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“The Most Convenient Way To Get Valuable IFR Experience”

View IFR Mastery scenarios on your computer, iPad or smart phone.

  • Master the finer points of Instrument flying
  • Hone valuable skills and decision making
  • Gain a better understanding of the IFR system
  • Learn to manage common emergencies
  • Get the most out of your next IPC

“One of the best training aides I’ve used in my 40 years of flying.” John Graff, Colorado
Try it today for just $19

Online Scenarios That Build Confidence

There is no substitute for actual flying experience – pilots that train and fly regularly are typically confident and proficient. While we can’t put you in an airplane, we can do the next best thing by immersing you in the mental aspects of IFR flying.

IFR Mastery is a continuing series of online, scenario-based workshops. Each month, we provide a challenging real-world IFR scenario that tests your knowledge and hones your decision making skills.

It’s more than reading another article or watching another video. IFR Mastery delivers a powerful way to keep your head in the game and gain valuable experience from the comfort of your computer.

The best part of IFR Mastery is you will get maximum return for the time you invest! Because you are actively engaged, you will learn and retain the lessons in far less time. And because it’s fun, you will want to do it more often.

“When it comes to exercising IFR thinking, the program that I was most impressed with was the IFR Mastery Series from PilotWorkshops.

PilotWorkshop’s IFR Mastery Series hits a sweet-spot mix of material to do on your own schedule and interactively – especially if you spend time in the discussion groups.”IFR Magazine

A Focused Structure For Busy Pilots

IFR Mastery offers an approach that makes learning fun. The scenarios follow a format that is simple and straight-forward.

Step 1 – Get a Quick Briefing

The first step is to watch a short video that sets the stage for your IFR scenario.

You will get a full briefing of the situation and a detailed explanation of all the factors you must consider.

Step 2 – Evaluate Your Options

Here, you will further assess the situation and choose your course of action.

The resources are specific to each scenario and may include weather data, aircraft specific information, performance charts, IFR enroute charts, approach plates, airport information and other relevant data.

Step 3 – Make Your Choice

You will be given a list of options for how to best manage the situation. Select your choice using a live polling feature on our website. This way, you can get instant feedback and compare your choice with other pilots.

Step 4 – Learn From Instructors

After making your selection, you will watch the instructor’s analysis video and hear which option they chose.

They will provide step-by-step instruction for each scenario and offer a technically detailed explanation of their process for completing each flight.

These segments are full of tips and techniques!

Step 5 – Visit The Hangar

This is our members-only discussion forum. After going through the workshops, you will enjoy spending time in the Hangar.

You can read the forum posts where pilots share a story or ask the instructors a question. There are lots of valuable discussions that come out of these scenarios and you are free to join them if you wish.

This is also the place where you can listen to the Roundtable Audio where all our instructors get together and further dissect each scenario.

Finally, you can access the monthly IFR Quiz to see how much you learned…and don’t forget to read the lively discussions that the quizzes are sure to instigate.

“..a great learning tool for any pilot who wants a painless path to the experience typically gained by scar tissue.”Edward S. from Florida

Meet The IFR Mastery Instructors

Bob Nardiello

Bob Nardiello was the “Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004 and “FAA Safety Counselor of the Year” in 2006 for the Windsor Locks Flight Standards District Office. He has over 10,000 hours of total flight experience, with more than 7,000 hours as a Flight Instructor. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP ratings and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner. Bob is the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at a Part 141 Flight School and is also a seasoned charter pilot flying a Cessna 421 and Citation Ultra.

Wally Moran

Wally Moran is a retired airline captain and spent much of his career as a training instructor and check airman on aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He has held a flight instructor certificate for over 50 years. He is a Designated Pilot Examiner for airplanes and gliders and has given over 4000 hours of flight instruction in single engine, multiengine, gliders and seaplanes.

Wally has been awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and is designated a Master CFI by the National Association of Flight Instructors. NAFI also inducted Wally into their Instructor Hall of Fame in 2017.

John Krug

John Krug’s 27 years of experience as an Air Traffic Controller combined with his experience as an active flight instructor and charter pilot, allow him to assist pilots in gaining a better understanding of the ATC system and how to best operate in it. While with the FAA, he was an On-the-Job-Training Instructor for new controllers and worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, responsible for conducting in-flight evaluations of the Air Traffic System and investigating accidents and incidents.

