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Old 09-15-2020, 04:17 AM
flysrv10 flysrv10 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 295

Originally Posted by airguy View Post
Can't shoot an ILS that way - what would you do when the GPS loses lock?

With something as mission-critical as an IFR approach, I can't figure out for the life of me why people continuously try to find the cheapest, most ill-equipped way to get there.
Here is perhaps an opposing view. Not mine.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:44 AM
Sam I Am Sam I Am is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Amarillo, TX
Posts: 43
Default IFR Minimum Equipment

This has been a good thread and appreciate the opinions expressed. I use my 9A as a commuter and have logged 150 flights from the Texas panhandle to eastern Kansas over the last couple of years. All flights were flown VFR. I will upgrade my panel soon to IFR. My expectations are to be able to punch through the clouds on one end or the other if needed but will not fly hard core IFR for the whole mission. I do not believe the RV line of planes are designed for this mission. Without deicing equipment, why take the chance? airguy jabs about cheap ill-equipped IFR aircraft in one breath then gives examples of poor decision making leading to icing in one instance and low minimums in the other. No thank you!

I understand that FAA is removing VORs and expanding GPS. If this is true, why invest in a buggy when the Model A has arrived? I prefer my ball bearing ******* to a horse. I love the convenience of rolling into the barn, turning it off, and walking away. There are many that continue to use a horse for all sorts of reasons and that is great but don't look down on me because I choose to wear comfortable shoes and shorts. My home airport does not have an ILS approach but does have a GPS approach. Should I just not invest in IFR equipment because of this? Can I be safe without ILS? I believe the answer is No and Yes. On several flights, I have had to land somewhere else because of clouds and a vfr equipped aircraft. I don't care how good my instrumentation is, I'm unlikely to attempt to land with 200' minimums and an icing problem...I don't care how good I expect the breakfast to be. IFR will widen my mission but I will still have to make good piloting decisions.

Sure, I could spend $25,000 to $30,000 for the new panel that includes VHF nav, but is it really going to make me safer than spending $10,000 to $12,000 for a nice waas setup? Money does matter for many of us. It came hard and I squeak as it goes out! Please let me know your thoughts.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:03 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 5,760

Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
I don't care how good my instrumentation is, I'm unlikely to attempt to land with 200' minimums
Once you start flying IFR, how can you assure that you will have this choice before running out of gas. Wx changes.

Yes, you can eliminate the risk. No sense getting the IFR ticket though if you minimums are close to MVFR. If you are willing to fly through 800 OVC, then you better be prepared for the possibility that you may need to shoot an approach to 200.

You can find inexpensive VHF receivers for around $2K. Some even include the CDI. If money is tight, drop the need for high end brand name stuff and learn to wire it up yourself.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 09-15-2020 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:36 AM
Foghorn's Avatar
Foghorn Foghorn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 176

Very well said Sam!

Just because your RV has a cockpit like a 777 doesn’t mean it has those capabilities. Safety is paramount when flying IFR. Most IFR pilots have some form of in cockpit weather. Monitor it constantly for changing conditions and divert if it goes below your minimums. You shouldn’t be surprised that visibility or ceilings are suddenly lower than expected. Don’t assume that having VHF NAV is going to always save you. Someday you might come up short. These aircraft are awesome but they are light, single engine, piston aircraft. I would suggest everyone set realistic person minimums for flight.

Here are my personal limits for GA flight.
1000/3 is my IFR WX limit. Departure/enroute/arrival. At my planned takeoff time.
Never takeoff from an airport you can’t immediately return to and land.
Always have an exit plan or plan B, C, D, etc
Never takeoff in the dark.
If I have to be someplace I take the airlines.

Be safe out there!
Jeff Parker
RV8 Fastback - Building (N767TS)
C195 - Flying (N4469C)
2020 dues paid

Last edited by Foghorn : 09-15-2020 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:58 AM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,313

Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
Without deicing equipment, why take the chance? airguy jabs about cheap ill-equipped IFR aircraft in one breath then gives examples of poor decision making leading to icing in one instance and low minimums in the other. No thank you!
Originally Posted by lr172 View Post
Once you start flying IFR, how can you assure that you will have this choice before running out of gas. Wx changes.

Which was kinda my point about the ice on the airplane - it was not forecast and I didn't go into it intentionally - but weather changes and forecasts are frequently wrong. Ignoring facts won't make them go away.

To each their own. Fly safe.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 750 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 09-15-2020 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:38 AM
506DC 506DC is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 41

Originally Posted by flysrv10 View Post
Here is perhaps an opposing view. Not mine.
Not sure why this is an opposing view but this is a great video. He pretty much covers all aspects of equipping your aircraft for IFR. One thing is for sure, flying IFR varies depending on the region your flying in and what equipment you may require. Even though you cant legally fly IFR in some circumstances, being current and comfortable with your equipment makes you a much better and safer pilot. I am sure people who unintentionally fly VFR into IFR and subsequently killing themselves were never really comfortable flying on instruments.

Fly often, keep current and practice flying on the instruments regardless of how your airplane is equipped is my recommendation.

RV-4 Fastback completed in 1997
Transition training
Taildragger instructor
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:36 AM
NewbRVator NewbRVator is offline
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 261

One of the issues with my RV is it is twitchy. It was designed to have a fast roll rate and be slippery. Turbulence is tricky especially night IFR turbulence.

Itís always a matter of degree. If you have a choice between a truck like stable plane with high altitude and anti-icing capability you would certainly choose that over an RV in hard IFR. I think the point is Weather is marginally predictable.

