Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:16 am
-- FAASafety.gov --------------------------------------------------------
Pilot Insights - It’s just a little weather – what’s the big deal?
Notice Number: NOTC5940
There is a big misconception about the complexities of flying in clouds. There are lots of YouTube videos and flying magazine articles about flights into clouds that result in fatalities. Among them, you’ll find one that says: “I don’t understand how anyone could make that mistake. All you have to do is look at that artificial horizon thing to figure out whether your wings are level or not.” Or, perhaps you are a low-time Private Pilot. You received three hours of instrument training with a hood of some type, and you did pretty well. So, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that flying in a cloud is very different than pretending to fly in a cloud!
Here are two things to know before you fly in a cloud for real: How flying “in the weather” differs from flying “under the hood”.How to prepare for entering the clouds.
When you were certified you demonstrated your ability to fly straight and level, make climbs and descents and fly toward a VOR without looking outside of the plane. But, that hood, in short doses, does not demonstrate that you can maintain control of the aircraft while you are: Entering data into the GPS.Talking to someone.Navigating to the correct point.Fighting the fear that something very bad is going on.Trying to calm your passengers who also know that you are in over your head.Or, doing all these things at once.And, never getting even a glimpse of the sky or ground to reorient your head.
Flying in the clouds for real, you see nothing outside but the inside of a cotton ball. Your head tells you one thing about your orientation; your instruments tell you something totally different. And, when you look away from the attitude indicator to retune a radio or GPS, the airplane has a tendency to roll into a bank without you seeing it or feeling it. When that bank degenerates into a descending spiral, all of the back pressure in the world will not stop the descent.
So, what do you do? Stay out of the clouds until you have your instrument rating. Do this by obtaining and HEEDING weather reports. Then, if you inadvertently find yourself in in a cloud, get out the same way you got in; slow turn back around, slow wings-level descent back down, or slow wings-level climb out of the cloud.
Even today, after years of flying with an instrument rating, I know that when I enter the clouds my head and my body will need a minute or so to fully accept the situation. So here’s what I do to prepare for entering the clouds:
My technique is the same whether climbing into a cloud after takeoff or descending into a cloud for an approach. About fifteen seconds before I enter the cloud, I ensure that I am wings-level, and that my eyes and my mind are focused on the attitude indicator. Then I start that familiar chant in my head: Attitude, altitude; Attitude, heading; Attitude airspeed... By being mentally “on the gauges”, before I need to be, I slide into the weather with a minimum of discomfort.
The next time you have an opportunity to fly with an instructor, ask to practice these techniques with some real clouds.
Want to see the aftereffects of inadvertent IMC? Check out this video. It has been around a while but, it truly represents the feeling of the first time in the weather. And, for pilots without adequate training, it depicts the typical ending, which comes in about three minutes. - - http://www.aopa.org/AOPA-Live.aspx?watc ... 74403E0%7D
2015 FAASTeam Representative of the Year
To contact the author, go to: http://www.chrishopefaaflightinstructor.com/
For more information on the GA Awards program go to http://www.generalaviationawards.org/
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:42 pm
Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:22 pm
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:18 am
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:04 pm
cubdriver2 wrote:IFR is is over rated. Scud run under it is the way to go
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:03 am
Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:20 pm
RKittine wrote:Lots of people truly scud run with or without the Instrument Rating and are not proficient to go solid IMC even with a rating. You don't even need to file IFR if below controlled airspace and I know a number of guys (knew some that are not gone) that would fly from airport to airport at 1150 feet in IMC and shoot the approach without talking to anyone. Now a days there is very little uncontrolled airspace in the U.S., but there is under 1200 or 700 feet depending on where.
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:04 pm
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:20 pm
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:46 pm
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:43 pm
RKittine wrote:Same thing with Single Engine IFR. I train my Instrument students that they should get air traffic control to vector them toward an airport or open space if possible, set up best glide, keep the wings level and what for break out and hope that you can maneuver to land otherwise, hope for the best.
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:06 am
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:48 am
Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:16 pm
Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:20 pm
Fri May 08, 2015 5:21 am
BGH wrote:I have had the mis/pleasure of running under the weather along the coast & calling each rock so that the traffic coming the other way didn't run into me here on the west coast & I've been fortunate enough to file & depart in minimums & climb into the beautiful blue on top,all hand flown.The hardest work is down low in marginal weather - your map is the most important document on board.Ifr flight is the easiest in controlled airspace & a radar environment from start to finish.
Mon May 11, 2015 1:33 pm
RKittine wrote:Have flown many approaches in solid IMC with no ATC to rely on. There are a lot of small airports that are not within range of ATC. Plenty of them when there is a 0/0 take offs from fields that do not have communication available with ATC while on the ground. Call on the phone, get a Void time and make sure you run up and take off when expected. Lots of enroute areas where the minimum communication altitude is well above the minimum clearance altitude. It is true that a lot of the time you climb up through it into VFR conditions on top and have a let down through a little IMC, but I have hand flown 5 hours straight never coming out of solid IMC without an autopilot resulting in a let down to minimums and do not find it fun at all. Especially taxing when you miss an approach (2 or more time) when not in contact with ATC and then have to calculate the time to show up at your alternate and be expected. Love filling out CRAFT with R - Route being "As Filed" and then as soon as entering IMC getting, "Stand By For Routing Change". Because there are 6 Commercial Airports in this area, traffic dictates that more often then not even when in ATC contact.
Mon May 11, 2015 7:15 pm
Wed May 13, 2015 2:40 pm