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PPL in IMC

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June 21, 2005 11:03:25 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
weather.

I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around him.

So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
he do?

Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
ticket?


Dallas

More about : ppl imc

Anonymous
June 21, 2005 11:03:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
news:1ZOte.7358$NX4.2094@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
> pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
> weather.
>
> I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
> sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around him.
>
> So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
> he do?
>
> Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
> ticket?
>
>
> Dallas
>
>

Seeing as continued flight into IMC is very high (if not the highest) on the
list of "Pilot Killers" this is a great question...

Rule #1 - Always get as complete a weather briefing as possible before
taking off (especially winds aloft...if they're really different than
briefed than chaces are the weather will be different too...)

Rule #2 - Stay aware of weather conditions as you proceed along your route
(Visually, via other traffic ahead on your route (listen...) FSS, ATC and
Flight Watch)

Rule #3 - If weather begins to deteriorate, formulate an alternate plan
(consider all alternatives then turn, climb, descend, etc...but do something
to avoid IMC !) BE AWARE OF RISING TERRAIN!!!

Rule #3a-Know how to make a standard rate 180 degree turn...this should be
your first move...simply turn around and GO BACK to VFR weather.

Rule #4 - If you can't avoid or get out of IMC, contact ATC immediately,
confess your situation (you can even declare an emergency*) and comply with
all ATC instructions...above all else...fly the plane.

Rule #4a-Get on the gagues RIGHT NOW and trust what they are telling you.
Do not trust what your body, eyes, inner ear, etc are telling you (avoid
spatial disorientation...)
(Addendum to Rule #4a - Get recurrent "Hood Work" so you know how to
interpret what your gagues are telling you...and how to make that 180 turn
via instruments.)

*There might be paperwork after the fact, but it's better than hitting
something.

Confess and Comply should keep you out of the doghouse, but you might have
some explaining to do. I've yet to see any weather that can't be avoided in
the most basic way and that's to NOT GO in the first place.

Jay Beckman
PP-ASEL
Chandler, AZ
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 11:03:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Jay wrote:

> *There might be paperwork after the fact, but it's better than hitting
> something.

Jay, repeat after me: "There will be absolutely no paperwork if I
declare an emergency (in the US). There will be absolutely no
paperwork if I declare an emergency. There will be absolutely no
paperwork if I declare an emergency."

http://www.avweb.com/news/columns/182683-1.html

(towards the bottom for one source that debunks this myth)

This myth is the aviation equivilant of the urban legend that "Mikey of
Life Cereal fame died when he attempted to eat Pop Rocks while drinking
a Pepsi." (a US urban legend from the late-1970s/early 1980s)

> I've yet to see any weather that can't be avoided in
> the most basic way and that's to NOT GO in the first place.

Hmmm... Arizona has how many IFR days per year? :-)

Unless a pilot is being *super, super* conservative by only flying on
CAVU days, there will be weather conditions in the Northeast US where
one could be VMC one minute, then IMC the next without the forecast so
much as hinting that it would happen. Think flying west, an 8
mile-visibility haze, a setting sun, and a benign stratus cloud layer.


--
Peter




--
Peter
Related resources
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 11:03:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

> So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
> he do?

Climb, confess, comply.

Immediately begin a climb to get away from terrain and man-made
obstacles, call ATC to declare an emergency immediately and confess
that you are a VFR pilot who just entered IMC, then comply with their
instructions.

The private pilot curriculum in the US requires 3 hours of instrument
training, as well as demonstrated instrument abilities on the
checkride, for the sole purpose of giving a non-instrument rated pilot
some level of comfort with the instruments.

If I were an instructor, I would make it part of my personal curriculum
to take a student pilot into the clouds (under my IFR flight plan) to
demonstrate what it is like inside a cloud. I recall coming out of my
PPL training thinking that if I fly into a cloud, I am immediately dead
(a completely false assumption to teach a student pilot). This added
some anxiety the first time I flew into a cloud for instrument
training.

> Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
> ticket?

No, not in the US.

--
Peter
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 11:03:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

> what does he do?

