Flying your aircraft safely in the instrument environment requires thorough flight planning, understanding
of all aircraft and ground equipment, and following proper instrument flight procedures. When faced with
an in-flight emergency, prioritize your actions, follow NATOPS emergency procedures, and remember that
you must always first aviate, then navigate, and finally communicate.
Consider this situation: you are flying in instrument conditions from a southwest NAS to a west coast NAS
when one hour from your destination you experience a hydraulic failure. While reading this simple
scenario, you should have already been prioritizing an action list and critically analyzing your options. Fly
the aircraft, assess its impact, and take the necessary steps to get your aircraft safely on deck. Do not
hesitate to get assistance from ground agencies or other aircraft and always back yourself up by double-
checking the procedures in the NATOPS pocket checklist.
PRIMARY INSTRUMENT FAILURE
You must report the loss of any primary flight instrument or navigation system to the controlling agency,
and you may ask the controller for assistance. In some instances, you can compensate for a flight
instrument failure by substituting another primary or backup instrument; nevertheless, if you are IFR or
expect to encounter IFR conditions, you should consider the failure of any primary flight instrument to be
of a critical nature and therefore expedite getting your aircraft on the deck safely.
If you are VMC when a failure occurs, remain VMC and land as soon as practicable. If you are in IMC or
have to reenter IMC, assess the impact of the failed instrument(s) on your ability to control the aircraft.
You will have to either continue IMC or proceed to VMC (fuel permitting) if able.
TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION FAILURE
If you lose two-way communications while on an IFR flight plan, you are required to squawk mode 3, code
7600, and make all calls in the blind.
If you are able, continue your flight under VMC, land as soon as practicable, and notify ATC.
NAVIGATIONAL AID (NAVAID) FAILURE
Since the T-45A is equipped with both TACAN and VOR, it is unlikely that you will ever experience a total
navigational aid failure. If you lose one system, you still have the remaining system as a backup. You
must, however, notify ATC of the loss of any primary navigation system.
Should you lose both systems, notify ATC and request assistance. Under most circumstances, ATC will
be able to give you radar vectors to VMC or to a landing.
Avoid icing conditions whenever possible. Accumulation of ice on aircraft surfaces will result in an
increase in weight, drag, and stall speed. In icing conditions, stall may occur at a lower than normal angle
of attack. Engine icing can significantly reduce thrust and damage the engine. Icing can be detected
visually or (in the case of engine icing) by an increase in EGT or reduced engine performance and a
decrease in airspeed. If you encounter icing, check that the pitot heat is on and immediately maneuver to
exit the icing conditions. In the T-45A engine, anti-ice is automatic and is applied anytime the engine is
running. Icing may cause pitot static failure indicated by airspeed falling to zero, and frozen baro altimeter
NOTE: OPNAVINST 3710.7 states that flights shall be planned to circumvent areas of forecast
atmospheric icing and thunderstorm conditions whenever practicable.