Bob Martens

Bob Martens is a nationally known speaker, consultant and aviation safety expert. He retired from the FAA after spending 17 years as a Safety Program Manager. In this role, he delivered hundreds of live seminars devoted to General Aviation safety. Bob retired from the USAF (rank of Colonel) in 2000 after 30 years of active and reserve duty. He was an Aircraft Commander in a C-5A and also served as Flying Safety Officer and Chief of Safety with the 439th AirWing. Bob has logged thousands of flight hours in both military and GA aircraft.

Jeff Van West

Jeff Van West built a career as an aviation writer as the editor of “IFR Magazine” and co-editor of “Aviation Consumer”. His work has appeared in AOPA Pilot, Flight Training, AVweb and many other outlets. His books include “FSX for Real World Pilots” (co-authored with Kevin Lane-Cummings), which is still a top seller on simulator-based training, even eight years after its publication. He’s an experienced flight instructor, with certifications for single- and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders. Jeff was the creator of the first pilot transition programs for new Cirrus aircraft.

Tom Turner

Master CFI Tom Turner holds an ATP certificate with instructor, CFII and MEI ratings with a Masters Degree in Aviation Safety. He was the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and the 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year and has logged over 2,500 hours instructing. In 2015 Tom was inducted into the NAFI Instructor’s Hall of Fame.

Tom was a Captain in the United States Air Force and has been Lead Instructor for the Bonanza pilot training program at the Beechcraft factory. He now directs the education and safety arm of a 9000-member pilots’ organization.

Doug Stewart

Doug Stewart was the “National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004. A Master Certified Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner – he is based at the Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, NY.

He owns and operates his own flight school specializing in instrument training and has logged over 11,6000 hours of dual instruction given, with over 4,7000 hours of that being instrument instruction. He regularly gives instruction in aircraft as simple as the J-3 Cub, and as complex as the Piper Malibu/Mirage.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman, is an ATP/CFII who specializes in aerobatic and tailwheel flight instruction. He has provided more than 2,000 hours of aerobatic dual instruction in airplanes including the Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, Extra 300L, Stearman, WACO, and T-6. He has flown piston singles in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the Bahamas and performed air-to-air photo missions in those places.

Dave is the author of “Hijacked: The Heroes of Flight 705,” and he has been on the editorial staff of AOPA Pilot magazine since 2008. He has logged more than 8,000 flight hours in single- and multiengine land and seaplanes. He has a masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan.

Your IFR Mastery Membership Includes:

  • New Monthly Scenarios

    Receive unlimited, online access to all new scenarios every month. Includes scenario overview videos, resources and tools for additional analysis, live polling and detailed instructional videos. We email you when new scenarios are published.

  • Discussion Forum

    Unlimited online access to the “Hangar” (members-only discussion forum) where pilots discuss and debate the scenarios. You can join these discussions any time, or ask our instructors a question. Some of the best learning occurs in the forums.

  • Roundtable Audios

    We get the instructors together and open the microphones. They share personal experiences and additional, detailed observations on the scenarios. Downloadable MP3 audio.

  • Monthly IFR Quizzes

    Prepare to be challenged! These quizzes are short but will really test your knowledge. You will get feedback on all answers to reinforce your understanding of the topics. We email you when each new quiz is published.

  • WINGS Credit

    Receive 3 WINGS credits for every completed IFR Mastery scenario. We’ve issued credit for thousands of completed IFR Mastery workshops! Fill out a 3-field form on our website and we’ll do the rest to make sure your credit is issued by the FAA Safety Team.

Sign Up Today And We Will Waive The $199 New Member Charge & Give You Instant Access To The Scenarios Below.

The $199 new member charge covers the value of all the monthly IFR Mastery scenarios we have previously published on our website. With this offer, you’ll get access to all these scenarios for no additional cost.


Paying The Water Bill

Doug Stewart

Every pilot has been there: A need to drain a certain personal sump and a choice between holding it or diverting for a pit stop. However, this diversion is in IMC and the best approach includes a requirement you can’t meet, but certainly won’t need. Will you go for it … or just go later?

