First time in actual IMC

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by LoLPilot, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Working on my instrument rating and today was IFR around my school. My instructor and I filed a local tour of some fixes and I got to fly in actual IMC for the first time. Eye opening experience.

    I had never experienced the spatial disorientation effect before but trusting the attitude gyro was INCREDIBLY difficult!
     
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  2. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    That’s great!! The first time I was in IMC early in my IFR training i was humbled by the spatial disorientation. Flying with foggles forces you to look down. IMC has the added distraction of looking up and seeing nothing. Your brain will inherently want to fly by seat of your pants when you look up using your senses-all that time you aren’t looking at the instruments. Look to go up anytime you can with your instructor.
     
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  3. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, that first time is a real eye-opener, isn't it?

    Recently on the Private Pilots Club group on Facebook, there was a guy who was just sure that he could get down through a deck safely, and that the "178 seconds" thing was BS. Pretty sure if my first time hadn't been with a CFII, I wouldn't have even lasted that long. Of course, I did enter the cloud deck at 500 AGL in a climbing turn on that one...

    But, the first two steps of the IR are the hard ones:

    1) Learn to trust the AI
    2) Learn NOT to trust the AI

    After that, it's just following procedures. :)
     
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  4. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One thing I hadn't counted on was the fact that with peripheral vision you have some confirmation of the fact that you aren't turning. It's not much, but just the fact that that tiny little strip of trees in the lower left of your visual field is moving straight back is reassuring. When that was gone it felt like we'd taken the training wheels off.

    I found myself thinking "It shows I'm straight and level but I can't be" and every time I took my eyes off of the AI and looked at the altimeter I'd look back at the AI and see myself in a right bank again. Finally I told myself I had to trust it and I centered it and then verified with the turn coordinator that I was was wings level. I finally decided that since two different gyros disagreed with the butt gyro that the two that were in agreement were probably right.
     
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  5. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Once we got through the deck my instructor said go ahead and look out the window now before you put the foggles on. I did and I asked him can you take the airplane for 30 seconds? He said my airplane - you’re taking a picture aren’t you? I said no kidding I’m taking a picture. I took two. I know for some of you seeing this out a windshield is old news but for me it was cool.
     

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  6. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    As cool as cool can be!
     
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  7. Blatham489

    Blatham489 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did my first approach in solid IMC down to almost minimums Friday, did it by hand but had George set to take over if needed. The fun part was about halfway between the IAF and the IF, they cancelled my approach clearance and told me to climb from 3 to 4, held me there still tracking until right on top of the IF and said ok, now you can continue, so I had to make a fairly sharp turn and start descending to stay on track. Definitely got a little wonky with altitude but gathered it up and got the needles (mostly) centered, finally saw the runway about 300ft above DA. Cool rating. Glad I stuck it out.
     
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  8. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Constant ATC changes during my IFR training drove me nuts. I did my training in a congested area and I never had the chance, not once, to just fly my plan.

    While this may be "real world" i felt it really prevented me from getting comfortable flying IFR. Just once, I wanted to fly straight and level in IFR conditions for 20 minutes to simply get comfortable with the aircraft, myself and basic wind corrections. Or actually fly a complete approach. That, too, didnt happen.

    Even when training in VFR conditions, my CFII did the same thing - constant changes so I never got comfortable with any part of IFR flight.

    I honestly beleive the examiner should have failed me on my check ride. Hell, i couldnt even hold a heading during it.

    Only flew one IFR flight after getting my ticket and then gave up on it.

    In retrospect I should have talked to my CFII about this, but i guess i trusted that he knew what he was doing and this was real world so if i couldnt hack it, maybe i shouldnt be doing it.

    Never really resolved it in my in mind. Still wonder if i just had a few training flights where i could gave just flown the plan from start to finish, it really would have helped me. Maybe not, but Ill never know. Its possible some people just aren't cut out for it.
     
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Can't do much about the ATC issue except choose some cross countries away from the traffic even if it means traveling further away. I had a similar issue. I trained in the northeast and my solo cross country was all vectors. I was never instructed to intercept an airway en route. I never even realized I was supposed to keep track of my position until my first solo IFR flight when ATC said "radar contact lost; report XXYYZ intersection" and I scrambled. But if you were having difficulty getting comfortable with the basics and your CFII didn't catch on and accommodate, you really should have said something.
     
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  10. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Having watched an AI do a slow fall over as it failed, I really like that.

    Trying to break a tie between a TC and the AI with the DG (and ASI) will really get your head spinning.

    ...and I was just in slightly hazy VMC when it happened!




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  11. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I remember my first IMC solo. It was at night in a 172 flying from the old Austin Executive airport back to College Station. The weather at CLL was reported at 002 OVC and 1 mile vis from drizzle. I waited an hour and checked back. 002 OVC and 10 miles. The FSS guy told me the new forecast has the clouds to go up to 1100 bkn at just anytime now. Good enough for me, so I filed and off we go...