Oh, some other thoughts. If the aircraft has an autopilot, even if it
is just a wing leveler, the non-instrument pilot should engage it.
Let the AP turn the aircraft and keep it level while IMC. It has been
surmised that if John Kennedy, Jr. engaged his AP when he flew out over
the ocean, he would probably not have spiraled into the ocean.

Also, in the eastern US, there are very few places that do not have
radar coverage (radar outages and lower to the ground excluded). Thus,
as long as an aircraft has an operational transponder, it will not be a
hazard to other aircraft for very long, as ATC will vector IFR aircraft
around a VFR aircraft.

In the western US, there are many places that do not have radar
coverage and, honestly, I suppose a VFR aircraft in this airspace would
be a hazard in IMC.

--
Peter
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 2:29:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 07:03:25 GMT, "Dallas"
<Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote:

>I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
>pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
>weather.
>
>I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
>sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around him.
>
>So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
>he do?
>
>Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
>ticket?
>
>
>Dallas
>


Probably not necessary to pull the ticket of someone that is
deceased.

Bob
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 3:29:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Dallas,
That is a situation that kills a lot of VFR pilots. But there are some
things that a responsible VFR pilot can do. First of all, a pilot is
required to log a certain amount of time "under the hood" while taking
flight training. This "hood time" is also part of the flight test that an
FAA examiner gives a pilot during their final flight test while becoming
certified, even for VFR flight. This insures that a VFR pilot is at least
capable of controlling the aircraft while in IFR conditions. A part of that
hood time is also devoted to something called "recovery from unusual
attitudes". This helps a pilot learn to look at the instruments, and tell
what needs to be done to recover the aircraft without using outside visual
cues. Of course the obvious answer to your question is to never put yourself
in the position of becoming trapped in IFR conditions if you are only VFR
rated. But of course this is not a perfect world, and sometimes
circumstances happen that are out of a VFR pilots control. So what can a VFR
pilot do if they find themselves in IFR conditions? First of all, execute a
180-degree turn and try flying back into VFR conditions. If this is not
possible, then get on the radio and call for some help. You can use the
Center frequency, the Emergency frequency, the local FSS frequency, the
Flight Watch frequency, or if you are already in contact with ATC you can
advise them of your situation and ask for help. A pilot will never be
refused help from any of these agencies, because their number 1 priority is
the safety of the aircraft in their jurisdiction. A good pilot isn't going
to be worried about getting their ticket pulled, a good pilot is going to be
concerned with getting themselves, their passengers, and their aircraft down
safely. The hardest part for the pilot is to accept that you are in over
your head, and to confess that you need help.
Not all cases of VFR pilots who ask for help when stuck in IFR
conditions result in the pilot having his ticket pulled. As I said earlier,
sometimes things happen that are out of the pilots control. The only time
that a VFR pilot will have his license revoked (or suspended) is if the FAA
determines that the said pilot had demonstrated "willful disregard" for the
regulations and procedures that regulate VFR/IFR flight, or that they
knowingly violated said regulations and procedures.
Personally, I would rather lose my license but still be alive, rather
than try to continue into IFR conditions that I am not qualified for, not
seek any help, and wind up....dead.
Incidentally, a pilot isn't just "supposed to do his weather homework
before the flight". FAA regulations specifically REQUIRE a pilot to check
the weather at the point of departure, along the intended flight route, and
at the intended destination. If something bad happens during the flight, and
the FAA can prove that the pilot didn't check the weather prior to the
flight, then the FAA can suspend or revoke the pilots license. Hope this
helps...

Randy L.

"Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
news:1ZOte.7358$NX4.2094@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
> pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
> weather.
>
> I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
> sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around him.
>
> So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
> he do?
>
> Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
> ticket?
>
>
> Dallas
>
>
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 4:07:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Randy wrote:

> Incidentally, a pilot isn't just "supposed to do his weather homework
> before the flight". FAA regulations specifically REQUIRE a pilot to check
> the weather at the point of departure, along the intended flight route, and
> at the intended destination.

Good points, Randy.

