Am i too carefull?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by TimRF79, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tomorrow was supposed to be the day where i take my plane to pre-buy about 4 hour (650NM) flight.
    I canceled as current forecast is overcast at 1,500ft the entire way with 2,800 overcast at the destination.
    I am instrument rated and current (simulated instrument 54hrs, actual 0.3hrs), total time 211hrs (of that 115hrs in my plane).
    Plane has dual G5, 430W, everything you need.

    Now I am sitting here, if I am too careful and just need to "do-it"?
     
  2. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-Flight

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    You'll get lots of feedback here, but generally better to be too careful than not careful enough.

    I do think it is concerning that you have only 0.3 in actual, so I would be very concerned about potentially trying to do a 4 hour flight in scud or actual with a component of get-there-itis.

    So to answer your question - no, I don't think this is too careful, I think it's good ADM.

    Of note though, it could be a great learning opportunity if you took a great CFII along for the ride.
     
  3. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Everyone has their own comfort level.

    You don't say what the visibility is supposed to be, but with the ceilings you posted that is VFR weather in the flat lands to me. I like the suggestion of taking an instrument instructor along on the trip if you wanted to use this as an opportunity to increase your instrument experience.
     
  4. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Obviously you cancelled because you didn't feel comfortable with what you saw. No shame in that. We would have a few more pilots on the planet if some of them would have stayed instead of going when they were unsure of the outcome ...
     
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  5. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Not enough info. Which plane? What are the tops? Icing? TB? Fronts? Visibility?

    But absent all that, doing something uncomfortable is either expanding your circle of knowledge or a recipe for disaster. Sometimes both.
     
  6. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Which plane? Bellanca Super Viking
    What are the tops? 4.5k
    Icing? 7k
    TB? low level windshear airmet along the way
    Fronts? Low Pressure moving through the area
    Visibility? under the clouds 10+
     
  7. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I say it was a good decision, The problem is something you stated may not be true. "overcast 1500 ft the entire way" That isn't how forecasts or even observed conditions along the way work. There could easily be a 20 mile area were it is Zero/zero or just becomes zero/zero around you. I also don't know the terrain you are following as well. I don't know the freezing levels if you were considering IFR. but with .3 actual I wouldn't recommend a long flight like that IFR solo, even if I had a good autopilot.

    With the proper outs(Plan B's), it could possibly done VFR. But it is probably easier and safer to just cancel the flight, than to get 3/4 the way there and then have to decide you need to abort the flight to the destination.

    Hopefully someday you will be sitting in you rocking chair again wondering if you might have been to conservative in you flying.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
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  8. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My plane has a century IIb with alt hold, it can fly the plane straight and level and follow a simple turn (mostly), but that is about it.
    Terrain is flat 0 to 1k, with some obstacles up to 2k in the vicinity.
     
  9. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    650 nm is a fairly solid leg. And while I'm not a big believer in hours, at just over 200 you are still fairly new and might not have a ton of experience to draw from

    I would say you made a good call
     
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  10. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    With only 0.3 actual, I'd say you definitely made the right call. If it was a 100NM flight it might be different but over 4 hours the weather can easily go to crap.
     
  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    ^to that point it is absolutely bananas to me that you can get your instrument rating with no actual instrument conditions. Flying in actual IMC is absolutely nothing like flying under the hood or foggles..

    0.3 is basically nothing
     
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  12. Cykoguy

    Cykoguy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Although true that requirement would make it nearly impossible to get an instrument rating in a lot of areas.
     
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  13. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    And sometimes the line is so thin than you have no idea if you are expanding your horizon or doing something incredibly dumb.

