Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Instrument Preflight Procedures Lesson by wifiCFI
Instrument Flight Required Preflight Actions (FAR 91.103)
Pilot’s can use the acronym WKFARTN to remember the required preflight items to check prior to conducting and Instrument Flight.
K: Known ATC Delays
F: Fuel Requirements
Destination + 45 min or
Destination + Alternate Airport + 45 min
A: Alternate Airports
1, 2, 3 Rule
R: Runway Lengths
Departure, destination, and alternate airports
T: Takeoff and Landing Distances
Filing an IFR Flight Plan
An instrument flight plan should be filed at least 30 min prior to the filed departure time.
An instrument flight plan can be filed with ATC multiple ways:
Via phone call to 1(800) WX-BRIEF
An instrument flight plan will be deleted from the ATC system if not activated within 2 hours of the filing time.
Remember to close your IFR Flight Plan with ATC when landing at an uncontrolled field.
If landing at a controlled airport, ATC will automatically close the flight plan for you after landing.
If landing at an uncontrolled field, you will need to contact ATC either by radio or 1(800) WX-BRIEF to close.
Obtaining the Instrument Clearance
Obtaining the Instrument Clearance can be a difficult thing for new pilots to master.
Methods for obtaining the clearance will vary depending on if the departure is from a Controlled or Uncontrolled field.
However, the format for how the clearances are received from ATC are very similair.
Controlled Fields – Acronym CRAFT
C: Clearance Limit
R: Route of Flight
F: Frequency (Departure)
T: Transponder Code
Let’s look at what an example Instrument Clearance would sound like from ATC.
In this example, we will be flying in N736TB on an IFR Flight from KOGD (Ogden) to KENV (Wendover) Airports.
“N736TB, you are cleared to the Wendover Airport, on departure fly heading 240 then radar vectors to victor 21. Climb and maintain 6,000 feet, expect 10,000 feet in 10 minutes. Departure frequency is 121.1. Squawk 4325.”
Uncontrolled Fields (AIM 5-2-6)
To obtain an IFR Clearance from an uncontrolled field, a pilot will need to call ATC Clearance/Delivery at (888) 766-8267 and obtain the clearance via telephone.
The Clearance will be given in much the same format.
However, it will also contain a “Clearance Void Time.”
A Clearance Void Time simply means that the IFR Clearance given over the telephone will be void if the pilot does not depart the uncontrolled field and contact the proper ATC Controller via airplane radio prior to that time.
If a pilot makes no contact with ATC or the telephone controller for more than 30 minutes after the Clearance Void Time, search and rescue operations will be initiated.
“N736TB, you are cleared to the Wendover Airport, on departure fly heading 240 then radar vectors to victor 21. Climb and maintain 6,000 feet, expect 10,000 feet in 10 minutes. Departure frequency is 121.1. Squawk 4325. Clearance void if not off by 1400Z. If not off by 1400Z, contact (ATC Facility) with intentions prior to 1415Z.”
FAA Sources Used for This Lesson
Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91
Aeronautical Information Manual Chapter 5