Got it wet!

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by flyingcheesehead, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My instrument ticket, you sickos. :rolleyes:

    After the PDC fly-in yesterday, I filed IFR back to MSN at 7,000 feet. (Lance: It was bumpy all the way up there for me! :dunno:) It was a little different than I'm used to - I fly out of a Class C and so I call Clearance even when I'm VFR. This time, I called Green Bay Radio on 122.25 from the runup pad at PDC, and got my clearance: "ATC clears N8741E to Madison via direct QUEST then as filed. Climb and maintain 3,000 feet, expect 7,000 10 minutes after departure, squawk 5345, contact Chicago Center on 133.95, clearance void if not off by 2040, time now 2035."

    I read the clearance back, checked the time (almost 36 now), and freaked out just a little bit because I'm not used to having any sort of deadline before takeoff. Believe me, I take my time! I quickly glanced through my checklist again because I had to do things a little out of order from what I'm used to. After noting that everything was now done except to hack the time, I did so, announced my departure on the CTAF, and rolled onto the runway.

    I decided to follow the obstacle departure procedure even though it was good VMC, just to see where things ended up. There are a lot of hills around PDC! The ODP was to climb on runway heading to 2,000 feet before turning, and that's exactly what I did before turning to 045 to intercept my intended course.

    Now, the biggest mistake of the flight was my flight plan. I chose direct QUEST because it was fairly close by (17nm), and was on the quickest airway back to MSN. This airplane is /A with a VFR LORAN, and I figured I could maintain VFR until QUEST as the clouds were high and hadn't moved into view where I was. I figured I could use a combination of pilotage (there's a road that goes almost direct from PDC to QUEST), a bearing to PDC off the LORAN (course was 022, so I punched in Direct KPDC and went with my intercept angle until reaching 202 degrees to PDC), and good old-fashioned Brain RNAV (OK, I'm on the 110 radial from Waukon so I should be at about 23.5 DME...).

    Well, I climbed a LOT quicker than I thought I would, and the clouds decided to show up too. The Archer I've been flying for most of my instrument training is in the shop right now with engine problems (bad cam lobe, and was developing a lot less than 180hp) so I was getting a lot more power plus I was minus my 235lb instructor and his 50lb flight bag. I called Center as I was leveling out at 3,000 and they gave me 7,000 right away. I was probably at 4,000 when I intercepted my intended course. I had just enough time to establish a reference heading and as I was climbing through 6500 I saw a nice puffy white cloud ahead. I reached 7,000 feet, got about half the cruise checklist complete, and knew I wouldn't finish before I entered the cloud. I delayed the rest of the checklist and concentrated on the gauges so I wouldn't be distracted right when going IMC.

    I punched my #2 timer as I went into the cloud. Bouncy! I was almost to QUEST, the VOR needle being at about half-scale deflection when I went IMC, so I made the turn in the cloud and got established on the airway. A bit later, I could see again. I stopped the timer: One minute and 47 seconds, and more clouds ahead. They were calling the layer "broken" but it was definitely the 5/8 variety of broken.

    Chicago Center handed me off to Madison about 17 miles from Lone Rock, and they put me on vectors. Not too much later they gave me a descent to 3,500. I was in a cloud at that point, and the broken layer really wasn't very thick at all, so I knew I was about done racking up the actual. I broke out about a minute later. Total actual IMC: 9 minutes, 40 seconds. Hey, good enough for 0.2. :yes:

    So, I had to go looking for the IMC (it was a very thin layer), and I didn't stay in it for that long, but I got my first solo actual! :goofy: I'm quite sure that if I'd had any passengers they probably would have gotten sick, and I know the air would have been much smoother at 9,000, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. :yes: :D
     
  2. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    dude, that sounds so fun. I can't wait until I have my first "First" story.

    .2 Solo Actual! Congrats!
     
  3. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Kent: Very cool. Well done! Great sense of accomplishment isn't it?
     
  4. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Smooth at 4,500 for us on the way back. But the airmet started right AT PDC and went east.

    Yes....they..will wake you up...to say the least..if you are not careful.
     
  5. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Very cool. It is always different when in the clouds than under the hood. As for the bumps it always make instrument flight just that more exciting especially when IMC hard to tell exactly where you are and you quickly get your scan up to speed to stay on heading and altitude. Use that autopilot if you got it and don't try to be a hero.

    On my flight yesterday I got maybe 5 minutes of actual IMC, not even enough to bother logging it. But there was one flight where I got to spend 4 hours in IMC, whew that was a lot of work!!