One Thousand Feet Over Ashe County

John Krug

The country boy made good, you’re coming home for a family reunion. However, the weather may paint you a fool unless you can finesse a sketchy approach. And an AWOS that may be unreliable complicates matters.

Hanging Out Over Groton

Bob Martens

It’s a dark and chilly autumn night with your family in the back as you approach the seaside airport your plane calls home. You’re faced with a dilemma: Accept a few minutes flying low and over the water on approach, or divert only for fear of something so unlikely, it’s hardly ever considered.

Phantom Aircraft At Erie

Mark Kolber

After a challenging series of practice approaches, you return to your home airport to find that winds and traffic seem completely different than ADS-B weather led you to expect. In fact, it seems aircraft are popping up out of nowhere, busting VFR minimums, and landing the wrong way. What now?

The Tower At Santa Maria

John Krug

It’s a crystal clear night as you descend for Santa Maria, California on an IFR flight plan. You’re feeling secure and ahead of the airplane until ATC throws you a curveball that puts everything into question: They say you’re low, even though you’re centered on the approach and PAPI. How can this be?

Maintaining Personal Minimums

Wally Moran

Since getting your instrument rating, you’ve been steadily honing your skills–and lowering your personal minimums. Now you’re faced with an approach that’s below your current personal minimums, but above the minimums you were planning on going to. Will you give yourself a “field promotion”?

The Hills Around Sydney

Wally Moran

Modern avionics improve safety with both advanced guidance and built-in warnings. What do you do when the guidance says you’re spot-on and safe but the warning says you’d better change plans and fast? This approach to Sidney, NY has you stumped and you have only seconds to figure it out.

Disappearing In The Fog

Tom Turner

A chance to ferry a plane for your local FBO and build up some free flight hours goes well until you approach the destination airport to find fog is rapidly closing in. You realize there are several legal options that will allow you to complete this flight. But of those items, what’s still safe?

A Dizzying Approach

Bob Martens

It sounded perfect for building your IFR confidence: 1000-foot ceilings and stable clouds with a mission to bring your daughter home from a commercial airport to your home town. Now you’re on approach in IMC without an instructor on board–and the instrument indications don’t make sense.

A Different Kind Of Approach

Wally Moran

Not everyone can afford a glass panel in their aircraft, but the iPad revolution means anyone can have a moving map and backup attitude indicator for less money than a new TV. Having that backup is one thing, but using it in place of an instrument during an emergency is something else.

Getting Into Greenville

John Krug

It’s a rare day when dozens of VFR aircraft complicate an instrument approach to minimums, but that’s exactly what’s happening as you try to visit the Greenville International Seaplane Fly-In. Is there a way to end this flight safely, or is it simply time to call it quits? The decision is up to you.

Danbury Approach

Bob Martens

Non-precision approaches can be challenging, especially when the weather is near minimums. The risk increases when the airport is surrounded by terrain in all quadrants. Add a high-performance airplane that’s new to you and a wet runway, and you’ve got the recipe for trouble.

Localizer Outage at Nantucket

John Krug

Failures are never good, but the worst place is in the last stage of the approach–especially when you can’t do anything to fix it. Ride along as John Krug presents a scenario based on a real situation that happened to him. Nothing is off limits when the stuff hits the fan.

Fog Over Georgia

Wally Moran

You have a new glass-panel airplane, but you’re not instrument current or proficient using the new equipment. You are planning an important business trip and might need to fly IFR. A local CFI whom you’ve never flown with offers to make the trip with you. It seems like a good idea, until you get into the soup.

Circling Approach In Michigan

Bob Martens

You’re maneuvering your airplane to land during the final stages of a circling approach. Add low weather conditions, nervous passengers, and a few other minor distractions to the mix and the risk is quickly cranked up. Will this be straight forward, or a seriously challenging maneuver?

Localizer Approach At Suffolk

Wally Moran

Advanced avionics in modern light airplanes should be a pilot’s best friend, but if a pilot doesn’t have a complete understanding of the equipment, a simple mistake can lead to big trouble. Sometimes just ONE button push, is enough to create confusion and leave you way behind the airplane.

Confusion At Charleston Executive

Bob Nardiello

Pilots must be prepared to say “unable” when are asked to do something beyond their personal capability or comfort level. At the same time, we all want to fit in with the flow of traffic and help ATC out where we can — especially when flying IFR. What will you say?