Thatís why having radios and gps is nice because just like the weather equipment function is not 100% reliable.
20 dues paid member since 2018
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:46 PM
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pjc pjc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 183

I am neither IFR equipped or competent (never mind rated). I am however squeaky cheap, so I have some standing in this conversation 😀.

With that preamble, I vote the post below among the top 10 wisdoms to be found on VAF.

FWIW: My opinion is that once in VMC you might as well expect it to *not* get any better when or where you hope/want/expect/forecast it to. Equipment, competency, currency, information, fuel and alternates are your friends. Horde them.


Originally Posted by scard View Post
Yep, like that. Every instrument pilot I know (at least 2 in my household) loads every radio and nav solution with at least something. Sure, we're going to fly the LPV with the easy button, but... Going into a bigger airport, it will probably be a lot easier and quicker to get vectors onto the ILS (what they're probably going to prefer), hey, there is a VOR approach here. Might as well have that loaded up. Load it every which way you can. I've just recently started adding the onboard consumer devices (foreflight) to that mix. I'm not comfortable calling the consumer device in my pocket a proper navigation solution. But there was a day in the west Texas desert a decade or so ago that it would have been very handy in a 172RG.

I know good friends that fly VFR without any VHF nav at all, but I certainly can't imagine it IFR today. We come off of our uncontrolled field often enough with no option to return, but we're right under the 250' LPV to the airport 7mi away. If that doesn't work, it is direct the ILS at the local class C.

I guess geography and expectations factor in. Geography is pretty static if you're in a cub, but expectations change all the time. Oh, and I think there was a time that I might have uttered the words "light IFR", but I claim to not remember them. As my "wisdom" fills in, there have been enough times that we show up to nowhere near as expected weather. As the skills and equipment application meter passes 75%, the "light ifr" conversations go off in your head like a big master caution warning light.

In our household, single pilot IFR in the RV is pretty much, "there might be a cloud between here and there. The front is right over there with the clear line behind... IFR flight." "Ok, have fun hunny." Otherwise, neither of us is launching into it without the SIC onboard.

I suspect not too many people know the experience of sitting on the porch watching the airplane you built in the garage disappear into the clouds on climbout with the most important part of your existence in command. OR, sitting on the ramp at the closest airport with an ILS, and see your airplane with the same come into view with wigwags flashing on a really crappy day, just sliding down that VHF like there is nothing to see here. The occupants popping out happy, "That was a hoot, the easiest approach ever, it was only like 200' thick!" "Where are we going for lunch!?" (heart pounding, ****, that looked very ugly down here.)

I digress. Install a VHF nav radio if you have any intent of flying IFR.
Vans RV6 flying
SZD 48-2 sold
2018, 19, 20 Dues paid
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:47 PM
sloengineer sloengineer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Small Town, Alabama
Posts: 51
Default I love the VAF forum!

Hello there, OP here. This is why I like this forum. I really enjoy seeing such healthy discussion. It shows passionate people and relevant topics. Since this drifted slightly into a VHF or not discussion, I thought I'd give my single data point opinion on that subject.

I am perfectly happy to fly my missions in my area without VHF. Perhaps it's a matter of semantics, but my "light IFR" means I was out on a VFR flight and then there was a broken cloud layer to go through. Words like scattered and broken are light IFR to me. Words like overcast and low single digit visibility keep me grounded. I fly regionally for pleasure and not cross country for travel.

To that end, the GNX375 is an enhancement to my primarily VFR mission. If and when my mission profile ever changed to cross country and there might be the notion of a scheduled departure or arrival, then I'd add a mounted VHF for backup.

To the network reliability discussion, I will provide my personal experience, again as a single data point. I fly in the south east. Every airport to which I have flown in recent years has multiple RNAV approaches. A few have ILS, but the ILS systems are costly to install, certify, and maintain. So it's common here to have only one out of the multiple approaches available be a an ILS or VOR. I have never personally had a GPS outage, but I know they happen. I am, however, regularly plagued with "glideslope unavailable" or "ILS out of service" NOTAMs due to maintenance or repair problems.

At the end of the day, prudent aeronautical decision making is the foundation of safe flight. Weather, equipment, and pilot proficiency are three critical components of that decision making process. A realistic evaluation of these three components, and sufficient safety margin on each will lead to a safe flight. Overconfidence in any one of the three, or elimination of safety margin in one can lead to trouble.
RV-14A - Empennage 10% - N344PD reserved

Dues paid July 2020
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:21 PM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 481
Default GPS Failure

About a month ago, I had the screen on the GPS go blank. It still displayed information on the HSI, but without the GPS screen, there was no way to tell what the HSI information meant.

Luckily, there was a second GPS and a second HSI in the plane that displayed everything needed!

Earlier in the thread, there was discussion of VFR vs IFR. An IFR pilot is on top of the weather and oblivious to all the nuances, varying ceilings, varying visibility under the layer. The IFR pilot shoots the approach to get a "snapshot" at a small area in hopes that the weather is good enough to see the runway. Long before a VFR pilot gets into 500' 2sm, they will have seen it coming as the ceilings and visibility slowly deteriorated and the pilot will hopefully divert. That sort of thing you simply can't see from the blue skies above the clouds. Weather is much easier to read when seeing the bottom of the clouds vs looking at the tops and trying to imagine the bottom.
Empennage Passed Pre-close Inspection
Wings mostly done
Fuselage started
Dash 8 day job is financing the RV-8
Donation till September 2021
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