IFR and babies

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by genna, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    So far, I've taken our 1yo on a few flights. Weather has been good for VFR flights and I was careful to do slow climbs and descents. He's generally been good with pressure changes. I think earmuffs bug him more than the altitude changes. He mostly just sleeps and I've gone as high as 8000ft with no issues(he was asleep at the time). However, next one looks like it may be an IFR flight @9000ft, possibly higher.

    I'm thinking of putting "Baby onboard, request gradual altitude changes" in flight plan comments. Is that enough? Or should I mention it to one of the last controllers? Any other advice other than try to stay above the clouds(for turbulence reasons)? Besides potential ear issues, avoiding turbulence is my primary concern(wife hates them, baby doesn't care).

    Thanks.
     
  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I just tell the controller I want to start down early for a gradual descent because of a small child on board. Nothing in the flight plan.
     
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  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have heard this many times from other aircraft, and the controllers were pretty accommodating.
     
  4. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This. Key is to plan ahead and request your descent early.
     
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  5. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most are. Some not so much. That’s why it’s best to ask early. I have learned the hard way that if I need a shallow descent, I better ask Washington Center well before I get handed over to ORF TRACON, because those dudes are some of the most overwhelmed and least accommodating controllers in the country.
     
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  6. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    I thought this thread was gonna have some reference to autopilot and a romantic encounter amongst the clouds.
     
  7. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    There's always the mile high club.
     
  8. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I read the title the first time as "IFR & babes"
     
  9. texasag93

    texasag93 Line Up and Wait

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    Man up and buy a pressurized aircraft. Your wife should support this if she is a good mother. :stirpot:
     
  10. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My kid is now 9mo old but he's been flying since he was 2mo and we've never had issues with him.
     
  11. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It will survive just fine, fly as normal.
     
  12. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-Flight

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    It helps to have the child screaming in the background when you ask for the gradual descent. Works every time!
     
  13. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can do pilot screaming. Would that work?
     
  14. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That all depends on your definition of ‘normal’....
     
  15. drjcustis

    drjcustis Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I make several trips into Jacksonville, FL oftentimes with the babies on board. Never had a problem. I’ll ask the controller in GA for a gradual descent and they always accommodate. The key is to be ahead of the game, know your descent target and Top of Descent point.

    The last trip had me still high at 3000 feet about 2 miles from the runway. Had the tower controller well aware of our needs and offered 360s.

    As far as altitude, I fly 9000 or 10,000 feet. Never had a problem. The wife periodically checks O2 sats.

    The key to turbulence is climb fast, go high, early deviation around any cloud build up.

    I know I probably annoy the F... out of every controller with my requests, but better that they are annoyed than the wife.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. flyingfrog

    flyingfrog Filing Flight Plan

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    We used to fly between Dayton, OH, and the Deep South a lot. We usually were routed around the east side of Cincy on the way home, but one evening our oldest was screaming bloody murder in the back loud enough for the controller to hear it. We received direct Dayton in less than 30 seconds from checking in. That always made me want to reach back and pinch her before checking in with approach.
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Seriously, you guys should not let babies fly IFR.




    I don't think they can reach the pedals.....
     
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  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I glue blocks to their feet so they can reach.
     
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  19. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Babies don't need no stinking rudder!
     
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  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've been flying with my son since we took him to visit @Ted DuPuis when he was about 3 months old. Here's what we do:

    1) Car seat goes in the left rear seat, wife sits in right rear. That way, the seat doesn't impinge anyone's exit in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, I get out first, she hands me the kid, she gets out.

    2) Em's for Bubs ear protection when <1 yr old, Em's for Kids from 1 until he began being interested in talking during the flight, and then full-size adult headset because nobody seems to make a kids' ANR. The hearing protection is paramount.

    3) <1 yr old, I put "Baby on board, no fast descents please! :)" into the flight plan remarks. The KC Approach controller on that first flight was fantastic! She stepped us down 1000 feet, let us sit there a minute, stepped us down another 1000 feet, etc. Perfect. You can always request that too, but I would put it in the remarks AND request it if they don't give it to you. Plan the descent out in advance so you know when to ask for lower if they haven't already given it to you.

    4) <1 yr old, wife nursed him from top of descent to pattern altitude and then strapped him back in for landing. Now, we give him his pacifier to suck on or a snack/drink during descent.

    Here he is on the way to Gaston's, aged ~9 months:
    IMG_0967.JPG

    And here he is on his "first solo" (first time we flew together without Mommy aboard, after several weeks of practicing sitting in the hangar and not touching anything):
    IMG_4314.jpg
     
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  21. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Aww look at those cute baby cheeks! Oh also Grayson looks cute.
     
  22. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Sooner or later he's gonna have to experience his first ear ache. May as well get it over with and move on. He won't remember a thing anyway.
     
  23. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    I ended up asking Boston center for gradual descent. And they and then Burlington approach were stepping us down 1000 ft at the time at pilot discretion. It was CAVU at destination, so I told them we’ll go VFR as soon as we clear Burlington Class C. All was good

    I think 11000ft(over 12K DA) was a bit much for him though, he wasn’t complaining, but clearly was feeling effects of low oxygen. I wanted to keep it above all the clouds due to reported turbulence , but asked and got 9000 as soon as we passed them.
     
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