Circling Approach Vs Tailwind

Bob Nardiello

Sometimes the best choice is not so obvious, and each option creates unique challenges. This is a real-world situation and your evaluation and decision making can make the difference between an uneventful approach and a hazardous one. How will your decisions play out?

Super Bowl Arrival

Wally Moran and John Krug

When you’re offered Super Bowl tickets on the morning of the big game, owning your own airplane means you can fly yourself and a friend to Dallas in plenty of time to make the kickoff. Everything is perfect, except for the weather. Now you’ll have to make some tricky decisions. See you at the game?

Night Approach To Minimums

Bob Martens

After a long cross country trip, you are faced with the prospect of making an approach to minimums with deteriorating weather and strong turbulence. To make matters worse, you’re attempting the approach at night after a long day of flying. How will you make a rough day end well?

Approach To Mena

Bob Nardiello

In non-radar environments, the pilot must fly an instrument approach legally, safely and efficiently without the assistance, or protection, that an air-traffic controller provides. See if you’re up to the challenge of managing all the details and decisions without a helpful eye of ATC.

Descend Via STAR

Bob Nardiello

The upgrade to a turboprop has been everything you hoped for, but now you’re moving fast in busy airspace with ATC repeatedly changing the plan. You have seconds to decide what a New York controller expects as you descend for one of the nation’s most notorious airports.

Curve Ball at Palomar

Jeff Van West

Your hotrod airplane has the latest GPS navigator, but that opens the door to procedures you’ve never seen before. How will you handle an approach in IMC when it contains something you’ve never practiced? Think fast; at your current groundspeed, the decision will be made for you in 20 seconds.

A Lack Of Integrity On Final

Wally Moran

A quick day trip to a national monument throws you a curve when the GPS signal is lost. What will you do when your only navigation source takes the afternoon off?


Wilderness Trip

Wally Moran

You and your friends are loaded into your airplane, eager to get home after a long weekend away. When starting, you discover a minor problem…or is it? After a bit of trouble shooting, the problem appears to be resolved. Do you depart for home or disappoint your passengers?

Departure At Northampton

Bob Martens

IFR Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, but all take on added urgency when you are operating in the clouds. This month, you are faced with an emergency shortly after takeoff when entering IMC. Your options aren’t great, but if you choose wisely you will greatly increase your chances of survival.

Granite State ODP

John Krug

Obstacle Departure Procedures are often misunderstood, but are a critical procedure that instrument pilots must be prepared to fly. ODPs may require pre-planning, as is the case in this month’s scenario. Fly along this month and see why a thorough knowledge of ODPs is so important.

Am I Safe?

Bob Martens

Most pilots are comfortable preflighting their airplane and making sound decisions as to its airworthiness, but we often fail to evaluate the most important piece of equipment in the airplane: the pilot! Making the best self-analysis isn’t always simple, but it’s key to this scenario.

Night VFR Departure

Bob Nardiello

A night IFR trip in a single-engine airplane requires the utmost in planning and preparation. Watch how a time issue, an unexpected trip back to the ramp, and a decision to depart and pick up the IFR clearance in the air have pushed you right to the limits of your capability. How will you react?

North Adams Departure

Bob Martens

A departure from a non-towered airport into a non-radar environment at an hour when you should still be in bed, is a tough challenge for anyone. The scenario is based on a real, fatal accident and could have easily been prevented. Don’t miss the roundtable discussion for added insights.

Charleston Takeoff

Wally Moran

You’re flying your family to Orlando, Florida so your daughter can fulfill her lifelong dream and “swim with the dolphins” at SeaWorld. Weather delays have created an urgent departure to make it there for your reserved time. Then a surprise puts your family in a potentially dangerous situation.

Night Takeoff at PDX

John Krug

There are critical parts of instrument (and VFR) flying that are often overlooked. Ride along and discover how something that seems so easy can overload pilots of all skill and experience levels. John Krug offers a unique perspective and valuable lessons on this important issue

Van Nuys SID Departure

John Krug & Bob Nardiello

Although a standard instrument departure (SID) will keep aircraft away from terrain, it is optimized for ATC route of flight and will not always provide the lowest climb gradient. Test your ability to analyze all available departure options and choose the best one in challenging conditions!