    Now you will start praying for those wonderful spring rain shows where the ceiling is 800BKN and 1200OVC with no convective activity. BTW I try to neve file my first fix to an intersection. If part of my nav equipment goes down I may never find it. I ask for radar vectors direct to a VOR
     
  6. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Eggcellent!
     
  7. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sweeeeeeeet!

    --Kath
     
  8. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did the ink run?

    BTW the only legal way out of PCI without RNAV would be to go direct to UKN and follow the airways. Of course that would add about 50 miles to your route. You cannot legally accept direct to an intersection without RNAV on an IFR clearance whether or not you can navigate visually. Also while you'd think it would be OK to take a 90 degree intercept heading to join a nearby airway, AFaIK that's not legal either unless you can get a vector from ATC for that purpose (and that's not going to happen a PDC since they cannot see you down low). I do expect that if you filed UKN V398 LNR V2 MSN, you probably could have gotten a vector to LNR once you cleared the MVA on your way towards UNK, but your fuel planning would have to include the full extra 50 miles out and back. Time to get an IFR GPS eh?
     
  9. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Very nice!
     
  10. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not having a chart of the area, I was wondering if there was a navaid on the field with a published route to Qwest??

    I ran into this, departing out of T82 and posted years ago:
    The only legal departure route (/A) was to backtrack 10?miles to the 'approach VOR' (STV), then join the airway to the following VOR (JCT)....which went pretty close to the airport again.
    I think yall said I could file to rad/dme off this airway and avoid the backtrack. I haven't tried it -typically they just vector me to join anyway.

    Nice report Kent.
     
  11. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    Sounds like a great flight Kent. However, I too was wondering about that /A flight plan direct to an intersection. Flight Service shouldn't have accepted it, right? :confused:

    File to the navaid, get airborne, then request an amended clearance direct via vectors to the intersection, right? (Thanks Ron) ;)
     
  12. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No navaids on the field. Two VOR's, UKN and DBQ, both quite a ways away and both in the wrong direction.

    The other oddity is that I filed that, and when I called for clearance they cleared me to MSN via "Direct QUEST, then as filed." :dunno:

    Yeah, I guess that's what I will do from now on. "Fly heading 070, direct Lone Rock when able" would have worked even better than what I did.
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, this is really odd... DUATS, when told to use airways, does exactly what I did. :dunno:

    It also seems DBQ won't work, KPDC is just a hair outside standard service volume.
     
  14. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    Same with the AOPA flight planner. It's nice that flight planning is utilizing technology that many of us don't yet have in the cockpit :rolleyes:

    I'm a relatively inexperienced instrument pilot, but I understand this goes on all the time. But as Ron Levy and others have pointed out before, it doesn't make it any more legal ;)

    At my home strip it is 50 miles in the wrong direction to the nearest navaid before I can head back south towards Anchorage. But when I plan an instrument flight on the computer it sends me direct to an intersection 20 miles south, and thence...

    Which is great except I'm not legal for it. And here's the question: If I file my airport direct to the navaid to the north, and thence on the airway back south again, with the intention to request vectors to the intersection to the south instead, I suppose after takoff I have to climb to the north until I am in radar coverage. Unfortunately I will be almost to the vortac anyway due to spotty coverage. :( I wonder if that requirement might change if I can maintain VFR. Perhaps circling for altitude above my airport until I can receive radar services would work?

    Later on I'll be looking at a factory refurbished GNC300XL to replace an old boat anchor #2 radio in the panel.
     
  15. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It is quite common now that atc may not realize your /A status and assume you can, like everyone else, go direct to any intersection.
    It's up to us to decline a clearance we cannot legally accept; often pilots assume they would never give you something unsafe or inappropriate but its just not true!
     
  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's surprising that, when the FAA computer loves to puke up your flight plan for the slightest problem, it will accept /A direct.
     
  17. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. UKN is the only legal filing choice. As to ATC giving you a clearance direct to QUEST, it's probably not supposed to to happen but I think it does a lot. In any case it's the pilot's responsibility to refuse a clearance he can't fly.
     
  18. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    VMC wx doesn't affect what you can legally file route wise on an IFR plan. What you could do in VMC is simply depart VFR and pick up your clearance in the air when you get to a point you can legally navigate forward from.
     
  19. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think that it's intended that the FAA computer should reject an unflyable route, it's just that there are many situations the computer cannot comprehend and those are rejected.

    I've often wondered why it isn't legal for a pilot to intercept an airway (or radial) on a heading that has to intersect said airway/radial inside the SV of the associated navaid(s). That would solve a lot of these problems.