One question: Sincerely I do not mean to put you on the spot, but do
you have the specific Part 91 US regulation that states this? The
only regulation that I could come up with is 91.103, which reads a bit
less restrictive than your quote:

(source, US FARs: http://makeashorterlink.com/?C11726D4B)

-------------- start quote --------------------------

§ 91.103 Preflight action.

Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar
with all available information concerning that flight. This information
must include-

(a) For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an
airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives
available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known
traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;

(b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the
following takeoff and landing distance information:

(1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft
Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required,
the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein; and

(2) For civil aircraft other than those specified in paragraph (b)(1)
of this section, other reliable information appropriate to the
aircraft, relating to aircraft performance under expected values of
airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and wind and
temperature.

------------- end quote -------------------


--
Peter
June 21, 2005 11:27:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Dallas wrote:

> I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
> pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
> weather.
>
> I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
> sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around him.
>
> So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what does
> he do?
>
> Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
> ticket?
>
>
> Dallas
>
>

Every one already explained what a pilot should do if he/she should find
him/her self in the clouds. But I have another amusing moment. A flight
of 6 OH-58 helicopters flying from the Hohenfels Training Area in
Germany back to Giebelstadt. A required part of yearly evaluations
includes unusual attitude recovery and flying the Inadvertent IMC
procedures which, at that time, required the pilot to immediately level
and as soon as the aircraft was level and under control, climb to the
altitude required in the procedure. When flying in formation there was
a briefed heading to turn to and different altitudes for each aircraft.

eg. Staggard right formation- lead acft continues straight ahead and
climb to the base altitude listed in the procedure.

2nd aircraft which is 45 degrees to the right rear of the lead will turn
20 degrees right and climb to base altitude plus 200 feet.

3d aircraft which is directly behind the lead and 45 degrees to the
right rear of the 2nd aircraft will turn left 20 degrees and climb to
the base altitude plus 200 feet.

So on and so on. The procedure will provide sufficient altitude and
airspace separation. After each aircraft is established on their
heading a call to flight following begins with the lead aircraft, then
the 2nd, then the 3d, and so on.

That was just a brief description of the procedure but on to the
humorous moment.

The visibility that day was briefed and legal for helicopters but all of
a sudden we all punched in. Usually that doesn't happen where all
aircraft go IMC at the same time. The lead aircraft usually disappears
and the following aircraft can land immediately before going into the
clouds.

Anyhoos, we all went IMC. I was the 6th aircraft (last one) and I was
single pilot with no doors. Finding and opening the approach plates
with all the wind blowing around the inside of the cockpit would be
difficult, so I decided I would turn right and descend. We were 200 ft
AGL so I knew I didn't have much room for error and luckily I broke out
as I was passing a church steeple. The humorous moment? In front of me
were two helicopters also descending in a right turn. And looking left,
there were 3 helicopters in a left turn and descending. Not one of us
actually flew the required procedure. Of course I was correct since I
had no possibility of flying the procedure single pilot with no
instrument approach plates I could use. That's my story and I'm
sticking to it. :) 

--

(Smiling) boB,
SAG 70

U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas - 5NM West of Gray Army Airfield (KGRK)
June 21, 2005 11:39:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

boB wrote:


> eg. Staggard right formation- lead acft continues straight ahead and
> climb to the base altitude listed in the procedure.
>
> 2nd aircraft which is 45 degrees to the right rear of the lead will turn ----------
> 20 degrees right and climb to base altitude plus 200 feet.
>
> 3d aircraft which is directly behind the lead and 45 degrees to the
> LEFT -----right rear of the 2nd aircraft will turn left 20 degrees and climb to
> the base altitude plus 200 feet.

The 3d aircraft is directly behind the lead and 45 degrees LEFT of the
2nd aircraft.

Sorry, I should have proof read it better....

--

(Smiling) boB,
SAG 70

U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas - 5NM West of Gray Army Airfield (KGRK)
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 12:29:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Peter,
FAR91.103 was what I was thinking of. But you are correct, it is for
"IFR flight". I interpreted the "or a flight not in the vicinity of an
airport" to mean VFR cross country flight also. But you are correct, it is
not nearly as restrictive as I had thought. It's been a while since I
studied my FAR's......

Randy L.

"Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1119380835.586575.291080@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
Randy wrote:

> Incidentally, a pilot isn't just "supposed to do his weather homework
> before the flight". FAA regulations specifically REQUIRE a pilot to check
> the weather at the point of departure, along the intended flight route,
> and
> at the intended destination.

Good points, Randy.

One question: Sincerely I do not mean to put you on the spot, but do
you have the specific Part 91 US regulation that states this? The
only regulation that I could come up with is 91.103, which reads a bit
less restrictive than your quote:

(source, US FARs: http://makeashorterlink.com/?C11726D4B)

-------------- start quote --------------------------

§ 91.103 Preflight action.

Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar
with all available information concerning that flight. This information
must include-

(a) For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an
airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives
available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known
traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;

(b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the
following takeoff and landing distance information:

(1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft
Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required,
the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein; and

(2) For civil aircraft other than those specified in paragraph (b)(1)
of this section, other reliable information appropriate to the
aircraft, relating to aircraft performance under expected values of
airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and wind and
temperature.

------------- end quote -------------------


--
Peter
June 22, 2005 9:32:32 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Randy L."
> required to log a certain amount of time "under the hood"

I confess I have never experienced the Spatial Disorientation of real life
IMC and I'm sure, wrongly assume that all my flight simulator time would
prepare me for that situation. Then I remember John-John's (Kennedy) story.

From the report:
"Within 100 days before the accident, the pilot had completed about 50
percent of a formal instrument training course."

"About 7 miles from the approaching shore, the airplane began a right turn.
The airplane stopped its descent at 2,200 feet, then climbed back to 2,600
feet and entered a left turn. While in the left turn, the airplane began
another descent that reached about 900 fpm. While still in the descent, the
airplane entered a right turn. During this turn, the airplane's rate of
descent and airspeed increased. The airplane's rate of descent eventually
exceeded 4,700 fpm, and the airplane struck the water in a nose-down
attitude."


Dallas
June 22, 2005 9:45:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Beech45Whiskey"
> confess that you are a VFR pilot who just entered IMC

The article:
http://www.cessna150-152.com/transatlantic.htm

Got me started on this thread. There is one line that leads me to believe
that this pilot had to bust through IMC conditions in Africa without any ATC
support.

"Leon was forced to descend to 700ft through a thick overcast to find that
the field was predictably unlit. "

Can I assume there are places in the world where there is no ATC help and
you just cross your fingers and hope you don't hit anything as you plow
through the clouds?

Dallas
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 10:06:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Dallas wrote:

> Can I assume there are places in the world where there is no ATC help and
> you just cross your fingers and hope you don't hit anything as you plow
> through the clouds?

Right here in the US, especially out west where the it is much higher
than the east coast 1,200 AGL ceiling, there is class G airspace. In
class G airspace, there are no ATC services (or radar) provided, so
each pilot (IFR and VFR) is solely responsible for terrain, obstacle,
and traffic avoidance. Given the very generous visibility and cloud
clearance requirements for VFR aircraft (down to 1 mile visibility and
simply clear of clouds), it would be reasonable to say that flying
through this airspace is sometimes an exercise in faith in the big sky
theory.

As far as other countries are concerned, I could only speculate.

--
Peter
June 22, 2005 11:28:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Dallas wrote:

> Can I assume there are places in the world where there is no ATC help and
> you just cross your fingers and hope you don't hit anything as you plow
> through the clouds?
>
> Dallas
>
>

Yes sir... Right here in Texas. Ferrying a UH-1 from Corpus to Ft Knox
we his bad weather and limped into the Huntsville airport after
following the main highway, passing right over town. We made the call
on UNICOM about landing and suddenly a pilot asked us what the
visibility was at the field. We told him, maybe 1/2 mile, he said "good
enuf'" As we were shutting the engine down a twin something came out of
the clouds straight down the runway, just as if he had flown it all his
life. I don't think he was in contact with anyone.

a footnote. Going into town on the main road we stopped at the first
motel we came to. The guy inside knew we were the helicopter that had
overflown the motel and we got into quite a discussion. The walls were
covered with Flying Tiger pictures, many of him beside a wicked looking
P-40???? Don't remember. That was 1976, I wonder if he's still there???
--

(Smiling) boB,
SAG 70

U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas - 5NM West of Gray Army Airfield (KGRK)
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 1:42:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
news:1ZOte.7358$NX4.2094@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
> pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
> weather.

