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Old 01-15-2015, 12:45 PM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,885
Default Personal IFR limits?

Yesterday, I needed to fly a 24 mile trip for some minor repairs and the destination showed 500' overcast and 6 miles visibility.

Even with my new Vizion/coupled for approaches, I didn't feel comfortable since I've only flown an approach with it once...that and my concern about was 38? F. A former Georgia governor did the same approach yesterday with his -7A, so I considered it but didn't go.

Where do you instrument-rated guys/gals draw the line?

Rv10 Sold
46 years ag pilot/CFI
Air Tractor 502/PT-6
Building RV-12, Wings, fuse, emp complete. FWF in progress.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:56 PM
colojo's Avatar
colojo colojo is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Sausalito, CA
Posts: 343

I think you made the right decision for all the reasons you mentioned. And, like you, I would never make what I think is a dicey flight just because someone else did it.
Joe Zuffoletto
RV-8 (flying)
Fullerton, CA (KFUL)
2021 dues paid!
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:04 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,173

Well, I'd depart as long as the destination was at or above approach minimums, BUT:
1. I want a solid gold alternate. 500' is below alternate minimums even for an ILS. What was the wx at the departure airport?
2. What was the forecast ( or better, pirep) temperature at the enroute MEA? If that was below freezing, where are the tops? If you encounter icing on departure is it easy and quick to return? In an emergency could you descend into vfr conditions and above freezing temps without hitting anything? These are some of the things I'd consider.
3. Autopilots are to relieve fatigue, not to let you abdicate piloting to a machine. For a 24 mile flight I might not even bother engaging it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:27 PM
enielsen enielsen is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 146
Default Sorry for my post but...

I'm not even near being IFR rated... yet I think it's an interesting topic so will bore you with my "limits".

I'm a non-current, less than 200hr pilot.

1. Will not even consider taking a non-pilot passenger until 500hrs and even that would have to be with recent PIC time.
2. If I ever do get my IFR ticket, it would be enroute IFR only. I just don't see myself ever maintaining IFR proficiency to LAND at minimums.
3. Phase 1 testing, I am not and will not ever be a test pilot. I will hire someone to do my initial phase 1 testing and maybe some of the more complicated test cards too.

Didn't mean to undermine your thread but I think your topic covers other limits too.

Based on your decision, I would feel comfortable flying with you and might even be able to take a short nap.
RV-x Planning stage
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:41 PM
MarkW's Avatar
MarkW MarkW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Edgewater, FL. KSFB
Posts: 1,142

I don't like to wear a hood so when the days are 500' I go flying to stay current. I will fly to minimums but must always have an out.
I also don't have a problem with 0-0 departure if I know it is a thin ground layer with at least 50' RVR. Not really a 0-0.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:47 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,563

I have completed three years of IFR flight after almost 30 years of VFR only. My minimums have gone up over the last three years. I am comfortable departing in less then ideal conditions if there is blue sky within one or two thousand feet. I am not really comfortable with an approach with less then 800 to 1000'.
I do not like flight in cumulous, convective, clouds.
Thus I do not get much actual IMC flight and I am ok with that.
What it has meant is that on long cross country flights I do not have to worry about that cloud in front of me as much as I used to. Do I go up, under, around? and if I do what will I find on the other side?
I really enjoy being in the system as the controllers really do hold your hand and look after a lot of the things I used to worry about, things like MOAs, restricted areas, TFRs etc. Of course I do not totally rely on them as sometimes I think that little slow planes tend to not get forgotten, but do not have the priority of the large carriers, and I am ok with that as well.
IFR flight has been very rewarding, frightening, enlightening, and most of all challenging.
Tom Martin RV1 pilot 4.6hours!
CPL & IFR rated
EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:57 PM
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DaleB DaleB is online now
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,280

Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
I also don't have a problem with 0-0 departure if I know it is a thin ground layer with at least 50' RVR. Not really a 0-0.
So pardon a newbie question from a low time, non instrument flyer. I gather you can depart under conditions well below approach minimums. What happens if you do that and have some problem that requires you to land immediately to sort out? Tough luck, hope you can make it somewhere else?

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RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:59 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,173

Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
I don't like to wear a hood so when the days are 500' I go flying to stay current.
Just remember that there's "current" as in legally curent per the FARs; and there's "really current".
Flying to 200' is twice as hard as going visual at 500' (e.g., the ILS needles are twice as sensitive).
When was the last time you initiated a miss at 200' agl (see above post)?
When was the last time you flew with partial panel or backup instruments?

IMHO the six approaches/holding/tracking is woefully inadequate.
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:09 PM's Avatar is offline
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Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 415
Default Depends on conditions around

Possible icing would make it a no-go, 500' would make it questionable. If there was good weather forcast near then I would, if all of Georgia was 500 or less, then I would stay on the ground.

Had a flight down to OPN one day (50 miles from my home airport LZU), clear as a bell at LZU, about 15 miles from OPN a low cloud deck formed. Called up approach and in-flight filed IFR. ATIS was reporting 200' overcast. Shot the ILS 3 times, going missed at minimums (hand flying, no autopilot in a C-182). Finally saw the rabbit on the third approach just at minimums. It was a fun chalange. But the whole time I knew there was plenty of good weather all around, and the tops were 1500', so I knew I had plenty of outs.

Don't think I would go for the 23 mile hop, with the expectation that I might have to go missed all the way to Florida or Alabama.
Bill Thomasson
RV-10 - Flying - Phase II. 99.8% done... it's never really done!
Suwanee, GA.
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:12 PM
HBpilot HBpilot is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 76

I do fly commercially and from my perspective, I would not consider anything without a plan B. For me taking off in low vis condition single engine or shooting an approach with less than 800-1000ft ceiling is like cheating death. Doesn't offer too many alternative if things go south.
If you don't have the practice of flying low vis approach, how much practice do you have landing an airplane with 200ft after an engine failure.
I would fly an approach if I had to, but would certainly not plan to do it.
I love flying, but the fun goes away quickly when I start to feel uncomfortable.
Just the opinion of a humble chicken
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