    First hint was there was no one else flying into CLL. Second hint was ATC gave me a couple vectors, then gave me the heading to intercept the localizer while I was still 20 miles out and cleared me for the approach. (remember 172) Next hint was when I contacted tower they not only cleared me to land but also to taxi to parking on this frequency. I still had not intercepted the localizer yet. Next hint was the tower gave me current weather 002OVC, 1 mile visibility due to drizzle. I said ok thanks, and kept coming. I finally intercepted the localizer and as the glide slope needle was still pegged all the way up, the tower came back with 002 OVC 1/2 mile viz. The dreaded Minimums for the approach.

    I am still clueless. Finally the glideslope was centering, localizer was centered so I reduced the throttle to descent power, first notch of flaps, retrimmed and started counting off the altitude in hundreds..... 500 above, 400 above... I got to 200 above and I started thinking I should be seeing something. Clueless. 100 above, I really need to be seeing something.....50 above.... Ok, I REALLY need to see something. Decision Height..!!!! Was that a light.?? Was that another.?? RABBITS...!!!.... down another 50, yep those are the rabbits... there are the REILs.!!! And now the runway..!!! Flaps... put in the rest of the flaps..!!! Power reduced.... main wheels down.... pull power to idle stupid....main wheels down again... nose wheel down.... brakes.... WHEW... made it. Tower asked me about the weather because there is a Citation coming in about 10 minutes. I gave him my report... I saw the rabbits right at minimums.


    For my self debrief I realized I was NOT prepared for a go around. I mean I never even thought about it until on the ground. Long term lesson learned, I have never failed to self brief the missed approach since then. Even the very little time I have with a 2 pilot crew, I always self briefed then did the crew brief for the approach and missed instructions.

    Oh, the Citation. They went missed at Decision Height. Then they made it in on the second try.

    As I sit here writing this I think back that I was so green then I am surprised that I found the airplane on the ramp....:lol::lol:
     
  12. Reedster

    Reedster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Later in my IR training, as I was getting my scan down pretty well, my CFI was throwing various failures at me in a simulator. Most were fairly easy, but the AI failure threw me as it happened very slowly. I remember thinking something was off, but it didn’t dawn on me until I broke through the 200 foot deck at an angle that was probably not recoverable. That has stuck with me ever since, and is something that will always be in the back of my mind whenever I am in actual.
     
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  13. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good stuff

    When you cant get cloud time sim time is great
     
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  14. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep... Shadows on the panel are another clue that you have when you're under the hood in VMC that just aren't there in IMC. Many of us still can't believe you can get an instrument rating with 0 actual instrument time, because hood time is a really poor substitute for the real thing.

    Luckily, being in the Midwest we have plenty of opportunities for it. I had 2.1 actual IMC before I even got my private. We had to wait for a day where the weather was good enough to do the unusual attitudes in VMC. :rofl:

    While the terrain around your home 'drome will never really change, the sights you get above the clouds are new and different every time. One of the most awe-inspiring flights I ever took was on top of an undercast under the glow of a rising full moon, still casting a somewhat-yellow hue and some shadows in such a way as to create a "landscape" out of light and clouds.

    Seeing a Glory is always cool, too. :)

    You don't have to "never know." Go get current with a CFII, and start out by flying someplace directly AWAY from the congestion... In your case, if your profile location is correct, go places like Little River and Redding. If you're still in the same spot you were in at the time... Well, your CFII would have to share fault there, since he must have always pointed you *toward* the busy airspace. I stopped for fuel in Cloverdale once about 10 years ago, and that area isn't at all what I would call "busy" but there's plenty of "busy" to be had nearby!

    My II was... Very thorough. We did so much partial panel that when he failed the AI in the sim, I'd catch it immediately. Slow roll, or not...

    I'm glad we've arrived in the era of avionics that don't fail quite like that any more, and I can't wait to get the spinny gyros and vacuum system out of my plane. I only have 2000 hours and I've experienced two vac pump failures and an AI failure in flight. Reliable, they are not.
     
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  15. IK04

    IK04 Pre-Flight

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    Wait 'till you fly in snow at night! That was a bigger thrill for me!
     
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  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, another neat experience! It's especially cool when you do it in a Cessna with the landing light in the wing, because the snow lets you see how the air and the wing interact. It's really cool to be able to actually see the boundary layer!
     
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  17. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My final X-Country in a C-172 with no autopilot from CMA to Lindberg Field was solid IMC, in driving rain, all the way until breaking out on the ILS RWY 9 in a hard crab. My instructor said I got a bit of vertigo on the departure vectors but overcame it quickly. The driving rain added another set of 'senses' to the equation
     
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  18. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

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    I bet your plane was squeaky clean afterwards :)
     
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  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Been there, done that. Scary! :eek2: :redface:
     
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  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did my first actual ,alone,in a 172 at night. Was only for a short time,to get over a hill.
     
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