I would seriously recommend you read "The Killing Zone - How and Why Pilots
Die" by Paul A. Craig. It examines VFR into IMC in great detail.

But the short answer is: you maintain airspeed and do a 180 until you leave
the conditions. In fact there really shouldn't be a "suddenly in IMC"
situation. It's not like you can't see cloud banks ahead of you. Perhaps a
more stealthy killer is flat water at night. (Think JFK Jnr.)

Most VFR pilots that get killed in IMC do so because they choose to continue
and try and reach their destination rather than diverting or returning when
they should.

Si
June 22, 2005 1:42:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Simon Robbins wrote:
In fact there really shouldn't be a "suddenly in IMC"
> situation. It's not like you can't see cloud banks ahead of you.
>
> Si
>
>

Si, I am impressed with what you know but the above statement needs an
answer I think. Even the most careful pilots among us can easily find
ourselves deep in zero vis. It's not quite as easy as just seeing the
cloud in front of you. In low vis conditions it's very difficult to see
anything but flying in legal low visibility it can suddenly go zero zero
with no warning. Even the most careful pilot can enter IMC, and should
have the inadvertent IMC procedures memorized AND do some hood training
every year. I believe I am a careful pilot. I know it doesn't seem so
when I remember those "humorous moments" but I check weather AND NOTAMs
for every leg of a flight. Or I should say, I DID check every leg back
when... But I have found myself in some situations despite being careful.

--

(Smiling) boB,
SAG 70

U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas - 5NM West of Gray Army Airfield (KGRK)
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 1:46:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Randy L." <rlink@cableone.net> wrote in message
news:11bgjk4siu2ssc8@corp.supernews.com...
> Incidentally, a pilot isn't just "supposed to do his weather homework
> before the flight". FAA regulations specifically REQUIRE a pilot to check
> the weather at the point of departure, along the intended flight route,
and
> at the intended destination. If something bad happens during the flight,
and
> the FAA can prove that the pilot didn't check the weather prior to the
> flight, then the FAA can suspend or revoke the pilots license. Hope this
> helps...

Even that can't guarantee clear conditions. It is afterall a weather
"forecast" and as such somebody's educated guess as to what the conditions
will be for the next few hours. And it doesn't take into account transient
conditions on route between reporting stations. Lakes, marshes, estuaries,
etc. can all cause the formation of fog or low-level cloud in the right
conditions that might suddenly find a pilot loosing visibility of the
ground.

Si
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 1:53:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
news:QJ6ue.7724$NX4.7000@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> I confess I have never experienced the Spatial Disorientation of real life
> IMC and I'm sure, wrongly assume that all my flight simulator time would
> prepare me for that situation. Then I remember John-John's (Kennedy)
story.

There's a detailed analysis of his accident in the book I mentioned in
another post. ("The Killing Zone".) The whole analysis of spacial
disorientation I found fascinating, and I agree: You think flying
simulators teaches you about instrument flight. Well, it might do, but it
doesn't teach you about your senses lying to you, and you brain literally
flipping out over conflicting sensual inputs and clouding your judgement
with nausea.

I've been trying to design some tests to try and simulate deceptive senses.
Firstly I tried to fly a 30 mile trip on FS2004 if complete fog, and did ok.
Then I put the PC next to my bed, turned the monitor on it's side, lay down
and tried to fly in that position - a lot harder. If I could find a way of
mounting the whole PC and monitor on a swivel chair I'd try and do the whole
flight while rotating round. I'd bet I wouldn't last two minutes!

Spacial disorientation is one of those things that is difficult to imagine,
and there seems to be a reluctance for inexperienced pilots to try and
explain to their passengers why they have to turn around and head back
rather than proceed into cloud. This reluctance often gets everybody
killed.

Regards,

Si
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 6:18:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Simon wrote:

> In fact there really shouldn't be a "suddenly in IMC" situation.

