How to Find Your Way In-Between…
In this LESSON we’ll cover how to read and understand the charts that take you from airport to airport (the equivalent of your sectional chart, but with slightly less visual information, since, in theory, you won’t be able to see the ground when using these charts). We’ll also cover the rest of the charts you’ll want to be familiar with preparing for your IFR flights and the lighting and runway markings you’ll encounter on “precision” and “non-precision” runway. (no you cannot blame your non-precise landings on non-precision runways).
Peek-a-boo, ATC can see you….
So we depart 60R under VFR and the weather is great, aside from a shelf of clouds right at 1,000-1,200′ over top of CLL. Our options now are twofold, request a Special VFR clearance (if it was night time we’d certainly need our instrument rated CFI with us to be the PIC), or request a “Pop-up IFR clearance”. The premise of the Pop-up IFR clearance is that you are flying under VFR, don’t necessarily have an easy way to file a complete IFR flight plan, and want to go IFR the “quick and easy” way. These types of clearances are typically used when just trying to get above or below a cloud layer, and the pilot usually tells ATC even when requesting the pop-up IFR clearance (with Approach or Center) that they will “cancel when they’re VFR on top” or “cancel when they get below the clouds”, whichever the case may be if they are climbing or descending. Try filing a clearance like this at least once with your CFII during training (I think it will become the most useful tool in your instrument box, especially if you do a lot of VFR flying).