Precision Approaches
Lesson Plan



  • 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


Precision 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 - Precision Approach Lesson Plan:

  • To determine the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with performing precision 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

Precision Approach Knowledge:

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

    Procedures and limitations associated with a precision approach, including determining required descent rates and adjusting minimums in the case of inoperative equipment
  • IR.VI.B.K2:

    Navigation system displays, annunciations, and modes of operation
  • IR.VI.B.K3:

    Ground-based and satellite-based navigation (orientation, course determination, equipment, tests and regulations, interference, appropriate use of navigation data, signal integrity)
  • IR.VI.B.K4:

    A stabilized approach, to include energy management concepts

Precision Approach Risk Management:

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

    Failure to follow the correct approach procedure (e.g. descending below the glideslope, etc.)
  • IR.VI.B.R2:

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

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

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

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

    Deteriorating weather conditions on approach
  • IR.VI.B.R6:

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

    Continuing to descend below the Decision Altitude (DA)/Decision Height (DH) when the required visual references are not visible

Precision Approach Skills:

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

    Accomplish the precision instrument approach(es) selected by the evaluator
  • IR.VI.B.S2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Establish the appropriate airplane configuration and airspeed considering turbulence and windshear
  • IR.VI.B.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.B.S10:

    Adjust the published DA/DH and visibility criteria for the aircraft approach category, as appropriate, to account for NOTAMs, Inoperative airplane or navigation equipment, or inoperative visual aids associated with the landing environment
  • IR.VI.B.S11:

    Establish a predetermined rate of descent at the point where vertical guidance begins, which approximates that required for the airplane to follow the vertical guidance
  • IR.VI.B.S12:

    Maintain a stabilized final approach from the Final Approach Fix (FAF) to DA/DH allowing no more than ¾-scale deflection of either the vertical or lateral guidance indications and maintain the desired airspeed ±10 knots
  • IR.VI.B.S13:

    Immediately initiate the missed approach procedure when at the DA/DH, and the required visual references for the runway are not unmistakably visible and identifiable
  • IR.VI.B.S14:

    Transition to a normal landing approach (missed approach for seaplanes) only when the airplane is in a position from which a descent to a landing on the runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvering
  • IR.VI.B.S15:

    Maintain a stabilized visual flight path from the DA/DH to the runway aiming point where a normal landing may be accomplished within the touchdown zone
  • IR.VI.B.S16:

    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