Which Way To Winnemucca

Jeff Van West

Who thought a busted heater could create an IFR dilemma? Yet that’s exactly what’s happens with your family on board high over the western mountains in IMC. You have only a few options. While you deliberate, fuel is dwindling and the family is getting colder and colder…

An Off-Airway Dilemma

Bob Nardiello

It’s been a long week away on business followed by a long flight home. Now less than 100 miles shy of your weekend, with icing above and low IMC below, you’ve lost your primary guidance instrument. Or did you? See if you can finish this flight at least close to your original plans.

Charts At The Ready

John Krug

iPads and other EFB devices have become increasingly popular in the cockpit with the incredible situational awareness and detailed information they provide. But when something goes wrong on an IFR flight you make frequently, does your iPad help you or hurt you?

Night VFR Flight

Bob Nardiello

The flight from your weekend getaway house back to your real home is simply a matter of following the highway through the valley–until the airport, the valley, and the hills are no longer in sight! Would IFR only make things worse? Time is short and valley walls are out there … somewhere.

Snowplows On The Runway

John Krug

Even with careful preparation and planning, you just might be thrown a curve ball during an IFR flight. How about a snowplow on the runway where you need to land? Handling this under IFR will test your knowledge of the system and experience in working it to your advantage.

Diversion Decision

Wally Moran

It’s not unusual for an instrument flight to present challenges that we couldn’t have predicted before departure. Making a diversion during the flight is one of those situations you must work out on the fly, and no two situations are ever quite the same. Practice helps you prepare, however.

Martha’s Vineyard Accident

Bob Martens

You’re highly experienced, have made the trip to your vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard island dozens of times and fly a very capable, high-performance airplane. While these factors should work in your favor, they can also stack the deck against you in the right circumstances.

Night Visual Approach to KPMP

Bob Nardiello

A visual approach can expedite traffic and save fuel while retaining an IFR clearance. However, visual approaches are not without risk for the pilot. The weather is good VFR and it’s a familiar airplane in familiar airspace. Yet you can still fly a perfectly functioning airplane into the ground.

Canadian Overflight

John Krug

You and a friend are flying to Wisconsin to join a few hundred thousand fellow aviators for a week of airplanes, sun and brats. Your planned route from the East Coast was south of Lake Erie. However, a change due to weather creates a situation deep in Canadian airspace.

GPS Loss Near Rutland

Wally Moran

GPS has proven to be extremely reliable. They are now a backbone of IFR flight. However, GPS units and satellite transmissions can and do fail. Even a partial loss of your GPS unit can have a significant impact. Experience first-hand how a failure will impact a typical IFR flight.

IFR Reroute To Kinston

John Krug

Instrument flight plans don’t always arrive as filed. How quickly can you evaluate several options from ATC in the highly congested NY airspace, including how each one impacts your personal minimums and comfort level? IFR flying is all about managing risk and adapting to changing conditions.

Headwinds To St. Louis

Bob Nardiello

A three-hour IFR flight to attend a family reunion is uneventful for most of the trip, until you notice that something isn’t quite right. You’ll need to evaluate the current situation and decide if a change in your flight plan is warranted before weather deteriorates at your destination.

A Tiny Slice Of IFR

John Krug

It’s not every day you get to haul half a ton of auto parts in your airplane, but your friend has parts for a Corvette project that needs getting, and you have the plane to get it. It’s a great day until one small snag turns the road trip movie into an exercise in legal interpretations.

Trapped Above The Ice

Dave Hirschman

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Climb into the clear above potential icing and ride fantastic tailwinds all the way home. You’d arrive in time for a VFR descent and dinner. Now you’re on top of a rising undercast with only oxygen-required altitudes above and known icing below. What’s the best move now?


Clear As New York Snow

Bob Nardiello

Some routes for IFR flight are direct at any altitude you want, and others are down a tunnel ATC assigns without room for compromise. How will you negotiate a route across New York airspace when there’s icing above, airline traffic below, a cold ocean to the left, and heavy snow approaching from the right?

Thunderstorm On Final

Bob Nardiello

This flight from the midwest to Texas has been an all-day game of dodge-storm. That was fine until now when the last leg has you caught between the thunderheads on one side and Class Bravo arrival paths on the other. How much will you push back when ATC points you somewhere you’d rather not go?

