This article originally appeared in IFR Refresher, Jan. 2007.When a pilot contemplates an IFR flight, the focus will tend to shift towards the latter part of the trip. This is reasonable, as an approach is arguably the most challenging phase of any IFR flight. This focus on approaches, enforced during initial and recurrent training, does have its drawbacks: Many pilots tend to dismiss the challenges that come with the departure phase of flight. In at least one case, this dismissal cost both the pilot and his passenger their lives.
Big Sky protects us in cruise flight, but where traffic funnels onto final, knowing where the other guy is will keep you alive. More
Mark Robidoux caught this postcard-perfect image of a seaplane in National Geographic light. Nice shot Mark.