IFR LOST COMMUNICATION RULES

Updated: Jan 13

What should a pilot do if he or she loses radio communication when on an IFR Flight Plan?


Here's what you need to know.

IFR LOST COMMUNICATION RULES

In this blog post we will discuss what a pilot should do in relation to route of flight and altitudes to maintain after losing radio communications with ATC on an IFR Flight Plan.


WHAT ROUTE SHOULD I FLY?

If you lose communication with ATC in VFR Conditions, remain VFR and head to the nearest suitable airport for landing.


To decide on the route of flight in IFR Conditions, pilots should use the acronym AVEF. With this acronym it is important to know that it must be completed in the order listed! Start with A, then move to V, and so on and so forth.


A - Assigned Route

Fly whatever route ATC last Assigned to you.

If you have not received an Assigned Route, move on to the next step.


V - Vectored Route

Fly the last Vector received from ATC.

If you have not received a Vectored Heading, move on to the next step.


E - Expected Route

Fly the route ATC told you to Expect.

If you have not received an Expected Route from ATC, move on to the next step.


F - Filed Route

Fly the route that was Filed in your IFR Flight Plan.


WHAT ALTITUDE SHOULD I FLY?

If you lose communication with ATC in VFR Conditions, remain VFR and head to the nearest suitable airport for landing.


If you lose communication while in IFR Conditions, use the acronym MEA to select the appropriate altitude to fly. You will want to select and fly the highest altitude from the criteria listed below.


M - Minimum En-Route Altitude (MEA)

E - Expected Altitude (if one has been assigned)

A - Assigned Altitude (if one has been assigned)


Each time you begin a new route segment, you will need to re-evaluate your altitudes and re-select the highest one. See example picture below.


Author - Nate Hodell

CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP - Creator of wifiCFI - Owner of Axiom Aviation Flight School.


This information is included in the Instrument Rating Lost Communications 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 >


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