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View Poll Results: Do you use the IFR capability of your RV?
YES (file IFR) 236 72.84%
NO 88 27.16%
Voters: 324. You may not vote on this poll

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  #91  
Old 01-02-2021, 12:37 PM
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Chattin35 Chattin35 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 273
Default Flying IMC in GA aircraft is not smart.

A common theme you'll see in these threads is that professional pilots with tens of thousands of hours are typically the ones who hesitate to fly GA aircraft in IMC, while newer pilots are typically more eager/naive. There's nothing wrong with flying IFR, or shooting a few approaches to stay current. But, I just don't think it's very smart to fly in the weather in ANY single engine GA aircraft – especially without de-icing capability. If I end up in the actual weather in my -7, I feel like that would be a pretty decent screw-up on my part.

RV's are sport aircraft. If someone's life, or business, etc, depends on getting there on time, just buy an airline ticket.

Besides, flying VFR is just way more fun. VFR flight following gives you all the benefits of being on an IFR flight plan with way fewer restrictions if you need traffic advisories, SAR, etc.
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  #92  
Old 01-02-2021, 12:49 PM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chattin35 View Post
A common theme you'll see in these threads is that professional pilots with tens of thousands of hours are typically the ones who hesitate to fly GA aircraft in IMC, while newer pilots are typically more eager/naive. There's nothing wrong with flying IFR, or shooting a few approaches to stay current. But, I just don't think it's very smart to fly in the weather in ANY single engine GA aircraft – especially without de-icing capability. If I end up in the actual weather in my -7, I feel like that would be a pretty decent screw-up on my part.

RV's are sport aircraft. If someone's life, or business, etc, depends on getting there on time, just buy an airline ticket.

Besides, flying VFR is just way more fun. VFR flight following gives you all the benefits of being on an IFR flight plan with way fewer restrictions if you need traffic advisories, SAR, etc.
Couldn’t disagree more. You’re painting all of us non-pro pilots and all of the RV models with the same broad brush. IMO a proficient and current IFR pilot can safely file and fly IFR as long as they respect and understand their capabilities and limitations in both their ability and their equipment. Every x/c I fly is done IFR. I consider this much safer than VFR as it gives me more options and an extra sets of eyes looking out for me. YMMV....
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  #93  
Old 01-02-2021, 12:58 PM
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Chattin35 Chattin35 is offline
 
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Quote:
You’re painting all of us non-pro pilots and all of the RV models with the same broad brush.
It's not the pilot, it's the category of aircraft.

Less experienced pilots tend to MASSIVELY underestimate the risks of flying single engine w/no icing equip in IMC.

Can it be done? Yep. Is it legal? Yep. Is it smart? Nope.

Last edited by Chattin35 : 01-02-2021 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added last line.
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  #94  
Old 01-02-2021, 01:13 PM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chattin35 View Post
It's not the pilot, it's the category of aircraft.

Less experienced pilots tend to MASSIVELY underestimate the risks of flying single engine w/no icing equip in IMC.
.
Do you have data to back up that position? To be clear I’m not saying flying into known (not just forecast) icing in a non-FIKI aircraft is a good idea. I agree it’s a really bad idea. But icing is a variable not a constant and can be managed and risk minimized. Brought to zero, no, and in certain parts of the country during winter icing certainly makes IMC flight in non-FIKI aircraft all but impossible. Here in a Florida icing is not much of a factor so winter flying even in IMC isn’t bad. For me it’s the half a year where IMC typically means embedded t-storms that cancels more IFR flights at a specific time than anything else.
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Last edited by Auburntsts : 01-02-2021 at 01:23 PM.
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  #95  
Old 01-02-2021, 01:55 PM
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Gash Gash is offline
 
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Location: Goodyear, Arizona
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I believe in priming the interior and exterior surfaces of every single part of your airplane. And then you should prime all of your car parts and airport bicycle too.

...oh sorry, wrong thread.
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  #96  
Old 01-02-2021, 02:23 PM
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jrtens jrtens is offline
 
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Location: Utah
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I understand why pilots who have worked hard to get their instrument rating want to fly in IMC. It's challenging and rewarding when you do it right. Here's the thing though - in order to be proficient you need to be practicing instrument approaches every time you fly. Now if that is fun for you then go for it. After 42 years of IFR flying and a lot of IMC, I never want to see another instrument approach. So I like many others have decided not to stay instrument proficient. For us it's all about looking down at the beautiful earth on a sunny day.
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  #97  
Old 01-02-2021, 02:33 PM
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AX-O AX-O is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chattin35 View Post
It's not the pilot, it's the category of aircraft.

