Instrument Rating ACS: I Preflight Preparation

This ACS topic guide is by no means a complete study guide. The points mentioned here are additional study suggestions and especially hint at some further in depth review in terms of SRM/ADM.

To determine the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with the requirements to act as PIC under instrument flight rules.

*** Remember that you are potentially being questioned on all three areas and you can also potentially fail in any of them. ***

I Preflight Preparation

A Pilot Qualifications
Certification requirements, recency of experience, and recordkeeping.
***Please study this area beyond the rote memorization of some simple phrases about certificates and recency and logging.
1) How about the certification requirements? Is the instrument rating that the Gulfstream pilot obtained different from yours?
2) If you received your instrument rating in the middle of the desert versus in a busy Class B/C area, can that be comparable in terms of training value?
3) How about the recency of experience? What is meant by that? Recency of IMC, or simulated instrument, practicing failures, actual aircraft time, or simply 6 approaches/holding/tracking?
4) Very often you hear about flight schools advertise sharing flight time and both pilots logging instrument / PIC time. Beyond the legal discussion, please discuss the merits of such a flight sharing activity.
5) Remember that there is no difference in ratings for Instrument Private or Instrument Commercial or Instrument ATP. WHY?

Privileges and limitations
***Please think about scenarios where pilots trained in a quick 10 day crash course versus someone that had a full instrument rating course are compared in their skill level.
Since the syllabus/ACS is the same, the practical test is the same, are there scenarios where the 10 day crash course pilot is at a disadvantage?
Part 91 and 135 differ greatly in many areas that concern IFR departures and arrivals. Single pilot IFR versus part 135 crews are also vastly different. Explain how/why and
what can you do to achieve the same level of safety as Part 135 operations.

Part 68 BasicMed Privileges and Limitations.
*** 1) Discuss the different level of required fitness of a VFR Private Pilot versus a IFR pilot, is there one?
2) What medical conditions that are otherwise perfectly ok flying VFR could be very problematic IFR? ***

B Weather Information
*** 1) Please explain the differences between a IFR briefing versus VFR?
2) Please discuss a single source weather briefing versus comparing two sources, is this necessary for IFR flight and why?
3) Specifically review Risk Management procedures (PAVE, DECIDE etc.) in terms of weather
4) Name specific weather phenomena that require advanced knowlegde and this knowledge is absolutely essential to the IFR rated pilot? Why?
5) Explain why the availability of digital weather information in cockpit displays is actually leading to less safe general aviation operations?
6) What is so special about IFR diversions, should they not just be handled like any other diversion from your Private Pilot checkride?
7) How do you create personal weather minimums if all of your training was in CAVU?
8) Explain scenarios where even very benign/light weather conditions such as turbulence/mist/rain could create a problem during a IFR flight
9) Explain why TEC (Tower Enroute) is being terribly abused and what the problems are in terms of weather?


C Cross-Country Flight Planning
*** 1) Other than the obvious, what are the differences between a IMC cross country versus a VMC cross country?
2) The 250nm cross country during your training might have been the longest simulated instrument flight you have ever done, are there any concerns with the
length of your cross countries after you get your rating? Length of IMC versus VMC, length of the overall trip even if most of it is VMC?
3) Explain why TEC (Tower Enroute) is being terribly abused and what the problems are in terms of flight planning?
4) In terms of Risk Management, what is the difference between a cross country TEC KVNY KSAN and a flight plan KVNY KSFO?
5) Why is aircraft performance such a big deal in IFR cross country flight planning? Where are the most problematic scenarios?