Instrument Pilot Course of Instruction

Steve Sconfienza, Ph.D.

Airline Transport Pilot

Flight Instructor: Airplane Single and Multiengine; Instrument Airplane

cell: 518.366.3957


Instrument Approach Briefing

The point of "briefing" an instrument approach is to insure that you, the flight crew, anyone involved in the approach, know what to do before things are happening too quickly to respond in a competent manner. Pilots' workload is highest during the approach and landing phase of a flight, and this is when workload- or stress-related errors are most likely.

this is a graph of pilot workload during flight, plotted against fatigue and phase of flight

The briefing is not meant to be a complete review of all instruemtn procedures and flight rules (you are supposed to know that and be practicing it already), just a familiarization exercise with respect to the approach to be flown.

First, take care of the paperwork. Ensure you're using correct and current chart. Pay attention to the header section of the approach charts: you may find multiple cities with the same name but in different states (e.g., Logan in Alabama and Logan in Massachusetts), and you may find multiple airports under the same city name (e.g., Chicago Midway and Chicago O'Hare), sometimes with the same runways and approaches (e.g., Chicago Midway, ILS to 4R, and Chicago O'Hare, ILS 4R ).

Second, familiarize yourself with the environment. Review the general navaid and airport information (on NOS charts this reads directly across the top).

Finally, insure you know how to fly the apporach. Don't freelance this step going down final. Review the final approach fix information, minimum altitudes, and the missed approach point & procedure.

  1. Approach ID:
  2. Approach Environmnt:
  3. Final Approach Fix and Altitude
  4. Lowest altitudes:
  5. Missed Approach Point:
  6. Missed Approach Procedure

Once the above is taken care of, start setting-up the airplane.

Also, make note of the following:

Call for the standard pre-landing checklist.

Download Instrument Briefing Checklist in PDF format