Flight 15 - Navigation and Instrument Flying


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce maneuvering solely by reference to flight instruments, unusual attitudes, use of radio aids, and ATC directives and emergency procedures applicable to instrument flight to facilitate aeronautical decision making and situational awareness.


Visiting your mother

You are conducting a flight to a nearby airport to visit your mother that is living in the nearby city’s assisted living home and to practice VFR patterns. Current local weather is reported as 035 BKN with 5 SM visibility and winds light and variable. Scattered rain showers have been reported in the vicinity.

  • Study these Jeppesen Private Pilot Maneuvers
    • Chapter 8 - Special Flight Operations
      • Maneuver 32 - Attitude Instrument Flying
  • Study the section on Inadvertant VFR Flight into IMC in Chapter 17 of the FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook
  • Be prepared to lead a discussion on how you would handle the aircraft in the event of an unintentional flight into IMC.
  • Prepare for flight to the Sacramento McClellan airport (KMCC)
  • Obtain a weather briefing and be prepared to present it during the Preflight Discussion
  • Calculate weight and balance and takeoff and landing performance
  • Review aircraft maintenance records to determine compliance with inspection requirements.
Learning Objectives
Preflight Discussion
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Perform Discuss lesson objective and completion standards
Explain Basic instrument flight maneuvers
Explain Navigation systems/facilities and radar services
Explain Inadvertant flight into IMC emergency procedures
Perform Preflight Risk Assessment
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Practice Instrument Flight: Straight-and-Level Flight
Practice Instrument Flight: Turns to headings
Practice Instrument Flight: Straight, constant airspeed climbs and descents
Practice Instrument Flight: Climbing and descending turns
Practice Instrument Flight: VOR Navigation
Practice Instrument Flight: GPS navigation
Practice Emergency Procedures: 180 degrees turn in clouds
Practice Emergency Procedures: Emergency climbs and descents
Practice Emergency Procedures: Recovery from unusual flight attitudes
Practice Emergency Procedures: Inadvertent flight into icing conditions
Practice Emergency Procedures: Radar vectors
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Practice Short-Field Takeoff and Maximum Performance Climb
Practice Short-Field Approach and Landing
Practice Soft-Field Takeoff and Climb
Practice Soft-Field Approach and Landing
Postflight Briefing
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Perform Critique performance
Completion Standards
The lesson is complete when the pilot-in-training can:
  • meet the desired outcomes listed in the learning objectives table.
  • use electronic aids for orientation and navigation with instructor guidance.
  • track and bracket radials and bearings.
  • identify and practice proper corrective actions to emergency procedures.
  • maintain altitude within ±200 feet, heading within ±30 degrees, and airspeed within ±10 knots.