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IR checkride questions

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Livin' the European Dream
Jan 26, 2002
I have two of my students going on IR checkrides in the next week, I was wondering if anybody here had any good questions (stumpers, real life ones). I've exhausted everything my fellow CFIs and the Examiners gouge could come up with. I know there is plenty of experience on the board.

Thanks in advance guys/gals

approach minimums

If visibility is reported as 1/4 mile and the approach requires 1/2 mile, are you allowed to shoot the approach? (yes you can shoot the approach)

Inbound on that ILS and the approach lighting system is in full view. Can you land? (yes you can, the ALS is at least 1/2 mile long so you have adequate FLIGHT visibility)

Not entirely.

If only the approach lights are in view, regardless of what the visibility might be deemed to be, you may not land unless the red terminating bars or the red side row bars are distinctly visible, if using only the ALS for the approach. In this case, unless the red siderow bars or terminating bars are visible, you may descend to no more than 100' above TDZE.

If in addition to the ALS, one of the remaining criteria in 91.175(c)(3) are met, then the aproach may be concluded to a landing.

Under Part 91, regardless of the minimums, if the required visual references are in sight, one may land.

What's the difference between a turn coordinator and turn and bank indicator?

When may one fly IFR without a clearance, and without talking to anyone?

Flying an ILS backcourse with a HSI, what is set in the OBS for the HSI?

What is the true value of a contact approach? (Why a contact approach instead of a visual approach, and why would a pilot request one?)

If lost com occurs during a vector, what to do?

Ginger, or Marianne?
IFR questions

What do you do if if you're given a hold clearance and an EFC time and you don't receive that further clearance?

Why is it SO important to note your time off when you're on a clearance?

Why is is so important to specify the IAF when you file your IFR flight plan? (Because if you lose comm and you arrive early you to fly to and hold at the IAF until your at the end of your flight-planned time enroute and shoot the approach.)

Do you have to call Flight Service to close your IFR flight plan if you land at a controlled field?

Any and all lost comm questions are always excellent.

VOR check and checkpoint questions are always good.

Inop components are good.

MEA, MOCA, MVA, MSA questions are good.

Icing questions are good.

DO make sure your students understand to keep the volume up on the ADF during their NDB approaches. DO make sure your students tune and identify every station. DO make sure your students know to run a complete check of the marker beacon panel and that the OM, MM and IM lights come on.

DO make sure your students know which way to set the OBS on an HSI for a back course, as Avbug said.

PS-A few more.

The 1-2-3 rule.

Currency. They should know about instrument proficiency checks (fka instrument comp checks). In the old days, you could go up with a CFI-I and shoot a couple of approaches and maybe a hold and that was it. Now, the PTS sets forth what is required in an instrument proficiency check.

Gyro instruments. Rigidity in space. RPM needed to keep a gyro rigid. Pendulous vanes. Differences in gyro instruments, especially the differences between a turn-and-bank needle and a TC. Why is the gyro angled on a TC? Why the TC is electrically-powered on most light aircraft while the others are vacuum-powered.

The basic six-pack of instruments. Signs that your static source is clogged and what to do about it.
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It really depends on the examiner. Get the gouge on him/her if possible. All examiners are very different. Here are some of the questions I got.

When do you have to go to your alternate? (ONLY when you are lost coms: This is not to be confused with a different approach at another airport close by.)

I also was asked the question above about the IFR flight with no clearance (class G airspace).

You are 15 miles from the station and have one dot deflection. How far from the station are you? (1/2 mile)

Hold question..right hand pattern: You are on a 360 degree bearing to the station with a 10 degree left crosswind correction. When you cross the station and turn outbound AND you're abeam the station, what will be the relative bearing on the ADF?
>>You are 15 miles from the station and have one dot deflection. How far from the station are you? (1/2 mile)

You meant 1/2 mile from course, right?

your last question:
If you have doubled your outbound crosswind correction, your relative bearing when abeam would be 70 degrees. Am I correct?
16. Explain the three types of holding entries.

17. What are the maximum airspeeds in a holding pattern?, and are they IAS or TAS?

18. Why don't we use the same WCA (Wind Correction Angle) outbound as inbound?

19. What does PNIR stand for?

20. What advantages do we have for not listing an alternate?

21. What are the standard alternate minimums?

22. Where do we find non-standard alternate minimums and/or restrictions to the minimums?

23. Under what circumstances may we file an IFR flight plan to an airport without a published instrument approach?

24. What kind of fluid is in a magnetic compass and why.

25. Can we get a special VFR clearance between sunset and sunrise?

26. How often do VOR receiver accuracy checks have to be made for IFR currency?

27. What are the 6 methods for checking the accuracy of a VOR before IFR flight?

28. In using a back course localizer for a departure, do you correct towards or away from the needle?

29. What are the reporting points that are mandatory by FAR?

30. What is the frequency, signal rate and signals of an:

Outer Marker?

