first IFR flight I hope.

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by saracelica, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    My first IFR flight, and first time in IMC, was the day after passing the instrument checkride. I departed in snow from KAGC, got on top, flew on top to TN and descended through rain in TN.

    There is no reason the first IFR flight need be the first time in IMC though. Why not fly a few times in visual conditions prior to going all in through IMC conditions?
     
  2. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    If that's true, then it might be a good idea to get together with a CFI first and knock off some rust. But that's a very individual thing, and anyway there's really not enough information in her followup post to tell how much or little she's flown in the past couple of weeks to a month, just that she spent a few months after her checkride not flying a lot.

    IF, yes. But again, we don't know. She's instrument rated. I usually assume that instrument rated pilots know the rules and that if they're considering a flight, they've already made sure it would be a legal flight for them to make. Why would you assume otherwise?
     
  3. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I was only responding to the assertion (or speculation) that she hasn't flown any instruments in the last 8 months, to clarify that if that were true, the rest of this discussion is immaterial.
    However, I would add that personally, even though I have lots of "historical" IMC time logged, I consider my safety level to hinge primarily on the last few months. So even if technically legal, not having flown IMC over a period of months would cause me to stay away from low approaches until back in the groove.
     
  4. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yep - and I also assume that if she's not current/proficient, she'd either shoot some approaches or an IPC with a CFII before heading off on an IFR flight, particularly if an approach in actual at the destination might be necessary.
     
  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I see people giving advice for a fight that was scheduled in the past. I haven't seen a post from the OP since.
     
  6. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    :confused: The OP was on March 19th and mentioned a flight "in two weeks"... last I checked it was still March 21.
     
  7. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

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    My personal story FWIW;
    I took my instrument training over the winter of 1987-88, took the checkride on March 8, 1988 (essentially a "dry" ticket). Right after that I got busy with spring work, calving, farming, etc. Took the time to go out with a safety pilot in VMC a few times over the course of the summer for practice but by fall I could see I was slipping back in to my old VFR ways (still thinking like a VFR pilot) and I didn't like it. Had to make a flight of about 200 miles down to Billings, MT in about late October/early November as I recall and I just told myself "self, you didn't get that instrument ticket just so you could pat your back pocket and say I'm instrument rated", call FSS and file IFR....you don't need clouds to do this, the airlines go IFR all the time even when there ain't a cloud in the sky".
    So I filed, picked up my clearance and flew thru' a couple little puffy clouds that had the nerve to get in my way on the way down :D
    Next day time to return home the weather back up north had turned sour, GGW close to home was reporting something like 800' ovc as I recall with the freezing level on the ground/tops up higher than I was willing to go so I filed IFR to Glasgow and headed north. Clear & a million for about half the way turned to solid undercast below me that eventually rose up to and above my altitude of 8000'. My initial nervousnous turned to cautious relaxation as I settled in "inside the milk bottle". Prob'ly about 30 miles out of Glasgow I encountered what Bob Gardner has referred to as "splat icing"...like I'm flying along fat dumb & happy when suddenly it was like somebody threw a bucket of water on the windshield that of course froze instantly, view out the side window was of ice on the leading edge of the strut and leading edge of the wing :hairraise: Heart was pounding so hard I thought it might bust right out of my chest while I'm thinking 'what the **** am I doing up here anyway! Composed myself and called Center in the calmest voice I could muster and said "I'm picking up a little ice here, request lower". So he cleared me "cross GGW at or above 5000' cleared for the approach .....". Don't ask my why I wanted lower?, just reverting to my old scud-runnin' ways under stress I suppose altho' I knew I wouldn't get below the cloud until I was inbound on the approach. Well, to make a long story a little shorter I didn't pick up any more ice but I carried what I had to the ground. Scared the bejesus out of myself but not enough to give up IFR flying I guess 'cause I've been flying single pilot IFR for over 26 years now, a lot older and hopefully a little wiser?
    FWIW my standard advice to all recently rated instrument pilots is for at least the first year to file and go IFR any time it's practical even when it's severe clear. That'll get you comfortable operating in the system so then when the weather does go crappy you might properly be concerned about the weather but at least you won't be intimidated by the process of dealing with ATC and the "system".
     
  8. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Huh, somehow I thought "tomorrow" oh well. She'll do what she wants, and what will be will be regardless.
     
  9. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    Flight is in two weeks. Hoping to get info about going into and out of kagc which I got thanks to that poster (on page 1 I think)

    I am current to fly IFR. Hoping to fly between now and then to get more proficient. I've done a couple short flights this year so I'm even current to fly passengers. Haven't flown into kagc solo. Last time I was there was 3 years ago and before any certificates.

