RADIO INSTRUMENT FLIGHT PROCEDURES
As you have probably realized by now, RIs will be one of the more demanding stages of your
training, and will require much study and concentration. Here, especially, a thorough working
knowledge of procedures is essential to your success on instructional flights. However, you must
go beyond rote memorization of procedures and strive for a clear understanding of each maneuver
before you get into the cockpit and fly the maneuver for the first time. Remember, the knowledge
gained in this stage of your training will be utilized time and time again as you progress through
the training command and in your operational flying.
As important as RI procedures and concepts are, you must be aware of your priorities while in
flight. Remember the golden rule, "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate." Perform these
functions in that order. In other words, maintaining desired flight parameters (heading, altitude,
airspeed, etc.) and monitoring aircraft systems performance should be your first priority. Do not
become preoccupied with navigation at the expense of basic airwork. It would be pointless to
have a precise plot of your position if you accidentally stalled the aircraft while making this plot.
Remember, "Fly the aircraft first."
Navigating your aircraft properly has a higher priority than communicating. To make the
reasoning behind this clear, consider the following. During many flights there are points when
just flying and navigating properly takes all of your concentration. Attempting to engage in radio
communications at this point could overload you to the point of making errors in your flying and
navigating. This is not to say that necessary radio transmissions should be omitted or delayed
excessively. However, a slight delay in reporting your flight situation is preferable to ending up
in a bad situation because you overloaded yourself with communication tasks.
TURN RULE. Maneuvering turns of more than 30º in Instrument Flight are made at standard
rate or 30º AOB, whichever occurs first. For turns of 30º or less, never use an AOB more than the
number of degrees to turn (i.e., 10º heading change do not use over a 10º AOB).
A STUDY HINT. The RI FTI contains several procedures such as "6 Ts," and the sector rules
for Holding Entry, etc. which are devised to organize your time in the airplane and to jog your
memory. But alone, they will not carry you far. Look for the underlying principles and never
lose sight of the big picture, the end result or objective of each maneuver. Visualize your track
over the ground. Each type of maneuver you fly in RI has a direct "real world" application; none
is done just for the sake of a basic airwork exercise.
Prior to each flight it is essential that all instruments and equipment be checked for proper operation.
Prior to the runup area, the student will have completed the Instrument Checklist and will report to
RADIO INSTRUMENT FLIGHT PROCEDURES 6-1