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IFR Lost Communication Procedures

September 16, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This seminar will be held in person at SCFC, attendance is free and open to all. Web Members will still be able to access our seminars online, both live and recorded. Click here to learn more about the transition.

Interested in watching more of our presentations? View our growing library of over 500 recorded safety seminars available to view in our Members Only Seminar Library, available by clicking here.


Instrument Flight Rules are highly regimented.  They are designed to keep pilots and passengers safe while flying completely blind through clouds and weather.  Altitudes must be maintained, courses have to be tracked tightly, and radio communication must allow air traffic controllers to maneuver planes around traffic and conflicts.  But what happens when radios fail?

Although it doesn’t happen often, radio communication equipment can be faulty or inoperative mid-flight, even while a pilot is flying IFR in instrument conditions.  For safety, there are very specific rules an instrument pilot must comply with in the event of radio failure, and the rules are far more structured that those for a VFR pilot.  The basic rule is to continue with the flight as previously instructed by air traffic control, but the regulations don’t cover every situation and there can be some gray areas. One local DPE recently commented that 95% of instrument applicants fail to answer questions about lost comm procedures, so many of you are likely confused about it too.

Join SCFC Assistant Chief Pilot and IFR expert Brian Eliot as he presents “Lost Comms in IMC”.  He’ll clarify the IFR lost communication procedures, and specifically discuss the areas most pilots find confusing.  After this seminar, you will find a new comfort in how to handle a lost communication situation even in IMC.


Brian Eliot is San Carlos Flight Center’s Assistant Chief Pilot and resident expert for IFR training and Garmin G1000 avionics. He has been flying since 1995 and received all his training in the Bay Area. Brian previously worked as a broadcast engineer, a software developer, and taught computer science at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He regularly presents at San Carlos Flight Center safety seminars and has a reputation for making complex concepts easy to learn and understand.


San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) is the SF Bay Area’s most dynamic flying club, committed to building general aviation through safety, community, and adventure. AOPA has consistently recognized SCFC in their Best Flight School survey, most recently in 2023 as a Distinguished Flight School for the third year in a row.

SCFC is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our regular safety seminars and guest speaker programs. Our seminars are free to watch when attended in person at our facility in San Carlos but live streaming and viewing recorded seminars are exclusively available to members. Click here or contact an SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 for more information about online access to our web library of over 500 recorded safety seminars and live-streamed content.


September 16, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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San Carlos Flight Center
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San Carlos Flight Center
(650) 946-1700
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Attendance: 5 / ∞