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Quiz: Do You Know How To Handle These 7 IFR Lost Comm Procedures?

Tony Webster / Wikipedia

What happens when your radios fail?


  1. 1) You call up center for your clearance on the ground at Sky Harbor airport (KDYT) and they say: "Piper 334FL, cleared to the St. Paul airport as filed, climb and maintain 4,000 expect 6,000 one zero minutes after departure, departure frequency is 125.45, squawk 0214, clearance void time is 2015z, time now 2000z." What does Clearance Void Time mean?

    The clearance void time is the time that you are required to be wheels up, otherwise you are required to file a new IFR flight plan. If you are not up by this time, you need to inform ATC and get a new clearance.

    The clearance void time is the time that you are required to be wheels up, otherwise you are required to file a new IFR flight plan. If you are not up by this time, you need to inform ATC and get a new clearance.

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  2. 2) 10 minutes later, you are in IMC and flying south on your filed route of V13 and you just passed over DAYAR. You realized that you haven't heard radio transmissions in a while. You conclude that you have had a radio failure. What should you do?

    When you encounter a radio failure in IMC, you always want to choose the last assigned, vectored, expected or filed route - in that order. In this case, you were cleared to St. Paul, so you can follow your filed route. For the altitude, you want to choose the highest of the Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA), Expected, or Assigned. In this case, 6,000 ft was the highest and just so happened to be your assigned altitude.

    When you encounter a radio failure in IMC, you always want to choose the last assigned, vectored, expected or filed route - in that order. In this case, you were cleared to St. Paul, so you can follow your filed route. For the altitude, you want to choose the highest of the Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA), Expected, or Assigned. In this case, 6,000 ft was the highest and just so happened to be your assigned altitude.

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  3. 3) You are still flying on V13 when you pass over WHISK. How can you identify this intersection?

    All of these are acceptable ways of identifying WHISK as an intersection. 

    All of these are acceptable ways of identifying WHISK as an intersection. 

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  4. 4) You still have a communications failure and are approaching the KIKKY INT in IMC, the initial approach fix for the ILS RWY 32 into St. Paul. Your ETA is 2145z and right now its 2130z. What should you do?
    View KSTP ILS Rwy 32 Approach Chart

    When you have a radio failure in IMC, you must proceed to the initial approach fix of an approach and hold until your ETA.

    When you have a radio failure in IMC, you must proceed to the initial approach fix of an approach and hold until your ETA.

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  5. 5) You pick up the weather, and the reported temperature is -30 degrees Celsius. Your Piper Arrow is not a temperature compensating aircraft. Assuming you are approximately 2,000 ft AGL, what corrected altitude would you use as you pass KIKKY inbound?
    View KSTP ILS Rwy 32 Approach Chart

    When landing at an airport whose temperature is below the cold temperature correction threshold depicted on the instrument approach procedure, you should apply a correction to the altitude on the segment of the approach you are on. Information on which segment must have the correction applied to it can be found in the Cold Temperature Correction NOTAM. The table itself can also be found in AIM 7-2-3.

    When landing at an airport whose temperature is below the cold temperature correction threshold depicted on the instrument approach procedure, you should apply a correction to the altitude on the segment of the approach you are on. Information on which segment must have the correction applied to it can be found in the Cold Temperature Correction NOTAM. The table itself can also be found in AIM 7-2-3.

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  6. 6) As you shoot the approach, approximately how long will it take you to get from BABCO to the missed approach point at 90 knots groundspeed?
    View KSTP ILS Rwy 32 Approach Chart

    Below the airport diagram, it indicates the time to the missed approach point from the final approach fix at a given approach speed. Keep in mind the speed is in calm air (or groundspeed). Any headwind or tailwind will affect your time.

    Below the airport diagram, it indicates the time to the missed approach point from the final approach fix at a given approach speed. Keep in mind the speed is in calm air (or groundspeed). Any headwind or tailwind will affect your time.

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  7. 7) The airport diagram shows 3 white ovals across the approach end of runway 32. What are they?
    View KSTP ILS Rwy 32 Approach Chart

    These ovals indicate that runway 32 has a displaced threshold.

    These ovals indicate that runway 32 has a displaced threshold.

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Well, that was a tough quiz...

You scored %. And now you know quite a bit about lost comm procedures.

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Not bad, you've got most of these procedures down...

You scored %. Nice work.

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Well, you pretty much aced that quiz.

You scored %. Well done.

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kstp-ils-32 X

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 corey@boldmethod.com.

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