Procedure Turn

January, 26, 2022 by

A procedure turn is the maneuver indicated when it is necessary to reverse direction to establish the aircraft inbound on an intermediate or final approach course. The procedure turn or holding in lieu of a procedure turn is a required maneuver, unless cleared for a straight-in approach by ATC. The procedure turn is not required when the symbol “NoPT” is depicted on the initial segment being used, when radar vectors are provided to the final approach course, when conducting a timed approach, or when the procedure turn is not authorized.

Course reversals are depicted in one of three ways: 45/180 degree procedure, a holding pattern, or a teardrop procedure. Components of the procedure are depicted in the plan and profile views. The maneuver must be completed within the distance and at the minimum altitude specified in the profile view.

References: altairva, AIM, code7700

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

How to Brief an Approach

April, 7, 2021 by

Approach Briefings are all about the most important bits of information. Here is one (optional) format for approach briefings. Please refer to this chart for the information in the table below.


Item Example
Type of Approach “This will be a straight-in ILS approach to Runway 30 at Metropolitan Oakland International.”
Frequencies “ILS frequency is 108.7; Tower is 127.2.”
Headings “Final approach course is 296 degrees.”
Altitudes “The MDA for this approach is 159.”
Rate of Descent N/A for this approach.
Timing N/A for this approach.
Elevation “Field elevation is 9.”
Runway Length “Runway length is 10,520.”
Notes “DME or Radar required.”
Missed Approach Procedure “MAP is climb to 600 then climbing right turn to 4,000 on heading 260º, hold SAU VOR.”
Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Bleeds Off and Packs Off Takeoff Procedures

March, 25, 2021 by

A Bleeds Off Takeoff is when you takeoff while the engine bleeds off and use the APU bleed to pressurize the aircraft. This provides the aircraft with more power during takeoff by keeping more internal air pressure within the engines.

A Packs Off Takeoff is often an unpressurized takeoff that is used when the performance of a Bleeds Off Takeoff is needed by with an inoperative APU. In some cases, the APU can supply bleed air to the packs, consequently pressurizing the aircraft.

To replicate a Bleeds Off Takeoff within Infinite Flight, keep your APU on until climb, at which point you would shut it down as normal.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

FAA Fuel Requirements for IFR Flight

March, 17, 2021 by

According to FAR 91.167(a), “no person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to”

  1. Complete a flight to the first airport of intended landing/touch-and-go;
  2. Fly from that airport to the chosen alternate airport; and
  3. Fly after that for 45 minutes at a normal cruising speed.

Item 2 above does not apply in some circumstances. Learn more by reading FAR 91.167(b).

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Flying a Pattern on Departure

March, 11, 2021 by

You can fly the pattern on departure as a standard VFR departure. Simply take off, join the standard pattern, and then exit it on the downwind leg.

This can be used to gain more altitude before departing the area or to turn around (e.g. take off to the North, need to head South).

For instance, the terrain surrounding UBBN sometimes calls for a pattern on departure, so as to clear the peaks safely and quickly. Other airports have SIDs that very closely resemble a pattern for the same reasons as above.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Speed Restriction Near Class C/D Airspace

March, 10, 2021 by

While they are not enforced within Infinite Flight, there are quite a few more FAA-enforced speed restrictions other than the commonly known 250kts one. According to FAR 91.117(b),

Unless otherwise authorized or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft at or below 2,500 feet above the surface within 4 nautical miles of the primary airport of a Class C or Class D airspace area at an indicated airspeed of more than 200 knots.

Note that the paragraph above does not apply to operations within a Class B airspace. Such operations fall under the 250kts Speed Restriction.


Also, note the following excerpt from FAR 91.117(d).

If the minimum safe airspeed for any particular operation is greater than the maximum speed prescribed in this section, the aircraft may be operated at that minimum speed.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Visual Descent Point (VDP)

March, 7, 2021 by

The Visual Descent Point (VDP) is a defined point on a straight-in, non-precision approach. If the required visual reference is achieved, the pilot may descend below the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA).

If available, the VDP will be displayed as an upside-down triangle on the profile view section of the approach chart. The pilot must not descend below the MDA before reaching the VDP and acquiring the appropriate visual reference.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Forward Slip

March, 2, 2021 by

If your intentions are to increase your rate of descent without drastically increasing your airspeed, a Forward Slip is your friend. This could be used if you’re high on final, need to clear an obstacle, etc.

To enter the Forward Slip, fully configure your aircraft for landing, bring the power to idle, and lower the wing that’s pointed toward the wind. To maintain a straight ground track toward the runway, step on the rudder.

These actions cross-control the aircraft, exposing a large amount of its fuselage surface area into the wind. Consequently, this increases both drag and descent rate, without a very substantial gain in airspeed.

To recover from the Forward Slip, level the wings out and gently release rudder pressure. Adjust your pitch and power to revert back to the regular glideslope and approach speed.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Absolute Ceiling vs. Service Ceiling

February, 25, 2021 by

Also called Coffin Corner, the Absolute Ceiling is the height above sea level where the aircraft can climb no higher due to 1) no excess of power and 2) only one speed that allows a steady and level flight.

The Service Ceiling is the maximum altitude at which the aircraft can maintain a specified rate of climb (often 500 feet/minute). This is typically set in order to provide a safety margin below the aircraft’s Absolute Ceiling.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Coffin Corner

February, 23, 2021 by

Coffin Corner occurs at an aircraft’s Absolute Ceiling, where the aircraft can neither slow down without stalling nor speed up without exceeding the aircraft’s maximum operating speed. In other words, this is where the stall speed is equal to the max operating speed. It is the only speed, at that certain altitude, that allows a steady and level flight.

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.