The Lights At Columbia County

Doug Stewart

It’s a dark and stormy night as you approach your home airport at the end of a long day. The showers passing through the region mean there is no obvious choice for an approach to end the day. What will you request from ATC that best balances convenience, risk, and payoff?

Yellow’s Not That Bad

Tom Turner

Heading home from a weekend in Vegas, you, your airplane co-owner, and your spouses are heading straight for a wall of questionable radar returns. Your more-experienced partner says these kinds of returns won’t be a big deal. You’re not so sure. Will you continue, or turn around now?

Ice Fishing In A Mooney

Bob Nardiello

It’s a shock to you and your buddy when just passing through a cloud for 30 seconds turns an IFR practice flight into a serious icing emergency. Now what will you do to salvage the situation and get an airplane safely on the ground when you can’t see out the windscreen and can barely hold altitude?

Cold Reception In The US

Jeff Van West

After a wedding weekend in Canada, you’re hopping south across the border to get home to Seattle, Washington. The only catch is that potentially sub-freezing clouds stand between you and your appointment with U.S. Customs and Immigration. Which branch of the government will you risk making angry?

Quick Decision Needed

Wally Moran

You’re the pilot of a well-equipped Cirrus SR22, complete with weeping-wing anti-icing. It’s a seriously capable airplane, but ice caught you by surprise and isn’t shedding as you would expect. You’re over unfriendly terrain and need to make some choices quickly. What will your decision be?

Who’s In Charge?

John Krug

What happens when two pilots disagree about how to proceed with a flight? One wishes to divert while the other, more experienced pilot is adamant about pressing on. This scenario will put your CRM skills to the test. Find out the best way to resolve this conflict in the cockpit.

Foggy Night At Bridgeport

Bob Martens

Fog can be a killer, especially after the sun goes down, which concerns you returning to your home airport just after dark and notice just a few low clouds. This kind of situation can be dangerous, depending on the severity of the fog and your choice about how to proceed. What will you do?

Icing Encounter Over West Virginia

Bob Martens

You’re cruising along in the clear, but below you is a widespread cloud layer with areas of forecasted icing. As you continue along your route, the weather conditions diverge from the forecast, and the situation deteriorates to the point where you need to make a critical decision.

Thunderstorm over Western PA

Bob Nardiello

Cockpit weather equipment gives IFR pilots an edge. You can still get painted into a dangerous corner when your equipment tells you one thing about thunderstorms, while your eyeballs tell something different.. Finding your way out of this tight spot will help avoid such situations in the first place.

Bad Weather At Little Rock

Wally Moran

You get an urgent call from a friend whose wife and daughter have been involved in an automobile accident hundreds of miles away. How will you balance thunderstorms on your route of flight with your friend’s urgent need to get to the airport near their hospital right away?

Icing Near Worcester

Bob Nardiello

Helping a VFR-only pilot get his airplane home airport should be piece of cake. It’s a short trip in reasonable weather in a well-equipped airplane. All goes as planned until you run into unexpected conditions shortly after departure. Suddenly, a safe outcome to this flight is in question.

Thunderstorms To Nashville

Wally Moran

When lines of thunderstorms cross your path, you must evaluate several options and decide on the safest route around this severe weather. Depending on which option you choose, you may also be required to do some tactical, in-flight planning, which will only add to the challenge of getting to your destination.

Unexpected Icing Over Oregon

Wally Moran & John Krug

Unexpected icing encounters can pose a threat to any IFR pilot, no matter what equipment they’re flying . Test your decision making when you encounter ice along your route that was not in the weather forecast. Your immediate reaction will be critical for ensuring a safe outcome.


Trimmed For The Approach

Wally Moran

Your Piper Comanche might be five decades old, but choice modifications let it keep pace with factory-new aircraft costing five times as much. Some of the classic systems, however, have limitations. Now a jammed handle has you choosing between four challenging—but quite different—plans to deal with it.

Not A Warm Feeling

Bob Nardiello

You can’t ask for a better excuse to use your airplane for pleasure than a weekend trip to the island. Conditions are perfectly flyable IFR, but a potential mechanical issue puts the whole plan in jeopardy—or does it? What’s the right level of response to a problem that’s not an obvious show stopper?

