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Quiz: Can You Answer These 6 IFR Preflight Planning Questions?

Ready to plan an IFR flight?


  1. 1) You're planning an IFR flight, and the weather at your destination is marginal. What's the minimum weather you need to NOT be required to file an alternate? (at least +/- 1 hour around the ETA)

    According to 91.167, you need 2,000+ foot ceilings AGL with 3SM or more visibility within +/- 1 hour to land at an airport to not need to file an alternate airport. But if the weather is close to that, you should think about having enough fuel on board and filing an alternate to give yourself a good out.

    According to 91.167, you need 2,000+ foot ceilings AGL with 3SM or more visibility within +/- 1 hour to land at an airport to not need to file an alternate airport. But if the weather is close to that, you should think about having enough fuel on board and filing an alternate to give yourself a good out.

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  2. 2) What's the minimum weather required for an alternate airport, if the airport doesn't have an instrument approach procedure?

    According to 91.169, if there's no instrument approach procedure (or special approach procedure) published for an airport, the ceiling and visibility minimums are those allowing descent from the MEA and landing under basic VFR.

    According to 91.169, if there's no instrument approach procedure (or special approach procedure) published for an airport, the ceiling and visibility minimums are those allowing descent from the MEA and landing under basic VFR.

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  3. 3) If there are no takeoff weather minimums for your departure airport, what are the IFR takeoff minimums for a part 91 flight?

    There are no takeoff minimums for Part 91 flights, unless you're using a procedure that requires visibility minimums (for example, a departure procedure with takeoff minimums). However, we'd recommend you set your personal minimums to be safe.

    There are no takeoff minimums for Part 91 flights, unless you're using a procedure that requires visibility minimums (for example, a departure procedure with takeoff minimums). However, we'd recommend you set your personal minimums to be safe.

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  4. 4) If you're flying over a mountainous area with no published minimum altitude, you need to stay at least _____ feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of _____ NM from course you'll fly.

    According to 91.177, "If no applicable minimum altitude is prescribed in parts 95 and 97 of this chapter, then (i) In the case of operations over an area designated as a mountainous area in part 95 of this chapter, an altitude of 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown..." 

    According to 91.177, "If no applicable minimum altitude is prescribed in parts 95 and 97 of this chapter, then (i) In the case of operations over an area designated as a mountainous area in part 95 of this chapter, an altitude of 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown..." 

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  5. 5) The Victor airway for your flight has a MOCA. What distance from the VOR does the MOCA assure acceptable VOR navigation signal?

    A MOCA assures acceptable navigation signal within 22 NM of the NAVAID.

    A MOCA assures acceptable navigation signal within 22 NM of the NAVAID.

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  6. 6) You're looking at the approach chart for the instrument approach you're expecting to fly at your destination. There's an 'A' in a black triangle in the briefing strip. What does it mean?

    The 'A' means alternate minimums exist, which you can find on the IFR Alternate Airport Minimums pages. In this example, for the ILS RWY 18, minimums for Category E are 700-2. For LOC, Category E minimums are 800-2. 

    The 'A' means alternate minimums exist, which you can find on the IFR Alternate Airport Minimums pages. In this example, for the ILS RWY 18, minimums for Category E are 700-2. For LOC, Category E minimums are 800-2. 

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The good news? You have room for improvement...

You scored %. And you learned quit a bit in this quiz.

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Nice work, you know your IFR preflight planning.

You scored %. Nice work.

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Looks like you pretty much know it all.

You scored %. When it comes to preflight planning, you've got everything covered.

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, CFII and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. Corey has been flying since he was 16, and he's pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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