178 Seconds to live VFR into IFR

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    American research shows that 76 per cent of VFR into IMC accidents involve a fatality. The dangers of flying VFR into IMC have been recognised for a long time. Yet VFR pilots still fly into deteriorating weather and IMC. Am I wrong or are their several old bold pilots around here that do that all the time. Some of the threads seem to take a little IFR by a VFR pilot normal pilot skills, not sure how many will be around to tell the story or just old bold stories that some new pilots might believe.
     
  2. Warlock

    Warlock Line Up and Wait

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    Inadvertent twice in my life...sort of wonder how they come up with those numbers...
     
  3. av8npa

    av8npa Filing Flight Plan

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    It may be worth drilling deeper into the data. Is this happening to high- vs. low-time pilots?
     
  4. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    I thought the statistic was more like 25% but I'm sure I have that wrong.
     
  5. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The VFR into IMC group had the greatest risk of a fatality or serious injury, while the ‘precautionary landing’ group had the greatest risk of some form of aircraft damage. How many would make the precautionary landing in a field or go on if the only other option was going into IFR .
     
  6. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    ...this tells me that we don't spend enough time flying by instruments in the PPL world. If you fly enough as a VFR pilot then eventually you are going to get into some real haze, between layers, night disorientation, etc... even if you are "legal VFR" you will eventually be effectively flying on instruments at some point

    Why PPL spends SO LITTLE TIME focusing on proper instrument flying is beyond me. I get the basics of teaching stalls, etc., and having the 3 hr minimum hood time, but we'd make some huge safety advances in these accidents if we covered proper instrument flying in PPL.. I don't mean flying approaches and learning the ins and outs of the IFR world.. but any pilot should be able to keep the plane right side up and navigate themselves out of the clouds without an IR rating

    To me the lack of proper instrument flying training the PPL world is akin to giving someone a drivers license after just having them learn how to turn the car on and off and make circles in a parking lot

    /rant over. Sorry.
     
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  7. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    I’m in no way condoning VFR into IMC, but keep in mind that any statistics are based on accidents, not VFR into IMC occurrences. It may not be an overall dangerous event, it’s just that if you have an accident, the likelihood of dying is higher than accidents in other areas.
     
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  8. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you have a autpilot your chances are better if you are a VFR pilot flying it by hand IFR about 3 minutes is all you have left to live.
     
  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    I’m a new pilot so I must be missing something here. Why would a private pilot crash after just 178 seconds in IMC when his training included 10,800 seconds (3 hours) minimum under the hood?
     
  10. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Because his training left out the whole psychological factor. It's one thing if you are under the hood or foggles and have peripheral vision queues the whole time with your trusty CFI in the right seat asking you to make shallow banks to different headings. It's a completely different animal when you are by yourself.. probably in the middle of a climb or turn trying to stay OUT of the clouds, and next thing you know you are totally in the white with the DG is spinning, you are not coordinated so your inner ear is all F'd, and you are in a climbing steep turn bleeding off speed
     
  12. MauleSkinner

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    I recall a statistic that there were more ATPs killing themselves in VFR into IMC accidents than VFR-only pilots.

    Personally, I’d rather see the Private Pilot requirement reflect the technique developed in the “178 seconds” study that people like to mis-apply so often instead of pretending that a non-instrument-rated pilot has any real chance of maintaining instrument proficiency.
     
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  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    ..and you are totally right. I read a statistics once that the average person drives drunk 8 times before they are caught.. which frankly sounds low to me. Out of all the pilots out there, I am sure many have gone IMC with only their PPL and lived to talk about it. Is it legal or advisable, HELL no.. but I'd be willing to be it happens much more often then any of us would care to admit
     
  14. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Because instrument training hasn’t always been required. When the study was done, they used pilots with zero instrument training, flying a high performance retractable airplane.
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    now that you mention it I think I recall that too.. but that comes down like you said to proficiency, and especially proficiency without fancy tools. I bet your 100 hr VFR pilot does a much better job VFR -> IMC than your 10,000 Airbus pilot who's out renting that club 172N for the weekend

    ..but my point was more about initial training not really focusing that much on flying by instruments..

    Ultimately it's funny, I feel like most people worry they'll crash because the engine catastrophically fails or the wings fall off in turbulence (at least the non flying public), but in reality most crashes come down to totally preventable human factor causes, which is why it is so hard to really gauge how "safe" GA is because it is so heavily dependent on the individual pilot
     
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  16. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    That makes sense. So are there any statistics comparing accidents for pilots with and without any instrument training?
     
  17. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Can someone post the other video of 178 seconds created by our very own POA star?
     
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  18. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Additionally, they used pilots with zero instruments. Pilots were required to fly without visual reference using only their kinesthetic senses.
     
