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N941WR
04-17-2006, 02:58 PM
One of the threads in the Glass Cockpit section had me thinking that a number of pilots are uncomfortable flying with minimum VFR instruments.

The question is, "What is the minimum VFR equipment you are comfortable flying with?" (Day VFR flights only are assumed.)

My answer is: Compass, airspeed, altimeter, ball, chart and a watch. (The watch is so I can do time & distance calc's with my wiz wheel.)

Man, I miss flying J-3?s, T-Crafts, Luscombes, and Champs!

Mike S
04-17-2006, 03:23 PM
I am comfortable flying with only my eyeballs, and the feeling in the seat of my pants----------------But that is in my old Stinson.

The feds probably wont be happy with that equip list, so I have a bunch of other thingies in there also--------------

Mike

rv8ch
04-17-2006, 03:42 PM
It depends on where I'm flying. If it's in the neighborhood, which means that I can see mountains I recognize, then I don't need anything but my eyeballs to navigate. A radio is nice to find out if there are parachutists in the area, but if I don't have a radio, I just avoid areas I know might have jumpers.

We have a B?cker Jungmann in our club, and it's an open cockpit, so the radio is a joke. The only thing I look at when I fly it is the G-meter and the RPM gauge.

If I'm going somewhere I don't regularly go, I really prefer to have my GPS so that I don't bust airspace. Obviously the altimeter and ASI are useful for going from place to place.

pierre smith
04-17-2006, 03:46 PM
Bill,
I fly my Air Tractor 400 miles to Ft Pierce Fl for annuals with only an old Garmin 95. The FAA says that you must have an airspeed, altimeter and magnetic compass (which bobbles like those dolls in back windows). I'd gladly fly to California and back, VFR, with only the above mentioned instruments. The GPS sure makes it easy and you can use WAC charts too.
Pierre

gmcjetpilot
04-17-2006, 05:04 PM
One of the threads in the Glass Cockpit section had me thinking that a number of pilots are uncomfortable flying with minimum VFR instruments. The question is, "What is the minimum VFR equipment you are comfortable flying with?" (Day VFR flights only are assumed.)

My answer is: Compass, airspeed, altimeter, ball, chart and a watch. (The watch is so I can do time & distance calc's with my wiz wheel.)

Man, I miss flying J-3?s, T-Crafts, Luscombes, and Champs!Bill the min per the FAR's listed below is fine, slip ball not need with my calibrated seat pants. :D

Sure no electrical system, no nav, no com is fine for local day VFR. However with battery powered handheld radios and GPS, I would have it for a long cross country for sure. Not all areas in the country are pilotage heaven. Why the electronics: I am lazy and safety. There is nothing like knowing exactly where you are and knowing what is going on at the airport. Dead reckoning is fun but with GPS why? Still I would pilotage or dead reckoning if I had to without worry.


Night VFR, the FAR's say you don't need any more equipment except approved position lights and anticollision lights and a power source for them.

I WOULD BE VERY MUCH LESS WILLING TO FLY LONG CROSS AT NIGHT WITH PILOTAGE ONLY AND NO ATTITUDE INSTRUMENT.

Practically speaking I would not be comfortable flying X-C on a dark night with out at least a T&B or TC.

Would I consider a no gyro, no com, no nav Cub for a night X-C flight (with lights of course)? It would have to be clear weather, fuller moon, over known benign terrain I had flown before with ground lights to pilotage off of. However, again with little battery powered GPS, I can't see doing that. Now with terrain displays it is even more of a safety enhancement for night flight. Why not avail yourself to it.

Many times taking off on a dark but VFR night, over water or remote unpopulated areas, I needed to go right on the gages. I am instrument rated, but that does not help much with just altitude, airspeed, tachometer and no gyro's.

Of course if you don't practice instrument flying it does not matter how fancy your GLASS is. Many say they will switch their autopilot on. Hard to argue with that but still think you should keep the instrument skills up.

I always taught my VFR pvt students to treat night as semi-instrument conditons and be prepared to use their attitude / gyro instruments. I always did night cross countries with students, intentionally trying to pick no or low moon nights. I remember flying on a full moon night with a student. It was so bright that after we took off I canceled the lesson. YOU could SEE everything easily.

Night cross-country with students was efficient because they logged both night and X-C dual. Dark remote airports (no ground lights) for landings is excellent training. Of course we had a 6-pak of instruments in the mighty C-152. I did this only after they had hood time and mastered night landings at a bigger well lit airport. They where well prepared, but it's a real eye opener for them when they rotated to see nothing but dark. I never had a problem with a student and felt good that if they blunder into a dark night spacial disorientation situation they have a chance.

I advise anyone to avoid (never) land at unfamiliar airports at night with out a PAPI or VASI, especially X-C. Read the night landing accident reports and you will know what I mean.


**(Significant Day VFR items)
Sec. 91.205
(1) Airspeed indicator.
(2) Altimeter.
(3) Magnetic direction indicator.
(4) Tachometer for each engine.
(5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
(7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.
(8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine.
(9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.
(11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.

