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Quiz: Do You Know These 6 Common IFR Phrases?

Boldmethod

If you fly IFR, you'll probably get one of these phrases on your next flight...


  1. 1) You're sitting right seat in your friend's Cessna Grand Caravan flying out of San Jose, California (KSJC). You call tower when you reach the departure runway and they tell you to "hold for release." What does this mean?

    When ATC says to hold for release, they are trying to find a time slot for you to enter the IFR system. This usually has to do with traffic management and weather issues.

    When ATC says to hold for release, they are trying to find a time slot for you to enter the IFR system. This usually has to do with traffic management and weather issues.

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  2. 2) You're departing out of Catalina, California (KAVX). You called the FSS to get a relayed clearance from ATC. Your clearance void time is 1530Z and the current time is 1515Z. What is a clearance void time?

    When departing out of non-towered fields, you are issued a clearance void time, where, if you haven't departed (wheels up) by this time, you clearance is void. You then would be required to contact ATC for a new clearance to your destination.

    When departing out of non-towered fields, you are issued a clearance void time, where, if you haven't departed (wheels up) by this time, you clearance is void. You then would be required to contact ATC for a new clearance to your destination.

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  3. 3) You are enroute between Chicago O'Hare (KORD) and Champagne, IL (KCMI). At some point along your route, ATC asks you to hold at a fix. After their holding clearance, they say "Cessna 239NA, expect further clearance 1620Z, time now 1550Z." What is the purpose of an EFC time?

    When ATC tells you to hold, they issue you an EFC time for multiple reasons. Right off the bat, it gives you an idea of how long you're going to be holding and whether or not you will have to leave the hold and go to your alternate due to fuel constraints. Equally as important, it gives you a time to leave the hold in the event you find yourself in a lost communications situation.

    When ATC tells you to hold, they issue you an EFC time for multiple reasons. Right off the bat, it gives you an idea of how long you're going to be holding and whether or not you will have to leave the hold and go to your alternate due to fuel constraints. Equally as important, it gives you a time to leave the hold in the event you find yourself in a lost communications situation.

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  4. 4) You're in a Gulfstream G650, flying from Chicago O'Hare (KORD) to Newark, NJ (KEWR). You are given an EDCT time or an Expect Departure Clearance Time to Newark. Why does ATC issue these?

    ATC will issue EDCT times to aircraft that are flying to airports located within high traffic density regions. This is to help with traffic management going into these airports/airspaces.

    ATC will issue EDCT times to aircraft that are flying to airports located within high traffic density regions. This is to help with traffic management going into these airports/airspaces.

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  5. 5) You are still in your Gulfstream G650 but this time, you're headed to Dallas-Fort Worth (KDFW) from Miami, FL (KMIA). ATC asks you to proceed direct JRHED for the SEEVR FOUR arrival. Upon reaching JRHED, ATC says to descend via the SEEVER FOUR arrival and to contact regional approach on 125.025. What does "descend via" mean.
    View Jeppesen Chart
    View FAA Chart

    When ATC asks you to descend via a STAR or climb via a SID, they want you to follow the procedure as published. Meaning, follow the lateral track outlined in the procedure, as well as meet all altitude and speed restrictions to the bottom altitude.

    When ATC asks you to descend via a STAR or climb via a SID, they want you to follow the procedure as published. Meaning, follow the lateral track outlined in the procedure, as well as meet all altitude and speed restrictions to the bottom altitude.

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  6. 6) You are going M0.80 in your Gulfstream G650 at FL360. You are flying to Pensacola, FL (KPNS) from Atlanta, GA (KATL). ATC says "Gulfstream 245SA, at pilots discretion, descend and maintain 17,000. Maintain 300 knots in the transition." So...when does ATC want you at 300 knots? What do they mean by "transition"?

    ATC wants you to maintain 300 knots when you pass through the crossover altitude. This is the altitude where a specific indicated airspeed turns into a specific mach number (during a climb) and vise versa in a descent. When your airspeed transitions over to KIAS, maintain 300 knots.

    ATC wants you to maintain 300 knots when you pass through the crossover altitude. This is the altitude where a specific indicated airspeed turns into a specific mach number (during a climb) and vise versa in a descent. When your airspeed transitions over to KIAS, maintain 300 knots.

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It wasn't your best flight...

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Not the smoothest flight ever...

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Not bad...

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Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a large 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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