IFR training flight - eye-opening lesson in steep banks

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by DesertNomad, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I have 18 hours simulated instrument time.

    Today I was on an IFR training flight with my CFII in VFR conditions (me under the hood of course). It was quite bumpy and windy in the mountains between Reno and Truckee. I was working hard to keep altitude and heading in the local conditions. While in a very busy moment maneuvering, figuring out the course back to a local VOR and talking to ATC, I spent a little too much time away from the attitude indicator.

    I discovered myself in a steep (but thankfully level) turn at 50-55 degrees. I immediately recovered to level and was shocked that I had allowed it to get over that far. I never felt any unusual G forces. After recovering I asked my CFII when he would have mentioned something or just taken control. He said he would have let me get to about 60 degrees given that we were level.

    It was a great learning experience and *very* eye-opening as to the lack of any perception of being in a steep bank.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
    Danimal, arkvet, Crane Pilot and 3 others like this.
  2. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Once you finish your training in and around the Reno area, you'll think it's a breeze shooting approaches in the lower California areas. That's the only down fall to being in Reno, we have to hunt for IMC at times to stay current. The hood just isn't the same IMHO.

    If you're CFII hasn't covered it yet, don't be afraid to ask for block altitudes while enroute. Had to get a block from 11,000 to 13,000 between Reno and Salt Lake City because I was riding the up and down drafts and couldn't maintain altitude for nothin....it was insane, but fun at the same time. :)

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  3. Archammer

    Archammer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thank you for sharing this. :)
     
  4. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Over Peavine near AWEGA I was fighting 1000+ fpm up/down drafts and bumps that messed with heading quite a bit. Not long after that I was shooting the VOR-D into Reno from Mustang and it was perfectly smooth. Such is Reno. :)

    Out by TRK I did ask my CFII if he had a good horizon - it was really smokey today.
     
  5. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like a good lesson.
     
  6. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    It is easy to see why VFR into IMC is so dangerous. You truly cannot tell.
     
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  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Somewhere along the line you'll probably get a case of "the leans" which is similar and related to not having any sense of turning at all when you are turning.

    Instead you'll think you're constantly turning. And it'll drive you batty at first.

    @jesse noticed I wasn't quite sitting upright after some unusual attitude stuff under the hood at night. He joked, "Got the leans?"

    I'm over there in the left seat, leaning against the left door for all I'm worth, but maintaining level flight via the instruments -- and feeling for all the world like we're in a continuous right bank.

    Hahaha. It gets easier after that first one. The first one, its all you can do to not bank away from the lean. In fact what I did was inexplicably start a tiny turn away from the lean, then see it, and correct to the AI, and then back and forth a couple of times until I told myself to stop the PIO. The whole time I knew in my thoughts exactly what was occurring consciously, but the built in urge to right yourself as you're fallng over is massive.

    All the texts also say you can cause yourself some interesting climb and descent feelings with abrupt power changes. I've never done those to myself yet, but know it could happen.

    By the way... Do get some hood time at night somewhere it's really dark on the ground. The old joke is that "a peek is worth a thousand cross-checks" but it's great when there's no possible way to cheat even by accident. No sunlight warming one shoulder and moving across your lap, no lights on the ground to get a horizon from even in peripheral vision by accident, nothing but black.

    If you want a CFI to help you mess with your vestibular system, a dark moonless night over empty terrain is definitely the way to do it.
     
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  8. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had a similar thought. A gradual roll to steep angles and a sudden correction is a textbook disorientation scenario.
     
  9. rocketflyer84

    rocketflyer84 Line Up and Wait

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    Great experience for you. Until one has actually experienced it, it's hard to believe that one can be in a steep bank and not realize it, or straight and level and feel like the plane is turning. Hence why VFR into IMC can be so dangerous for non Insturments proficient pilots.
     
  10. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Sounds like good glider weather



    If properly trained you can
     
  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    :yeahthat: I had to request a block altitude once so far, and the controller was more than willing to provide. It did help to reduce the stress for that segment of flight.
     
  12. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Did that at night where there is zero outside lighting; natural or manmade.

    Instructors that let you truly learn through such things are prized. Ie not jumping on you when you get into an unintended 10° bank.
     
  13. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Voice of experience: this also happens when you climb into the clouds and level off. It's hard enough that I was sweating . . . I was expecting to climb through the deck and level,off in the clear at 10,000 after leaving my home base, elevation 567' msl. Instead, the bases were ~8500, and my inner ear had stabilized at climb attitude.

    I wiggled up to ~10,300 by telling myself to trust the AI and altimeter. ATC asked if I was having a problem. After a couple of tense minutes, my ears adjusted and I was fine. But it was surprisingly difficult.

    My first experience was with my CFII, making a turn in the clouds at cruise speed. Fell right out the bottom at 140 knots while making a standard rate turn to the right. Knew something wasn't right when I could see the snowy WV hills in front of me. Wings level, climb back to altitude,right turn on course and I was fine.

    Neither event has happened again. Yet. Spatial d is sneaky,though. Getting a taste I training is a good thing.
     
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  14. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You were level but recovered to level?? How could you be level in a steep turn?
     
  15. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I was level as in not gaining or losing altitude, but in a very steep bank. I was not wings-level.
     
  16. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's an interesting configuration. Usually disorientation results in a steepening bank and an increasing descent.

    I've done my share of light turbulence under foggles (most recently, I flew a cross-country to Sacramento that way, dropping off a CAP 182 for a 100 hour). It's pretty hard. I could tell easily when I was approaching the mountains, 'cause my altitudes all went to hell. But I haven't done worse. Might be interesting.
     
  17. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    True, but I was talking about using your senses, not the instruments.
     
  18. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    It is very possible that I was in a natural decent, but the strong updrafts kept me at the right altitude until I noticed the steep bank. I had lots of +/- 1000fpm drafts yesterday.
     
  19. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a couple of 30+ degree banks and off course moments doing IFR as well. It only take a few seconds of button pushing on the 430 to go from perfect to WTF, especially if there is some turb/wind.
     
  20. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    Don't forget on the checkride to keep all turns standard rate or less and that includes when you get back to the home base and take the foggles off to land VFR...
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Oh yeah. Click, click, click, click........, level wings, get back on heading, click, click, click.......repeat...... Whew, one down only four more to go, click, click....... I still say the 430 was invented to sell more autopilots.
     
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  22. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A 650 is worse. It's possible (though not easy) to program a 430 or G1000 with a whole lot less looking than a 650, due to the lack of a touch screen.

    And autopilots are not helpful in turbulence. I find I can hand-fly equivalently to a GFC700 in rough air, and considerably better than a KAP140. I'm not an extraordinary pilot; they just react badly to gusts. And in the presence of strong updrafts or downdrafts, you can get yourself in much more trouble with alt hold. IF they kick off prior to violating limitations, they will lead you very close to them.
     
  23. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. I've flown very little with an autopilot, a single axis, and never IFR. When I was getting an IPC after 25 years away from it and learning GPS new I'd have killed for a wing leveler.
     
  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Haha iPads aren't any better. Bolted down iPads may or may not be also.

    No, I didn't want to read my damned email right now, I'm trying to pull up the approach plate you %*++>!€^ touch screen'ed POS!
     
  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've had to do an unusual attitude recovery in IMC once. It was very, extremely, disconcerting.
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I know it'll happen to me eventually and I'm not looking forward to it.

    As my current CFI would say...

    "The current trend [on the instruments] is toward crashing."

    He like using trends to make you look ahead.