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  19. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    JFK Jr. had a number of hours of instrument training and a very capable airplane with an autopilot that would probably have saved him if he had turned it on.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2010/july/pilot/10-mistakes-jfk-jr-made

    It happens.
     
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  20. Bobanna

    Bobanna Line Up and Wait

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    It's a famous essay (vide supra). JFK, Jr's plane took an estimated 3 minutes (based on radar data) from the moment of loss-of-control until impact with the ocean -- followed the script rather closely, I would note. VFR into IFR as never been a place for beginners and the unprepared.
     
  21. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Having not yet experienced it, I can’t comment with certainty, but I found hood work and unusual attitudes much much less disorienting and stressful than being in a 100% silt-out in an underwater cave. And a lights-out lost line drill is a whole new experience in sensory deprivation.
     
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  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    I used to not understand it but as a VFR pilot I did short trips on nice days and at night stayed in the pattern to do currency that I never used.
    When I started my iFR training we started with my second flight right into IMC. Foggles stayed in the bag. Heading to first waypoint climbing out. I was in an unintentional 45deg bank when my CFI calmly asks where I’m I going and he didn’t want to enter a death spiral. I fought a right turn tendancy they entire climb. I would level, scan and come back and be turning to the right. Sobering experience. Got on ground later and we talked and I realized that I would have killed myself within a few minutes of trying to “climb through a layer”.

    I agree that more instrument training should happen in the ppl. Would love if part of it included some hard IMC, although that would be hard. If for no other reason then to get ppl to realize that IMC really needs to be respected.
     
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  23. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    No, they had a turn & bank.
     
  24. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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  25. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is it that people do not believe their VFR skill is that good that they do not only have 3 minutes to live if they go from VFR into hard IFR . The 3 hours of instrument training for PPL are to get you out not instrument training to go on IFR , not sure how many instructors preach landing in a field as a option.
     
  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Exactly. But if 3 minutes in IMC still kills you, the training isn’t doing much good.
     
  27. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Ok...here’s some statistics from a 1989 NTSB study of 361 accidents...
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Do you have anything that supports the assertion that “3 minutes in IMC still kills you”?
     
  29. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    This thread is about PPL non instrument rated pilots that have a full instrument panel and go from VFR into full IFR with working instruments.
     
  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    The 178 second statistic provided above in this thread.
     
  31. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    How many of the 77% had the 3 hour minimum, versus getting their tickets prior to the requirement?
     
  32. MauleSkinner

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    So you’re saying pilots with no instrument training are the basis for saying that the instrument training given now is inadequate?
     
  33. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    No, but my other post asked if we had statistics separating out who had received the 3 hour minimum. Haven’t seen any numbers yet.
     
  34. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    The NTSB Final Report on JFK Jr's accident is sobering. Accident Report No. NYC99MA178, July 16, 1999.

    Kennedy had passed the instrument written and "On April 5, 1999, the pilot returned to FSI to begin an airplane instrument rating course. During the instrument training, the pilot satisfactorily completed the first 12 of 25 lesson plans."

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/R...ID=20001212X19354&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=MA
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  35. yetti

    yetti Line Up and Wait

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    or you could teach better weather prognosticating skills so people don't get into that situation in the first place.
     
  36. Bobanna

    Bobanna Line Up and Wait

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    I think the ppl instrument training requirements exist to simply instill "some" familiarity with flight instruments. Even the training for an IR emphasizes aircraft control by reference to instruments only, and that is extended into situations involving pitot-static and vacuum failure (partial panel). Even then, the pilot is left with a highly-perishable skill set that demands (and is worth) constant practice. The FAA currency requirements don't reflect absolute proficiency like that of an accomplished instrument pilot, imnsho. One vaulting into IMC with the 3hrs of training from their ppl, is asking for serious trouble.
     
  37. MauleSkinner

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    The three hour minimum wasn’t in place in 1989, so I’d say zero percent of the non-instrument rated pilots would be a possibility.
     
  38. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member

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  39. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I personally feel that it depends how good said VFR pilot is on instruments, as the 178 seconds won’t apply to all. Any competent pilot should be capable of keeping wings level and making a standard rate turn.
     
  40. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Sit on a remote strip. Short and narrow. Raining, windy, and low clouds. No way to judge how high the clouds are. You hear a plane in the distance and ask how the weather is. Marginal but legal is the answer. Off you go. Up to about 100’, just barely above the treetops. Poof, into solid cloud at 110’. You can’t see the prop it’s so thick. Max power. Noisy. But there’s no sensation of movement. No room to err. No turning back. That’s how it happens. You think you can last 3 minutes? Wanna bet your life?
     
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