(THAT'S IT)


George

PS: (Question about Anticollison light installation and operation)

Notice FAR 91.205 (11) above says your planes equip must include anti-collison lights even for DAY VFR plane! Agree? That means if you have them you need to run them, right? per 91.209 - Aircraft lights:

"No person may:

(a) [Par (a), 1, 2 (i, ii, iii) and 3; talks to night time operations]

(b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off."

I hate the wording but is says "lighted" anticollison lights. Which I read you must have anticollison lights on at all time if equiped with them, day or night. Par (a) does not apply.

I only mention it because I have seen some RV's with out collison lights installed. Also many folks don't run their collison lights during the day. Is that wrong?

jbDC9
04-17-2006, 05:49 PM
Minimum equip for Day VFR? Easy! A set of eyeballs, airspeed and altimeter! Maybe even a compass...

Last month I flew an old 7GCAA Citabria from Houston to Flint, MI... 900 miles with 3 WAC charts and my old Lowrance Airmap 100 GPS. The ship was quite basic, just a com and transponder. The last hour or so was night, so I switched on the T&B, just in case. Like George mentioned, night VFR can get interesting...

Just before sunset I got a bit concerned; it clouded up, was hazy, viz down to 4-5 miles or so. Scud running at night? No thanks! I seriously thought about parking it for the night... but the wx reports said it was clear ahead, so I pressed on for another 15 minutes or so, and what'cha know, it cleared up and the last hour was easy. If there'd been hills/mountains in the area, I'd have parked it, no question.

szicree
04-17-2006, 05:57 PM
(11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.

I only mention it because I have seen some RV's with out collison lights installed. Also many folks don't run their collison lights during the day. Is that wrong?

I was under the impression that no lights were required of experimentals during day operation. Section 11 doesn't apply to our non-certificated birds, right? :confused:

osxuser
04-17-2006, 07:09 PM
Just because the Anti-collision is installed doesn't mean it has to be on. Also A '69 Witman Tailwind I work on doesn't have any lights except nav... and those aren't hooked up.

RScott
04-17-2006, 07:13 PM
Depends on where you are. Coming back from Europe on a wide body, the pilot came on the intercom to announce that there was activity on the runway at Portland & we would be going around. At 2,000 ft, he swung around to the north, just outside Evergreen Airport's airspace, east to just outside Troutdale, then back to Portland.

Hmmm. I fly my no radio ragwing Interstate Cadet thru that air same space at 1,500-2,000 ft. to say outside the class C airspace and to avoid the bluffs of the Columbia River Gorge if I am going north. Would the pilot have been aware of my presence? If so, would he have gone higher to avoid giving me a wild ride in his wake turbulance? Maybe an electrical system with a transponder would be a good thing in this area.

Otherwise, I can read a sectional real well and eyeballs are all I need in this plane. In the RV, I expect navigation to get more serious because I could get lost a lot faster in it, so a compass (one that actually shows which way is north, unlike the one in the Interstate) and watch would be minimal additions.

drathbun
04-17-2006, 09:36 PM
This is what I've got so far (probably going to upgrade to IFR, but this works for now)
airspeed
altitude
tachometer (fixed pitch)
transponder
com radio
voltage
fuel pressure
fuel guages (left and right)
oil temperature
oil pressure
egt/cht (not really necessary but nice)
handheld GPS

jcoloccia
04-17-2006, 09:51 PM
Honestly, if I were only interested in VFR day, the only thing I'd really care about is Oil Pressure, Altimeter (always good to know how high you are) and a GPS. Everything else I'm perfectly happy doing with my ears, my eyes and my butt.

GPS is a new one on my list. I don't actually use it that much...I prefer pilotage and dead reckoning, mostly because I've always had a hard time with navigation so I like to practice as much as I can (some people can stick their finger in the air, and know where they are to the inch.....not me). Tell you what, though...unless I'm just burning holes in the sky in my own neighborhood, I won't leave home without the GPS anymore.

edit: duh...I left out a compass, radio and transponder...gotta have those, too

Robert M
04-17-2006, 09:56 PM
I personally would like to have all that is recommended in 91.205 at my disposal and I fully plan to have my aircraft night VFR ready, however, according to Joe Norris (1st ever Certified FAA EAA AB DAR), 91.205 pertains only to "Standard Airworthiness Certificates". Since this forum is for Rv's - we're talking Special Airworthines Certificates. Once again, according to Joe Norris, are you ready for this????? absolutely nothing in the way of instrumentation is required in an experimental aircraft for day VFR flight - not even a compass. I know this because the question came up at my EAA Chapter. I investigated and Joe Norris (EAA AB DAR) assured me that nothing had to be there.

Having said all that, airspace may dictate a Mode C transponder and radio. Common sense tells me - minimum - airspeed, altimeter, compass and a handheld. Also, 91.205 DOES pertain to Special Airworthiness when talking night VFR and IFR.