    To OP: I am not even rated, but launching on a 4 hr IMC with .3 actual in training . Naaah you did the right thing.
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Indeed.. but if you don't have serious plans to actually stay proficient IMC and use it then an instrument rating has very limited value. So it would sort of work itself out..

    when did mine I was very lucky to have done it during a fluke 2-month period when we got a ton of rain and crummy weather.. I only logged about five and a half actual in the training and I'm very happy I did

    I didn't do any solo IMC stuff until I had a few more food under my belt in actual with another pilot
     
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  15. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Just an example of how learning doesn’t stop at the ride. OP just needs to break into some actual IMC with a CFII along for the ride.

    In spirit I agree with you but in practical application it turns into a slippery slope that doesn’t benefit GA survival.
     
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  16. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    yes, I would be fine doing the flight with another pilot.
    Problem is the plan is/was for my buddy to fly up with is plane to get us back home.
     
  17. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it. My suggestion is when you see it’s gonna be IFR in the future, grab a CFII or another proficient pilot and go fly.
     
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  18. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, always my plan.
    South Texas weather has little to offer between perfect VFR and non fly able
     
  19. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Take off is optional...landing is mandatory...you made the best decision for you...for that I salute you!
     
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  20. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Trust your instincts and don't question them afterward. It's okay to cancel a flight just because you had a bad feeling about it, even when you can't quite explain it. Don't pressure yourself into a flight any more than you'd let someone else do it.

    I might be the biggest wimp ever, but wimps usually die of natural causes.
     
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  21. PilotThumper

    PilotThumper Filing Flight Plan

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    If you are not comfortable with it, don't do it.
    If you feel you should be comfortable doing it, seek out further training to build your skillset higher and boost your confidence.

    NEVER let anyone convince you to do something you do not feel is safe to do so.
     
  22. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    You are flying four hours away for your buyer to inspect?
     
  23. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    I'm glad you didn't exceed your comfort level - but why did you bother with an Instrument rating if you're allowing the described weather to scare you?
     
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  24. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-Flight

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    Hey, anybody needing some ‘clag’ to learn instrument flying - West Michigan is the place you need to be! We get plenty of it here.
    (Asked my instructor to take me up for some actual imc, as a student - those few tenths were a *very* interesting experience.)
     
  25. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Being too careful = nothing bad happens. Always better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than the other way around. With recent currency and proficiency, this is a very doable IFR trip, above tops, and with MVFR underneath, but icing conditions would be a deal-killer for me in a light single with no deicing capability. It can be challenging to fly IFR in IMC in the northern tier November-April. I hate ice almost more than dodging CBs.

    Getting IFR experience in actual is very beneficial, if not essential to being a confident IR pilot. And using the rating regularly sustains confidence. I was lucky that in Central NY actual IMC is not usually hard to find so we sought it out during training. But absolutely if you are not comfortable or confident then you made a good decision. For the future, the question is how to safely stretch your confidence and competence.
     
  26. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I appreciate all the feedback.
    I really do, as i am drowning my sorrows.
     
  27. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    The simple fact that you were worried about it means you made the right decision. You should be proud of your ADM.

    Those conditions don't sound too bad - right up until you launch. And then the conditions change. And you have 600 miles to go...

    THEN you have a whole lot more complex flight. Your in the clouds the whole time, then you have an instrument failure, and then your GPS decides to take a dump. Almost this exact scenario happened my very first solo IFR flight.

    I almost killed myself on what many people would have said was a nice sunny day, except for a few clouds.

    My simple little 30 mile flight "on top of the clouds" was almost my last flight.

    There is a serious level of knowledge and experience required for solo IFR. The things that go wrong may not be the things you trained. One can get overwhelmed very quickly when your on the gauges and things you didn't train for start to go wrong. I know I did.

    Fortunately, I was able to pull it together long enough and work thru it. It was a terrifying experience.

    So, yes, you made the right decision.
     
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  28. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    He wouldn't have 600 miles to go. He'd only have to go as far as the nearest airfield.

    You never have to make it to your destination. You just have to make it.
     
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  29. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Why did you even bother with the IR?

    This flight is a walk in the park. If you're canceling on this flight, don't even bother remaining instrument current because that rating is going to waste. Stick to CAVU $100 burger runs.
     
