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5 IFR Preflight Items You Really Don't Want To Miss

Flying IFR soon? Make sure you're all set to go...

1) VOR Test

If you plan on using the VOR for navigation on an IFR flight, whether you're enroute or on an approach, you need to make sure that a VOR test has been completed within the preceding 30 days of the flight. If it hasn't been done, you need to follow FAR 91.171 and complete the test before you fly.

Corey Komarec

2) Pitot heat

If you take off and it's inoperative, you could accumulate ice on your pitot tube and lose reliable airspeed indication.

Corey Komarec

3) Directional gyro

If it isn't lined up before you take off, you're going to have problems in the clouds. Make sure it's indicating the same as your compass before you take the runway.

Corey Komarec

4) Turn coordinator

The only way to reliably fly coordinated is with your turn coordinator. And while you can estimate a standard-rate turn with your attitude indicator and airspeed, using the TC for a 2-minute turn is a lot easier. To test it out during taxi, the ball should move to the outside of the turn, and the airplane should bank into the turn.


5) Alternator belt

Make sure the belt is in good condition before you go. Electrical failure + night IMC is NOT a good situation.


Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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