    I am not going to risk my life. If it doesn't seem like a good opportunity then my car gets the joy of going again.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did not say "she was not legal". She just apparently had no instrument (as in actual) and very little time period in the last 8-9 months. I made no comment on her technical ability or her legality. My comment was her "nervousness by nature" and more importantly (to me) her expectation, actually her declaration that the "crap would hit the fan if the unexpected happens". Maybe she did not mean it, maybe she mis spoke maybe I misunderstood. I can only go by what she wrote, not a mind reader.
     
  11. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    Have 13 hours of actual not all at once.
     
  12. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    John that's a heck of a scary story! My only real encounter with icing so far was on a flight to KASH from KMPV last December while a system was building offshore and throwing clouds north into central New England. It was severe clear until about 30 miles from KASH, when I passed above the edge of an undercast. As I approached it I toyed with the idea of canceling IFR and ducking under the rest of the way, but that was still some pretty "wild" country (not by Montana standards of course ;)), and I wanted to be IFR and in contact with ATC. The tops got higher and higher and when it was time to descend, I was already skimming them. The windshield started freezing over about 30 seconds into the descent. I quickened my descent rate to about 1200 fpm. ATC asked me what approach I wanted and I said "the visual, hopefully". Luckily the bases were at around 3500 and the windshield cleared quickly. I didn't see any ice on the wings and assumed I was clean, used flaps for the approach and landing as usual. Then when I got out I saw a good 1/8 inch or so on the leading edges - but fortunately the wings only, nothing on the stabilator.

    I fly IFR pretty much everywhere here in Vermont, especially at night. But there are definitely times when VFR is safer.
     
  13. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

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    Perhaps YOU are endowed with the "right stuff" Ronnie but most of us are nervous the first time we contemplate launching alone into the great IMC unknown :wink2:
     
  14. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nervous, not sure about that. Concern, ya I will go with that. An expectation of the "crap hitting the fan" if something unexpected is encountered, not so much.
    She said or at least insinuated she was habitually nervous, that concerns me. And the the crap and the fan, well it just got my attention.
    It is just different than I approach things. No right stuff just an average pilot that has managed to stay alive for a few thousand hours and not bend any metal. :dunno:

    I am done, have a safe flight Sara.
     
  15. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I think it's just a question of style, and perhaps gender. Most guys are too macho to admit "nervousness", so they call it "concern". :)
     
  16. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    KAGC is easy-peasy in and out, Pittsburgh is generally pretty laid back. Be ready for squirrelly winds as the airport is on the eastern US version of a mesa and there can be weird up and downdrafts.

    First solo IMC is a milestone - enjoy it!
     
  17. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    No macho here. If I was nervous about a flight, I would not go, period. That is just me. Do some flights require a little more prep, perhaps a little more attention to detail, yes I think so. This I call concern. I have had easy flights and some at the other end of the spectrum. To be nervous about an activity shows lack of confidence. Concern shows attention to detail. I am by nature a detail person, and I am prone to micro manage.
    Being nervous and expecting disaster just does not work for me.
    I know I said I was done. Concerning Sara I am. Personal attacks maybe not. I do not confuse concern with nervous. It is all good.
     
  18. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    Certainly no personal attack from me. I also have flights that I am "concerned" about more than others. But I know that when it's my time to go, it might well be the perfect severe-clear milk-run VFR flight that gets me. Perhaps because I am so focused and prepared for the hard flight, vs. tending to complacency for the easy one. I think the trick is to compensate for the more challenging flights by trying hard to anticipate the issues that might come up, and for the easier flights by repeatedly saying to yourself, "today is the day".
     
  19. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I did this also. It helped me to get comfortable with the system.

    For information into or out of any airport such as KAGC I go to fltplan.com and look for the last 5 routes planned between your departure and destination as well as the last 5 routes assigned along that route.
    I also go to airnav ans look at the reviews written there.
    The above in addition to a complete WX briefing of course.
     
  20. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    Ended up driving. Things weren't looking good so I drove. Weather wasn't good all day if I didn't have to I wouldn't have even driven. Tornado sirens going off...hope I have a house to go back too.
     
  21. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Agreed! I was nervous the first time I flew IFR in IMC as well.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Good choice, some days the clouds hide monsters.
     
  23. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I prefer Fatheads. That place has righteous sandwiches and a wicked beer selection.

    http://www.fatheadspittsburgh.com/
     
  24. topsail

    topsail Pre-Flight

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    Being prepared is crucial when flying in busy airspace in IMC however don't make harder than it is.

    Published holds are obvious. This vid is a good reminder that it just is not that complicated to do a nonpublished hold. 3 steps.

    https://www.google.com/webhp?source...oss+the+fix+turn+outbound+dick+holds+aviation

    If you end up with brain freeze request vectors to give yourself time. The only thing that is guaranteed is that sometimes you will get instructions you did not anticipate. Be cool and learn from the process.