An Escalating Gear Issue

Tom Turner

Getting your whole family and a week’s worth of gear to the Gulf means flying a loaded Beech Baron near the limit of its fuel range. That’s not a problem … until your landing gear decides to take its own holiday right as you approach the final approach fix. Will this be an annoyance or disaster?

The Real Best Glide

Wally Moran

We all tell ourselves that if we had an engine failure in IMC, we’d simply head for the nearest airport. However, what seems nearest isn’t always the best choice – or even the airport we’re most likely to make. What would you do with an engine failure in flight levels where strong winds are a factor?

Cheap Fuel At Logan County

Wally Moran

Sometimes, pilots get a little lazy with their preflight planning. It’s human nature; after so many flights with nothing unexpected, a little complacency can creep in. Yet a simple lack of planning creates a serious jam. Decide what must happen to avoid this serious mistake?

When The Glass Breaks

Bob Nardiello

Glass panels have forced flight instructors to adapt their training techniques. You’re working on your IPC when the instructor throws a simple failure at you Unfortunately, this simulated emergency quickly became a real one because the instructor lacked in-depth knowledge of the equipment.

Unwanted Adventure Over The Rockies

Bob Nardiello

Fly GA airplanes at higher altitudes and you’ll discover some unique challenges. This includes additional preflight items, as well as procedures and operations during the enroute portion of a flight. This trip across the Rockies gets dicey when a few oversights start to gang up on you.

Mechanical Trouble Near Millville

John Krug

Things can go from “ops-normal” to big trouble in a heartbeat any day, but there’s an increased risk of something turning up when an aircraft has just come out of maintenance. Think your way through this difficult situation, which hits you unexpectedly during what should be a simple, 20-minute flight.

Scary Discovery Near San Francisco

Wally Moran

You have a problem with your airplane that could be a minor inconvenience or a full-blown emergency situation. First you’ll have to evaluate this problem in-flight. Then you’ll have to take the necessary actions for the best possible outcome even though none of your options are ideal.

A Serious Attitude Issue

Bob Martens

As instrument pilots, we’re dependent on our technology and cockpit automation to keep us out of trouble. This high tech gear is blessing when it reduces our workload — or a curse when we’re too reliant on it. See how a small technical glitch can push you over the edge in an instant.

Medical Emergency Over New Mexico

John Krug

Medical emergencies are always a source of concern in aviation, but they take on added significance in IMC. How will you get a sick passenger on the ground quickly? No matter what you choose, I’ll require an emergency instrument letdown, approach and landing under IFR.

Electrical Failure Over Iowa

Wally Moran

Electrical failures can sneak up on the inattentive. Yet they require prompt action and sound decision making to guarantee a safe outcome. Choosing the best place to land is important, but also how you manage the flight to your chosen landing location is equally–if not more– important.

Partial Panel Emergency

Bob Nardiello & Wally Moran

Losing critical instruments in IMC could scare the pants off any instrument pilot. Glass cockpits or redundant systems don’t exempt pilots from instrument emergencies. Consider how you would handle an emergency that requires an immediate diversion in IMC followed by a partial-panel approach.

How Much Fuel Is Left?

Wally Moran

You’re cruising along in IMC when you discover three different methods of predicting your fuel on landing show three different amounts. If the largest number is right, you have enough to be safe. If the smallest one is correct, it’s not even enough to be legal. How will you resolve this dilemma?

Heat Of The Moment

Bob Martens

A “hurry up and wait” day for practice approaches gets you in hot water after only minutes in the air. Is this an emergency that warrants drastic action, creative thinking, or simply a calm execution of a practiced procedure?

ATC Comms

Blind Climb At Richwood

Bob Martens

You’ve added quite a few handy tricks to your IFR bag, including departing VFR to get your clearance in the air. It’s always worked without a hitch—until this time when ATC asks a question you never expected. Now your options are vanishing and you have only seconds to come up with an answer.

Getting Out Of Houston

John Krug

A trip to a big city airport throws you a curve, and now you’re on climbout and confused without much time for clarification. What’s the proper choice in terms of safety, even if you’re not sure it’s correct by the book? And if you choose wrong, how much trouble might you cause?

