Got my first IMC cross country with my instructor today!

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by LoLPilot, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was originally going to do a foggle cross country with one of my pilot friends acting as a safety pilot today. Woke up today and the TAF's were showing below 2000 with rain and winds gusting into the 20s. He said well we could do a local flight and still get you some foggle time and if it gets too bad we can head back. I saw on our scheduling app that my instructor had some lessons today so I texted him and asked if one of his afternoon lessons dropped off could we file and do a cross country. He said that his 12-3 had just cancelled if I could make it in. I didn't have to go in to school today so I drove up to the airport. I haven't filed IFR yet (obviously) so he took care of that and took care of a lot of the radio calls for me. He had me listen in and had me explain after each call what was going on.

    Once we got to our destination the ceilings had fallen below minimums. They had been above minimums on the TAF. My CFI had me fly the approach anyway and told the controller that we wanted to fly the approach and go missed for training. As we were climbing out he said "now do you see how important fuel planning and planning alternates is? We checked the weather before we left and it showed that we could get in here. So if you were really flying here what would you do?" I told him that I'd ask ATC if my filed alternate had better conditions and if not could I get vectors to somewhere that did. He seemed satisfied and had ATC go ahead and activate our return flight plan. Thankfully he asked if we could get direct on the way back and they said sure.

    Once we were back he showed me his tablet. He had been running breadcrumbs along our route and we were able to debrief by looking at our filed route and the approach versus how I flew it. He said considering it was my first time in actual conditions it was pretty good. He told me I was "hunting" for the course a bit too much and that if I wasn't exactly on the course centerline in actual IMC but was flying a proper heading that it was okay. I tracked it well but I was weaving back and forth across centerline trying to keep the needle centered.

    It was a humbling experience. At times I felt pretty on top of what was going on and at times I felt WAY in over my head. Once he told me to watch my attitude indicator and then asked if I felt like I was in a left hand turn once I'd leveled the wings. I said yeah I did and he said I feel the same way. He had me cross check the other instruments to verify what the AI was telling me. It was (at this stage of my flying) a tough flight for me but I felt like I'd learned a lot. I told my instructor that I have a few lessons that stick out in my head as "unique" and that this one today stands out as the most profound learning experience I've had so far.
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Congrats on your first actual.
     
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  3. lancie00

    lancie00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats! I had a similar experience a couple of months ago. I don't think there's any instrument training better than actual.
     
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  4. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    That sounds like a blast! I had my first instrument lesson last Friday. Told the instructor to throw the book at me with things to do. We started off just straight and level, climbing turns/decents, tracking radials, then compass turns, then partial panel. I then did my first instrument approach, RNAV RWY 08 at KCMA. I noticed a lot during the lesson and my CFI stated that I adapted well. I can't wait to get into actual IMC.
     
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  5. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Congrats! Glad to hear that you won't be one of those candidates that walk into the checkride with 0 actual.:)
     
  6. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah. One of the things I’ve noticed (we did a failed local flight once where we just flew around some fixes but I was only in actual for about 15 min) is that you can still get a very visual sense with the foggles. At least I can see ground with my peripheral and I can get a sense of when I’m turning if the sun is out. I think actual IMC is much more disorienting. It feels like you’re staring at a blank projector screen and every once in a while someone shakes you and then asks you which way is up.
     
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  7. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds awesome! Congrats!
     
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  8. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very Interesting, and really makes sense.

    Though I currently have no interest in an IR, I have asked my instructor, who really has become as much of a friend as instructor, if I could go up with him sometime into actual IMC... I just want to experience it.
     
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  9. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    I masked and painted a pair of safety glasses for my instrument training. Realized on the first lesson that I could still see out the side windows in my peripheral vision. I didn't think it would effect much but when we got off shore with only water visible to the sides it was much more disorienting. When I got home I masked the glasses off and painted them again to eliminate as much of that as I could.
     
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  10. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I masked and sandblasted a pair of Visitor safety glasses that fit over my prescriotion ones. Sit in the plane wearing them, and carefully trace where you see the panel while looking at the AI. I'd used store-bought foggles before, with texture on the outside, but they were scratched and it was blinding when sunlight hit those scratches. So I masked and sandblasted the inside of the lenses and the sideshields. Works great, doesn't dazzle me and I don't need to be nearly as careful in handling, because who scratches the inside?


    That's why you're supposed to keep your eyes on the instruments. Besides, there's nothing to see out the windows anyway . . . .

    My CFII took me out to shoot some approaches on a day with ragged ceilings so that I could get experience breaking out then losing the field and breaking out again. We did 2 or 3 ILS approaches that afternoon. I recommend the experience.
     
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  11. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    It wasn't a cross country unless you landed, technically speaking
     
  12. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A031CF5E-A941-4EEC-AE98-ACE9A4BEBDCA.jpeg I’m going to argue based on vague wording that the FAR’s day for the purpose of aeronautical experience “a point of landing.” The definition of a cross country flight is a landing at a field >50 miles but aeronautical experience is “point of landing.” It did not specify that the landing need to be made. We had an intended point of landing, we flew there, and flew a missed approach, which could be verified through ATC records.
     
  13. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations. One of these years, I hope I have the same opportunity.
    I'm still a student pilot, but I think going missed on an approach was a better experience than the actual landing. Besides, I'm sure you'll get plenty of chances to land after IMC XCs.

    Oh, and don't worry about the curmudgeons on this board, unless you want to fly to Hawaii from CA without having an IFR, and trying to do that is ill-advised!
     
  14. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Unless of course he's going for ATP, in which case it doesn't require a landing.

    FAR 61.1.b
    (vi) For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for an airline transport pilot certificate (except with a rotorcraft category rating), time acquired during a flight—

    (A) Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;

    (B) That is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and

    (C) That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems.
     
  15. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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  16. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    DOT 3 or 4 Brake fluid will immediately glaze safety glasses. Just put a little on your fingertip and wipe it on the glass - instant opaque. I've never tried 5606 but it might work too. Much easier than sanding if you've got a bottle of brake fluid handy.
     
  17. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    5606 won't do anything to typical safety glasses. Skydrol, on the other hand will eat them alive depending on the material. This gives me a good idea I'll have to try tomorrow.