Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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IFR Lesson Guides - Descent Profile

IFR Lesson Guides:  Intro | Basic Attitude Instruction | Cockpit Check | Pitch Control | Bank Control | Power Control | Constant Airspeed | Turns | ITO | Constant Rate | Compass | Steep Turns | Unusual Attitudes | Precision Flight | Bravo Pattern | Descent Profile
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Three phases of an instrument rating This Instrument Rating Lesson Guide covers the IFR Descent Profile which you'll do as an instrument pilot on every approach.  If the prospective IFR student can perform this maneuver, he is likely to be successful in the next phase of the instrument rating - NAVIGATE.

Rule:  Airspeed is PRIMARY, use
power to fix what you dont like.

Goal:  To build your skills:  aircraft control, visual scan, and flying technique. 

1.    Perform clearing turns to visually clear the practice area. 
2.    Do not deviate more than ±5 knots, ±10° heading, ±100 level-off altitude.
3.    Follow profile as depicted.
a.    Set descent power.
b.    Maintain altitude until reaching approach airspeed.
c.    Set level off power to maintain altitude at approach airspeed.
d.    As required, set descent power.
e.    Maintain descent at approach speed, 500fpm.
f.     When desired altitude is reached, set level off power to maintain altitude at approach airspeed.

Profile view of stabilized descent

a.  Fly the profile as depicted to an MDA of 800 feet AGL
b.  Fly the profile as depicted for 2 minutes (at the descent).

Get started on your instrument rating with the Instrument Ground School
Complete your instrument rating with a 7-day Instrument Rating Training Program
Curious about the instrument checkride? See the Instrument Rating Plan of Action

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