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Quiz: Can You Answer These 7 IFR Departure Questions?

Can you answer these departure questions? It's time to find out!


  1. 1) You're sitting on the ramp in your new G650 and ATC gives you an IFR clearance with 'hold for release' instructions. Are you allowed to takeoff at this point?

    If you have a hold for release time, you can't depart IFR until that time. You can, however, cancel IFR, squawk 1200, and takeoff VFR (assuming weather conditions allow). Keep in mind if you takeoff VFR, you may not be able to get an IFR clearance while airborne.

    If you have a hold for release time, you can't depart IFR until that time. You can, however, cancel IFR, squawk 1200, and takeoff VFR (assuming weather conditions allow). Keep in mind if you takeoff VFR, you may not be able to get an IFR clearance while airborne.

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  2. 2) The next day you're flying your P-51 out of a non-towered airport. You get an IFR clearance with a clearance void time of 2245Z. What needs to happen by 2245Z?

    You need to be airborne by 2245Z. Additionally, failure to contact ATC within 30 minutes of your clearance void time results in your aircraft being considered overdue, and search and rescue operations will be started.

    You need to be airborne by 2245Z. Additionally, failure to contact ATC within 30 minutes of your clearance void time results in your aircraft being considered overdue, and search and rescue operations will be started.

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  3. 3) You're departing an airport IFR. What is the minimum climb gradient you need to maintain, unless it's otherwise specified?

    Unless otherwise noted, required obstacle clearance for all departures is based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation before making the initial turn, and maintaining a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM), unless required to level off by a crossing restriction, until the minimum IFR altitude. 

    Unless otherwise noted, required obstacle clearance for all departures is based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation before making the initial turn, and maintaining a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM), unless required to level off by a crossing restriction, until the minimum IFR altitude. 

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  4. 4) You're departing runway 24 at Salida, CO and flying the RONBE ONE departure. What is the minimum climb gradient you need to maintain initially after takeoff?
    View the RONBE ONE departure

    According to the chart, the minimum climb gradient for this DP is 500 FPNM to 11,500 feet.

    According to the chart, the minimum climb gradient for this DP is 500 FPNM to 11,500 feet.

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  5. 5) You've taken off from runway 24 and you're flying the RONBE ONE departure. When can you begin your right turn to UHIKI?
    View the RONBE ONE departure

    According to the chart, you need to wait until 8023' MSL before turning to UHIKI.

    According to the chart, you need to wait until 8023' MSL before turning to UHIKI.

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  6. 6) What runway(s) can you use when departing for the EDUKY THREE departure?
    View the EDUKY THREE departure

    According to the chart, you need to use runway 8. Runway 26 is NA, or not authorized.

    According to the chart, you need to use runway 8. Runway 26 is NA, or not authorized.

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  7. 7) You've been cleared for the EDUKY THREE departure, but you haven't been cleared to your filed enroute altitude yet. What altitude should you climb to?
    View the EDUKY THREE departure

    According to the chart, you should climb to 14,000' MSL and expect a higher altitude 10 minutes after departure.

    According to the chart, you should climb to 14,000' MSL and expect a higher altitude 10 minutes after departure.

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Look on the bright side, you have room for improvement!

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Not bad! Keep studying IFR departure rules and you'll be an expert in no time.

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You've got these questions down! Are you sure you're not an airline pilot or CFII?

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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