Less experienced pilots tend to MASSIVELY underestimate the risks of flying single engine w/no icing equip in IMC.
Can you please stop with this non-sense? This is not the reason i started this poll. If you want to talk about yourself and own experiences that is a different situation than generalizing all of us. I dont know you and you dont know me. But i can assure you risk is something i evaluate every time i go fly.

Please Knock off the thread drift. Thank you.
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  #98  
Old 01-02-2021, 02:48 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chattin35 View Post
It's not the pilot, it's the category of aircraft.

Less experienced pilots tend to MASSIVELY underestimate the risks of flying single engine w/no icing equip in IMC.

Can it be done? Yep. Is it legal? Yep. Is it smart? Nope.
Again, more generalizations. Please explain the icing risk in July, excluding trips to the North Pole.
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  #99  
Old 01-02-2021, 07:55 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 479
Default Risk Tolerance and Exposure

I'm going to agree with Chattin35, but with a caveat and explanation about risk and exposure.

A 20,000 hour airline pilot is used to flying a plane with with somewhere between 2 and 4 (sometimes 8) turbine engines. This means 4 or more gear driven generators driven by engines and an APU. Multiple batteries, TRUs, inverters, RATs, etc with complex and intelligent multi-bus electrical systems. Automatic fault detection, load distribution, load shedding, all that fancy stuff. Usually one or two electrical faults means consult the manuals, a bit of paperwork and go flying. The redundancy is incredible.

A 20,000 hour airline pilot will have also seen their fair share of electrical and other faults that made them change their underwear after landing (scared the $%&! outta them).

Having seen stuff go really wrong, even with a level of redundancy that isn't seen in 3 RVs combined, will make a pilot very risk adverse.

Is IFR flight in a small GA aircraft safe? Well that depends on the level of safety one desires. Any single engine GA aircraft won't have the level of safety legally required to transport 10 passengers. The reliability of alternators and batteries is relatively well understood. If one and a friend are comfortable blasting off IFR into the soup realizing that there's a 1:X chance of the electrical system biting the dust, then that's up to them. It's obviously much higher risk than a transport category aircraft, and that might be acceptable to the individuals. Most aviation authorities worldwide have decided that the single alternator, single battery setup in a Cessna 206 is acceptable risk for a pilot and 5 passengers flying IFR.

For my plane, it will be night VFR capable, it won't be flown IFR. I'm contemplating dual alternators and dual batteries feeding dual busses, and both sides isolated and independent. The idea is some one can "drop a wrench" and short out any one component of the electrical system, and at least one electrically dependent EI will continue running. Conversely, a wild volt spike can fry everything on one side, including the battery and the other side is unaffected. The reason for dual alternators is temperature. Even a big backup battery has minimal capacity at -40 OAT. With my climate, unless I want to park my plane from December to March, it had better be able to handle some real cold. Again back to my professional exposure, I've seen enough batteries bite the dust, that I'm not trusting my engine to a battery alone, especially given the cold climate.

Every conversation about icing in an RV boggles my mind. If the forecast or OAT encountered is +5*C or below, don't fly into any cloud. Wait till the weather is better or use a plane (as pilot or passenger) that is certified for known ice. That will mean cancelling a lot of trips because an RV is a VMC-only aircraft all winter. Note that I used the term VMC-only. Can certantly fly IFR on a beautiful blue skies day.
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  #100  
Old 01-02-2021, 08:26 PM
Captain Avgas Captain Avgas is offline
 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AX-O View Post
Can you please stop with this non-sense? This is not the reason i started this poll. If you want to talk about yourself and own experiences that is a different situation than generalizing all of us. I dont know you and you dont know me. But i can assure you risk is something i evaluate every time i go fly.

Please Knock off the thread drift. Thank you.
Hey Axel, I think you’re being way too harsh on Chattin35. He’s an ex-USAF pilot and his real world experience has presumably influenced his point of view (which he’s fully entitled to). As for “thread drift”..... what thread drift....its a thread about people using or not using IFR capability.
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