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  #11  
Old 09-08-2021, 08:13 AM
Dugaru's Avatar
Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
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These are great observations.

I also like to practice instrument procedures solo in VFR (and without a hood obviously!). Doing that helps make the buttonology second nature, and that's a big big help in IMC. Plus it's just sort of fun.

Agree completely that real IMC is THE training environment you want. My instrument instructor was adamant that we fly in actual as much as humanly possible.

I basically treat my -9A as an en route IFR machine, and set my destination and en route minimums accordingly. Flying only "gentleman's IFR" nevertheless adds a TON of utility to the aircraft as a traveling machine, and also just simplifies and destresses a lot of travel. But the challenge when flying that way is to stay capable of hand flying it right to minimums if the forecast and autopilot go to ****. So on an IPC or when practicing with a safety pilot I usually do one approach using automation, and then hand fly everything else.

Good idea, I'm going to practice go arounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Wischmeyer View Post
I tend not to fly much actual IFR -- the RV-9A rides "like a buckboard" in turbulence, I don't have the courage of my convections, I don't like to fly above ceilings less than 1,000 feet so that in case of engine failure, I'll have a screamin' chance of finding a soft place to land, etc.

BUT... Yesterday, I took a low time pilot on a short flight to get BBQ. On the way back, we had a 17 knot headwind down low, twice the wind we had going down, and and there was a broken layer at maybe 2,000 feet. Flying in a long patch of clear air, I first thought we could get above it at 3,500, then 5,500, but no. What to do? Ask approach for IFR at 5,000, and we were skimming the cloud tops and passing between clouds, all pretty cool stuff that I'd seen before.

On the descent, we were in and out of clouds before breaking out 20 miles from the airport. As far as "instrument practice" went, this IMC practice was about useless. But my young pilot friend put it into perspective -- he'd never skimmed cloud tops before, nor been in a cloud.

This got me to thinking. One necessary aspect of being comfortable in actual IMC is having been there before, and an IPC in VFR doesn't do that. However, popping in and out of clouds is better than nothing, even if it isn't the same as IMC for a prolonged period. But it is worth doing on an IPC.

On the recent trip from Georgia to Oshkosh and back, half the flight was IFR, most of that skimming cloud tops and popping in and out. But the last half hour was solid IMC, and the stress level in actual was low because of all the incidental IMC.

On another note, I regularly practice IFR procedures, even solo in VFR. This keeps me proficient with the glass cockpit, and with the autopilot flying, I can still watch for birds and traffic that doesn't show up on the ADS-B, like the C172 yesterday.

Practice, practice, practice. And practice the things you're not good at and don't like, or rarely do. I now regularly practice go arounds at minimums.
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2021, 08:16 AM
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Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
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Going to grab a safety pilot and fly a roll-my-own IPC as you suggest. I need to get down to SC, sounds like fun!

A friend who is a CFII and quite current in a Baron, TBM, etc., had a hard time hand flying the -9A in turbulence. Doing that while copying and inputting an amended clearance? Fuhgetaboutit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyinTiger View Post
Hand flying in IMC while managing required information single pilot seems like the most challenging for pilots who are rated, but still dependent on the autopilot in the RV series of aircraft.

Bring someone you trust. Hand fly the whole IPC list of required maneuvers under Blockalls or some other real vision restricting device, and have your safety pilot take notes on all the mistakes.

Plan for at least two hours in the air to get it all done, probably more like 2.5 hours.

Chairfly. Plan ahead. Update checklists to make them useful. Then use them.

Let me know if you want to come down with your RV to SC and do an IPC with me, I'd be glad to be your safety pilot or even help with all the above if needed. Get that LODA for your plane so you can legally do continuation training in your own aircraft. I'm finding that there are few instructors out there that are proficient flying instruments enough to fly a safe IPC in an RV themselves, let alone supervise another pilot doing one.
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