Loss of Communications
Lesson Plans



  • Research a mishap case study:
  • Discuss how the initial conditions developed into an incident/accident/mishap
  • Relate similar personal experience of the same type of incident/accident/mishap


  • You've been flying along enjoying your day sightseeing as you approach the controlled airspace above your destination only to realize you cannot reach the control tower
    • You're low on gas, and you cannot talk to anyone, what will you do?
  • Good judgment must always be exercised as it is virtually impossible to provide regulations and procedures for all situations
    • Intercept a "known value," on in other words, be as predictable to ATC and other aircraft as you can
  • In the event of a two-way radio communications failure, ATC service will be provided on the basis that the pilot is operating in accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.185
    • A pilot experiencing two-way communications failure should (unless emergency authority is exercised) comply with 14 CFR Section 91.185


Loss of Communications:
Review (quiz):
Case Studies:
Total Ground Time:

Required Materials:

  • Paper, Pen, Marker, Whiteboard

Instructor Actions:

  • Review Airman Certification Standards

Student Actions:

Instrument Rating - Loss of Communications Lesson Plan:

  • To determine the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with loss of communications while operating solely by reference to instruments
  • References: 14 CFR parts 61, 91; AIM

Loss of Communications Knowledge:

The applicant demonstrates understanding of:
  • IR.VII.A.K1:

    Procedures to follow in the event of lost communication during various phases of flight, including techniques for reestablishing communications, when it is acceptable to deviate from an IFR clearance, and when to begin an approach at the destination

Loss of Communications Risk Management:

The applicant is able to identify, assess, and mitigate risk associated with:
  • IR.VII.A.R1:

    Possible reasons for loss of communication
  • IR.VII.A.R2:

    Failure to follow procedures for Loss of Communications

Loss of Communications Skills:

The applicant exhibits the skill to:
  • IR.VII.A.S1:

    Recognize a simulated loss of communication
  • IR.VII.A.S2:

    Simulate actions to re-establish communication
  • IR.VII.A.S3:

    Determine whether to continue to flight plan destination or deviate
  • IR.VII.A.S4:

    Determine appropriate time to begin an approach



  • Advise students that this lesson will be used as a starting point for the next lesson
  • Assign study materials for the next lesson