PIC Of The Right Seat

Jeff Van West

Your airplane partner is signed off for his instrument checkride, but must wait a week to take the test. On an actual IFR day, he asks if you’ll file IFR and ride right seat while he flys to stay sharp. You’re not an instructor, although you’re quite proficient in this airplane. Will you do it?

To Turn Or Not To Turn

Bob Martens

When the frequency gets busy and ATC can’t talk fast enough, it can seem like you’ve been forgotten–and perhaps you have been. How far will you let this situation deteriorate before you take preemptive action, even though it may be in direct violation of an ATC clearance? The clock is ticking.

Confusion In Silicon Valley

Bob Martens

We commonly think of ATC as our partner in the cockpit, especially when we fly alone. Yet ATC is as fallible as any other human resource. What will you do when you when the situation leaves you only moments to decide if following the clearance as issued will lead to salvation or catastrophe?

Three Hops To Oshkosh

Jeff Van West

You and three pilot friends have been planning this trip to Oshkosh since last year. The first leg to Buffalo went flawlessly, but now you must negotiate your way through a line of dangerously strong thunderstorms and you can’t get the routing you think is safe. What’s your plan?

Cloud Surfing

John Krug

IFR flights in marginal weather require continually monitoring conditions along the route and adjusting the flight as needed. Sometimes there are clear dangers, but often it’s a matter of balancing the comfort, duration, and safety of the flight. How will you rework the plan when there’s no clear choice?

An Easy IFR Training Day

Wally Moran

You and your flying club buddy, Ted, head out to do some practice instrument approaches to maintain your IFR currency. Ted is a retired professional pilot and your flying mentor. You enjoy learning from him, but today you are forced into a difficult situation without his help.

Trouble Near Palomar

John Krug

At a critical moment during an IFR flight, frequency congestion can turn from inconvenient to downright dangerous. This is further complicated when there are multiple airplanes in the same sector of sky with similar call signs. This scenario is based on a real accident situation that could happen to anyone.

Hanscom STAR

Bob Nardiello

Even though you received transition training for a faster airplane capable of flying at higher altitudes, you discover a significant gap in your IFR knowledge while on what should be a routine flight at higher altitudes. It would have been if you review the procedure before departing.

North Country Approach

John Krug

Flying instrument approaches to remote airports can present unique challenges. See how this approach to a backwoods airport went from straight-forward to highly challenging in the blink of an eye. Understanding the IFR trap inherent in this scenario reduces your risk when flying IFR out in the sticks.

Vectors To New Haven

Bob Martens

A short flight home from Nantucket Island off Massachusetts with your wife and two friends is uneventful until the final stages. You’ll face night IFR, a potential circle-to-land approach, and multiple heading changes from ATC. See how well you do making sound decisions under pressure.

Lost Comm At Teterboro

Bob Nardiello

How would you like to suddenly lose all radio communications in one of the busiest airspaces in the world — while in IMC? While the set-up for this lost comm is humorous, the lessons are deadly serious, and they offer a chance to review a life-saving procedure you might need one day.


Jeff Van West

Slogging along in wind and rain at the minimum altitude for the airway, you’ve been in and out of communication with ATC for the past hour. A shortcut clearance promised to lessen your misery but now presents you with a situation they never covered with the black-and-white rules from your IFR ground school.

IFR Mastery Q&A – answers to common questions

Q: Will it run on my Computer and iPad?
A: Yes. IFR Mastery runs on Windows PCs, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. The only requirement is an internet connection and a web browser. Over half of our current subscribers watch the IFR Mastery scenarios on their iPads.

Q: How long does my IFR Mastery membership last?
A: It’s month-to-month. There is no long-term obligation or commitment, you can easily cancel at any time via online account, email or phone. We send you two emails per month so you won’t forget about it.

Q: What is the “New Member” fee?
A: First, realize that you do not pay the $199 new member fee during this special offer. But normally, this fee covers the value of all the monthly scenarios we have previously published on our website.

Q: It sounds good, can I try it for a month or two?
A: Sure. That’s the beauty of our monthly membership. Obviously, we want you to get value from your membership and improve as an instrument pilot. However, if it’s not for you…you can cancel at any time (easily done on our website, email or over the phone) and billing will stop immediately. This puts you in control without investing a lot of money up front.

Q: Will you ever raise my price in the future?
A: No. Your price will never increase as long as you remain an active member.

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