraft and organized are to stay in practice of making IFR flight plans. The article suggests that a pilot make at least one IFR flight plan a week if she is out of practice to keep up good habits like getting weather, looking at NOTAMs, picking alternates, determining fuel reserves, and reviewing approach plates. This is a good idea for someone like myself because I haven't made an instrument flight plan for about a year and a half now. I should make an effort to practice one at least every once in a while.

Another tip that the article mentioned that I thought would be helpful is that the easiest way to make SPIFR more manageable is through advance planning and organization. It suggests that you do this by getting charts and publications that you might need in advance and reviewing them. It suggests that you put the charts and publications in the order that they will be used and have them folded open to the appropriate page, or have the page marked so you can easily get to it. This will allow you to stay ahead of the aircraft and have more time to resolve an issue, should one arise.

The last tip that I really liked was the suggestion to write ATC clearances and frequencies in the white space on the low altitude enroute chart. This allows you to keep all the important information in one place that is relevant to your flight. Again, just simplifying things and making things run smoother.

Althought this article had a lot of great insight into make SPIFR simpler and less stressful, I still don't think that I would do it. At least not at this time in my flight career-- or training, rather. I would want to have a lot more time under the hood and in actual instrument conditions before I tried to fly SPIFR. I hope that some day I do have the opportunity to do it, but I would feel more comfortable with A LOT more instrument flight time.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way. I have 0 actual instrument time and i would not feel comfortable flying SPIFR right now. I think 3 to 5 tasks seems like a reasonable amount for a person to manage however when you consider how many tasks your doing just flying the aircraft (controls, instruments, radios, ect.)it does not leave much time for more than one, maby two other tasks. i also like the idea or writing clearences on your charts. its easily accesable pecause you already have it on your lap most of the time and you can put the information in a place that is relivant to the portion of flight.