Nonprecision Approaches Lesson Plan
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


  • Regardless of your experience level, weather is likely to be a key factor in your decision-making process
  • A pilot's ability to find and interpret weather is essential to make well-informed decisions
    • Failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions leads to a exceptionally high mishap and associated lethality rate
  • Weather service to aviation is a joint effort between federal agencies, the military weather services, and other aviation-oriented groups and individuals
  • The National Weather Service operates a network of radar sites for detecting coverage, intensity, and movement of precipitation
    • FAA and DOD radar sites in the western sections of the country supplement the network
    • Local warning radar sites augment the network by operating on an as-needed basis to support warning and forecast programs
  • Think you've got a solid understanding of weather and atmosphere? Don't miss the weather and atmosphere quiz below and the topic summary


Nonprecision Approaches:
Review (quiz):
Case Studies:
Total Ground Time:

Required Materials:

  • Paper, Pen, Marker, Whiteboard

Instructor Actions:

  • Review Airman Certification Standards

Student Actions:

  • Complete assigned reading (see content above)
  • Ask pertinent questions
  • Make a go/no-go decision, as appropriate

Instrument Rating - Nonprecision Approach Lesson Plan:

  • To determine the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with performing nonprecision approach procedures solely by reference to instruments
  • See Appendix 7: Aircraft, Equipment, and Operational Requirements & Limitations for related considerations
  • References: 14 CFR parts 61, 91; FAA-H-8083-15, FAA-H-8083-16; IFP, AIM, AC 120-108

Nonprecision Approach Knowledge:

The applicant must demonstrate an understanding of:
  • IR.VI.A.K1:

    Procedures and limitations associated with a nonprecision approach, including the differences between Localizer Performance (LP) and Lateral Navigation (LNAV) approach guidance
  • IR.VI.A.K2:

    Navigation system annunciations expected during an RNAV approach
  • IR.VI.A.K3:

    Ground-based and satellite-based navigation systems used for a nonprecision approach
  • IR.VI.A.K4:

    A stabilized approach, to include energy management concepts

Nonprecision Approach Risk Management:

The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess, and mitigate risks, encompassing:
  • IR.VI.A.R1:

    Failure to follow the correct approach procedure (e.g., descending too early, etc.)
  • IR.VI.A.R2:

    Selecting an incorrect navigation frequency
  • IR.VI.A.R3:

    Failure to manage automated navigation and autoflight systems
  • IR.VI.A.R4:

    Failure to ensure proper airplane configuration during an approach and missed approach
  • IR.VI.A.R5:

    An unstable approach, including excessive descent rates
  • IR.VI.A.R6:

    Deteriorating weather conditions on approach
  • IR.VI.A.R7:

    Operating below the minimum descent altitude (MDA) or continuing a descent below decision altitude (DA) without proper visual references

Nonprecision Approach Skills:

The applicant demonstrates the ability to:
  • IR.VI.A.S1:

    Accomplish the nonprecision instrument approaches selected by the evaluator
  • IR.VI.A.S2:

    Establish two-way communications with ATC appropriate for the phase of flight or approach segment, and use proper communication phraseology
  • IR.VI.A.S3:

    Select, tune, identify, and confirm the operational status of navigation equipment to be used for the approach
  • IR.VI.A.S4:

    Comply with all clearances issued by ATC or the evaluator
  • IR.VI.A.S5:

    Recognize if any flight instrumentation is inaccurate or inoperative, and take appropriate action
  • IR.VI.A.S6:

    Advise ATC or the evaluator if unable to comply with a clearance
  • IR.VI.A.S7:

    Complete the appropriate checklist
  • IR.VI.A.S8:

    Establish the appropriate airplane configuration and airspeed considering meteorological and operating conditions
  • IR.VI.A.S9:

    Maintain altitude ±100 feet, selected heading ±10°, airspeed ±10 knots, and accurately track radials, courses, and bearings, prior to beginning the final approach segment
  • IR.VI.A.S10:

    Adjust the published MDA and visibility criteria for the aircraft approach category, as appropriate, for factors that include NOTAMs, inoperative aircraft or navigation equipment, or inoperative visual aids associated with the landing environment, etc.
  • IR.VI.A.S11:

    Establish a stabilized descent to the appropriate altitude
  • IR.VI.A.S12:

    For the final approach segment, maintain no more than a ¾-scale deflection of the CDI, maintain airspeed ±10 knots, and altitude, if applicable, above MDA, +100/-0 feet, to the Visual Descent Point (VDP) or Missed Approach Point (MAP)
  • IR.VI.A.S13:

    Execute the missed approach procedure if the required visual references are not distinctly visible and identifiable at the appropriate point or altitude for the approach profile; or execute a normal landing from a straight-in or circling approach
  • IR.VI.A.S14:

    Use an MFD and other graphical navigation displays, if installed, to monitor position, track wind drift, and to maintain situational awareness



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