Middle Marker?

31. What standard separation is guaranteed by ATC under IFR?

32. What is the frequency band of a glide slope (LF, MF, HF, VHF, UHF, etc.)?

33. How are LOM and LMM identified (ie by letters, morse code, voice, or other?)

34. What is:

Prevailing visibility?

35. When do you cancel your IFR flight plan?

36. What is the meaning of:

"VFR on top" ?

"VFR over the top" ?

"IFR over the top" ?
37. Does an aircraft on an IFR flight plan,making an approach, have priority over VFR traffic?

38. Explain what to do in an event of a communication failure.

What route would you follow?


When would you start your descent and shoot the approach?

39. What does "cleared for the approach" mean?

40. What is the difference between a back course and front course approach

41. A holding fix is an NDB, when do you begin timing the outbound leg of the hold.

42. What is







43. What frequencies are ILS localizers on?

44. What is the color and coding of the:

Outer marker?
Middle marker?
Inner marker?
Back course marker?

45. How much instrument time must be logged to remain legal for IFR Flight?

46. What does the term "radar vectoring" in the communications group mean?

47. A glide slope facility provides a path which flares from____ to ____ feet above the runway.

48. When don't you have to make a report at a solid triangle on an L-chart?

49. What band of frequencies are compass locators within?

50. What is the difference between a "feeder facilities ring" and an "enroute facilities ring"?

51. What are the three AGL altitudes on an ILS approach chart?


52. For what reasons would an instrument rated pilot, on an IFR cross-country, request a "VFR on top" clearance?

53. How accurate are the SDF and LDA approaches.

What are their similarities.?

54. Where do we find the inoperative components table for an approach?

55. Do two or more in-operative components have a cumulative (negative) effect on approach minimums or do they negate the use of the approach?

56. When is a standard hold more than one minute in length?

57. If you are going faster than 175 KIAS, when should you make a speed reduction to enter a hold?

58. What is a "visual approach"?

59. While shooting a PAR approach, if you lose communication for _____seconds during the final segment, you should:

60. What is a "transmissometer"?

(From a list of 180 impossible or thought provoking IFR questions assembled by devious minds at our airport!)
Can I get that whole list of stumpers? I'd love to add it to my personal website, if that is acceptable.

At my school we use a 149 question quiz for our IR students. It is at http://www.myfbo.com/ghft/ifr.html

Any tips for a student that is petrified about her upcoming instrument checkride? She's been in a steady backslide since the word "checkride" was mentioned to her. Her skills were excellent at that time, but now she just gets too nervous, then gets mad at herself, and it's a graveyard spiral afterwards. The student has been working on the rating for two years and has conquered many fears. Her biggest fear now is of failure.

Jedi Nein

Not as fancy an airframe, but I imagine better performance characteristics in a wider variety of configurations.
This is not really a test question and is difficult to apply to a 172 as you generally do not have an accurate fuel gauge( actual pounds of fuel left) however it seems that many new pilots dont seem to have a concept about what is commonly referred to as bingo fuel. a predetermined point when we are going to leave the hold pattern and head for the alternate- or if winds or routing were different than planned you may already be at that point and holding isnt really a valid option
2)differnce between grid mora and route mora.
3)if you use jepps what criteria do they use to determine if in Mountainous terrain...ie.. apply two thousand feet to mea
4)on jepp charts they often show terrain- brown shades for high terrain when greater than 4000 feet above airport or when 2000 within __ miles of airport
5) the vasi provides and accurate g.s. indication and terrain clearance when within 4nm and 10degrees either side of an extended centerline
6)how far is a H vor good for.. depending on thae altitude(18-45) 130 miles. I bet you can find a chart with an airway that has more than 260 miles between the vors. Can we fly that airway? yes because those are only standard service volumes for direct and random routes and do not apply to flight tested routes
7)if they ever get to a larger airport do they have any idea what ry guard lights are- or clearance bar lights
8)Only a personal observation but on my days off I had started doing some cfi work at Farmingdale- this was a couple of years ago and one dayabout 30 degrees outside and 1500 overcast--definite icing conditions another instructor and student were getting ready to go get some ACTUAL. The instructors reply to me was that the mighty 172 can pack alot of ice.. and besides there were not any pireps about icing in this area.this could mean,,,
a) could be lazy pilots dont like making pireps..
b) in a big plane that trace of ice seemed insignificant and they quickly left area before they had time
c)pilots flying different equipment will have totally different experiences with ice- mainly do to different speeds-- often times large jets penetrate icing conditions at high speeds and you never see accumulation(besides the point but they are also equiped to fly in this) Whereas a slower aircraft will be a litteral magnet
9)What is a visual descent point

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