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Old 09-12-2016, 03:05 PM
Paris12Man's Avatar
Paris12Man Paris12Man is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 268
Default Unexpected IFR

I wanted to share my experience which happened this morning about 400' AGL right after T/O.

This morning was beautiful and a good day to go flying in N.E. Texas. The reported weather at Paris/Cox airport was Clear, Visibility 10+, Temp and Dew Point were two degrees apart. Fog crossed my mind, but I had plenty of gas in case something changed and fog showed up at my home airport.

My airplane is hangered and I had the oil heater on during the night to reduce the amount of time for engine warm up. Prior to T/O, the aircraft was outside in the elements about 10/15 minutes before takeoff. The engine run-up was normal and checklist was completed without issue. Therefore I began the T/O roll.

I was turning cross-wind when I noticed the canopy to begin to fog up. I always have a clean rag with me and I causally reached for it. I also opened up the outside vent on the pilots side. Forward visibility now was 100% gone! I still had some side visibility though. I immediately finished trimming the aircraft for climb then wiped my rag on the inside of the canopy and I expected the fogged up window to clear my amazement, the fogging was on the outside!

Now my altitude was about 600 AGL I headed in the general direction for Paris/Cox airport (much bigger airport than my home field just in case) and only about 2 miles away. I past 1000 AGL and the fogging effect cleared up as quickly as it appeared. I continued on my short flight plan and made several landings and T/Os in the local area without any issues.

I've been flying a pretty long time but I've never had that happen to me before. I guess it was the temp of my canopy and dew point temp but not sure. Just wanted to share and let everyone know to be prepared for the unexpected.
Steve Garrett - 903-272-5639,
N905RV - 520 hrs to date
Home field XS30

Last edited by Paris12Man : 09-12-2016 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:09 PM
charger81 charger81 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 255
Default Pucker Factor

Wow, now that's scary!
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:14 PM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,512

the best thing a GA pilot can do is get an IFR rating in my opinion.
Steve Melton
Cincinnati, OH
RV-9A, Tip-up, Superior O-320, roller lifters, 160HP, WW 200RV, dual impulse slick mags, oil pressure = 65 psi, EGT = 1300F, flight hours = 900+ for all

Simplicity is the art in design.
I was born an airplane nut. I have no explanation for it.
My Artwork is freely given and published and cannot be patented.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:21 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,122

Originally Posted by Paris12Man View Post
Forward visibility now was 100% gone!
Yikes! You did good to keep your cool and fly the airplane. I've never had my canopy fog up (or ice over), but I worry about it. I guess I need to run a cabin heat duct up through my glareshield.
(2020 dues paid)
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:01 PM
funflying funflying is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 502
Default Good jod

Keeping your cool!

I had a similar incident but I was still on the ground and could just shut down.
I was in Missouri on a visit and had parked overnight in a covered structure. It was cool and humid that early morning. I started my RV6 and within minutes the canopy completely fogged over. I shut down and wiped off the canopy. I then waited about an hour for the ambient temp to warmup some and tried again. No issues, none that day, or ever again.

I live in Colorado and in the winter sometimes I get a little fogging initially but once I'm going the little bit there disappears.
Patrick Claar
Arvada, CO BJC
RV12, #401, Flying 2013, N612PC
RV6, 1996-2010 sold
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:25 PM
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walldan walldan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Spencer, Wisconsin
Posts: 94

In the fall when we have cold nights this happens to my truck when I drive to work.
Mechanical Engineer
Student Pilot
RV-9/14- Collecting Tools

Volunteer Firefighter/EMT
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:31 PM
kamikaze kamikaze is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 353

Condensation appears on the outside after take-off??

I see it all the time in the morning after a chilly evening in the fall, but never as you're climbing ...

Some sort of inversion layer?
Sling 4 empennage kit on order!
Future EAA 245 Member (Hopefully)
Current Piper Warrior PA-28-151 Owner/Pilot
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:27 PM
SuperDave SuperDave is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Brandon, FL
Posts: 69
Default Me too

I had it happen in the winter in Florida. Everything fogged over at less than 500 feet AGL and finally cleared at 1500'. This was in a glorified ultralight with no AI or even a compass, just had to hold everything steady and wait and wait and wait...
The thought that went through my mind was, "This is how people get killed".
I've been leery of that situation ever since. Lots of moisture down low and an inversion as I recall.

Last edited by SuperDave : 09-13-2016 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:28 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,161

That must have been a surprise! Just proves that altitude is your friend. .. It should clear the canopy and if it doesn't at least there is left stuff to run into the higher you go.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:43 AM
Bob'sRV6A Bob'sRV6A is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
Posts: 227
Default 1969 over DaNang Vietnam

It was a hot sticky night, I was flying copilot in a Marine H46. We were tooling around, single bird and decided to climb to 10,000 feet to cool off (10K is max altitude for a Marine Corp Helo without parachutes--I had never been that high in one). We did really cool off and enjoyed the city lights for a few minutes, then decided to auto rotate all the way down--maybe 2500 fpm descent or so. At some point, maybe 5 or 6 K, the wind screen fogged up completely. We were surprised and IFR all at the same time. Amazing what a cooled windscreen will do when subjected to a hot humid atmosphere.
Bob Marshall
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