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3 Of The Most Common Mistakes Pilots Make On IFR Flights, And How To Prevent Them

This story was made in partnership with AOPA. Ready to join the largest aviation community in the world? Sign up and save $10 when you become an AOPA Member today.

If you know the common errors, you can help prevent them from happening...

1) Descending Too Early On An Instrument Approach

When you're cleared for the approach, you need to be established on a published route before descending to the published altitudes on the approach. Be careful to meet each step-down altitude, and never descend below MDA/DA until these three things happen.

2) Failure To Level-Off

Avoid distractions as you approach your assigned altitude. A "1,000 foot" call as you cross 1,000' feet from your assigned altitude is a great way to prepare for your level off.

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3) Climb or Descend Via

It's not very common for GA piston pilots to get a "climb via" or "descent via". If you get one, you need to make sure you can meet the crossing restrictions, especially if you're flying a piston-powered aircraft on a climb via.


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