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  30. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's been quite some time since I read it (got rated in 1990) but I enjoyed Richard Taylor's "Instrument Flying". He talks about gradually building up instrument experience...starting with a VMC departure, flying benign IMC enroute (e.g., in the clouds but VMC easily within reach), and a VMC arrival. Then progressing to VMC departure, easy IMC enroute, with an IMC arrival (but not to minimums), etc.

    To the OP. Don't let anyone bully you into flying when you aren't comfortable. Not everyone can be the awesome sticks some think they are.
     
  31. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Make the decision, then be at peace with it. That said, I don't like cancelling based on a forecast for the next day, unless it is a big storm coming. I would have waited until that day to decide as the forecast would be more accurate and you can get an idea as to what it is actually doing.

    That said, sounds like this would have been IMC the whole way, 4.5 hours, do you have an autopilot?

    Ignore others making fun of you for cancelling, personal mins for instrument are very important. Use your level of comfort, not someone else's.
     
  32. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    The final "go" decision is always just before takeoff, but often you gotta make the "no go" decision early if coordinating with other people is part of the picture.
     
  33. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    The tops were 4.5, how is this IMC the whole way? Climb up, fly in the clear. Descend through and land. Based on what has been presented: Total IMC time is less than 10 minutes. With the bases at destination of 2800, you aren't even getting an approach.

    I'm still going to maintain that if tops of 4.5 and bases at destination of almost 3 are a problem (not to mention tops are MSL and bases AGL so 500 to 1000 foot thick layer), forget about ever using the instrument rating. This is about as cake as it gets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  34. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Which sorrow?

    The wasted opportunity or the wasted money?


     
  35. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    My theory on the go/no-go decision, if it is not 110% a go, then its a no-go. Its easy to try to explain away your fears and hesitations, but your gut is telling you something. While it is good to seek to extend your boundaries, its also important to understand them.

    I personally was in a similar situation years ago. My solution, call up my CFII and make a lesson out of it. We turned the trip into my long instrument cross-country, and accomplished the mission safely.
     
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  36. Kevin Eggert

    Kevin Eggert Pre-Flight

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    With a little twist on the popular saying, "It is better to be on the ground asking if I'm too careful, than in the air asking why did I decide to go."
     
  37. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guess I would ask - what was it about the forecast that made you nervous? Punching through the layer? The LLWS? Punching back down through on approach?

    Looks like icing wasn't a factor since the freezing level you say was at 7k and you would be out of the clouds then (tops at 4.5k).

    Everybody is different, but this is the kind of IMC that I am seeking out to cut my teeth a bit after getting my rating. Around here I haven't been able to do it because the freezing level is so low and I won't go into icing conditions. But OVC at or above 1000' and the ability to get on top after going through the OVC then flying above the clouds. Oh and having a high enough ceiling at your destination where you will break out waaaaay early or get a visual approach... yeah that's my dream IFR trip.

    Not judging - it is and always will be your call. Because I am a new instrument rated pilot, I am curious - what was it that made you cancel this trip specifically?
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The nice part about recreational aviation: You don’t have to do anything that isn’t fun if you don’t feel like doing it.

    Your decision was fine.

    As someone else mentioned if you want to make it fun and safe, grab a CFII and go up in flyable weather to gain experience.
     
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  39. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My first solo IMC flight, a trip of 35 or so minutes, ended with a night time ILS approach to a ceiling of 200 AGL. It was forecasted to be 1000 AGL.
    I had a little under 300 hours and less than 5 hours IMC.

    After I landed I realized I was totally unprepared for a approach that low, but that was back when my bag of experience was fairly empty and my bucket of luck was still full.

    I think you made the right decision for yourself.
     
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  40. TailWheelChamp

    TailWheelChamp Pre-Flight

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    There is

    NO

    SUCH

    THING

    AS

    TOO

    CAREFUL

    !!!
     
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