Updated: Jan 15
What things do pilots need to check before performing an IFR Flight?
Here's what you need to know.
According to FAR 91.103, pilots must check the following prior to beginning an IFR Flight. Remember the acronym WKFARTN.
W - Weather
A pilot must check weather at the departure airport, destination airport, and weather along the intended route of flight.
K - Known ATC Delays
A pilot must check the ATC database for any known delays along the intended route of flight. Pilots must know this information so they are able to make correct fuel calculations and plan for alternate airports if necessary.
F - Fuel Requirements
Pilots must make correct fuel calculations in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations. This means, a pilot must have enough fuel on board to make it to the destination airport, then an additional 45 minutes of flight at normal cruising speed if an Alternate Airport is not filed or required.
If an Alternate Airport is filed or required, then a pilot must have enough fuel to make it to the destination airport, then make it to the alternate airport, and then an additional 45 minutes of flight at normal cruising speed.
A - Alternate Airports
To know if you must file an Alternate Airport for your IFR Flight, follow the rules listed below.
For the time period beginning 1 hour before to 1 hour after your ETA at the destination airport, the weather must be greater than 3 statute miles of visibility and the ceilings must be greater than 2,000'.
If weather is worse than the criteria listed above, then a pilot must file an Alternate Airport for their IFR Flight Plan.
R - Runway Lengths
Pilots must know the runway lengths at both the departure, destination, and alternate airports.
T - Takeoff and Landing Distances
Now that we know our runway lengths, we must calculate and know our takeoff and landing distances to ensure we have enough runway to make a safe flight.
N - NOTAMS
Pilots must check Notices to Airmen and be familiar with all of these notices for their intended route of flight.
Author - Nate Hodell
CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP - Creator of wifiCFI - Owner of Axiom Aviation Flight School.
This information is included in the Instrument Rating Pre-Flight Procedures Lessons on wifiCFI. Sign up today to watch videos, listen to podcasts, take lesson quizzes, join live webinars, print lesson quicktakes, and more by clicking this link >