I disagree based on my own experience. As I pointed out to Jay earlier
in this thread, there are weather conditions in the east coast US that
can and do result in "suddenly in IMC".

Haze in the Northeast US can be insidious. It can be reported at all
airport METARS and TAFs as 8 miles visibility, but anyone who has flown
westward into a setting sun with 8 mile haze knows that the forward
visibility temporarily is more like one mile or less, thanks to the
sunlight refracting through a thicker layer of haze relative to the
pilot's viewpoint. Look eastward and you see 8 miles. Look west and
it is one mile.

One day two years ago I flew someone from Syracuse, NY, down to the
Hudson River VFR corridor for a scenic flight along Manhattan (NY City)
and the Hudson River. The haze in central NY was reported at about 7
miles or so, but closer to NYC it lifted to about 10 miles. There were
only scattered stratus clouds with no real overcast at any point along
the route.

Returning from this trip north westward, the sun was low in the horizon
and forward visibility was down much lower than the METAR-reported 7
miles. I was instrument rated and current, but I had opted to return
home VFR and was operating with VFR flight following. With the
autopilot engaged, I was scanning for other aircraft as best I could.
Sunset turned to twilight and nightfall was setting in. At one point
my scan shifted from forward (where there was no real discernible
horizon, thanks to the haze and nightfall) to downward when suddenly,
the ground completely disappeared.

I looked back up, but my forward picture had not really changed all
that much. Back down I looked. No ground whatsoever. Then it hit me:
We had just flown into one of the scattered stratus clouds that
happened to be in the way.

I immediately called ATC, informed them that I had just flown into a
haze-obscured cloud and needed an IFR pop-up clearance. Fortunately,
the ATC facility (Binghamton, NY, which is a sleepy radar facility
overlaying a class D airport in south central NY) was quiet and the
controller quickly issued me an IFR clearance to my destination, then
assigned an IFR cruise altitude for me to climb to.

A total non-event, but it still served as a great experience for me. I
had just flown into a cloud and never saw it coming.

--
Peter
June 22, 2005 8:33:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

Good reply Randy.

I remember quite well doing my time under the hood and my instructor telling
me the purpose of getting IFR rated is to save your life and not to go fly
into it...I had a close call once (VFR rated) and the 180 saved me and gave
me time to wait out the weather at an alternate airport.

Bill


"Randy L." <rlink@cableone.net> wrote in message
news:11bgjk4siu2ssc8@corp.supernews.com...
> Dallas,
> That is a situation that kills a lot of VFR pilots. But there are some
> things that a responsible VFR pilot can do. First of all, a pilot is
> required to log a certain amount of time "under the hood" while taking
> flight training. This "hood time" is also part of the flight test that an
> FAA examiner gives a pilot during their final flight test while becoming
> certified, even for VFR flight. This insures that a VFR pilot is at least
> capable of controlling the aircraft while in IFR conditions. A part of
> that hood time is also devoted to something called "recovery from unusual
> attitudes". This helps a pilot learn to look at the instruments, and tell
> what needs to be done to recover the aircraft without using outside visual
> cues. Of course the obvious answer to your question is to never put
> yourself in the position of becoming trapped in IFR conditions if you are
> only VFR rated. But of course this is not a perfect world, and sometimes
> circumstances happen that are out of a VFR pilots control. So what can a
> VFR pilot do if they find themselves in IFR conditions? First of all,
> execute a 180-degree turn and try flying back into VFR conditions. If this
> is not possible, then get on the radio and call for some help. You can use
> the Center frequency, the Emergency frequency, the local FSS frequency,
> the Flight Watch frequency, or if you are already in contact with ATC you
> can advise them of your situation and ask for help. A pilot will never be
> refused help from any of these agencies, because their number 1 priority
> is the safety of the aircraft in their jurisdiction. A good pilot isn't
> going to be worried about getting their ticket pulled, a good pilot is
> going to be concerned with getting themselves, their passengers, and their
> aircraft down safely. The hardest part for the pilot is to accept that you
> are in over your head, and to confess that you need help.
> Not all cases of VFR pilots who ask for help when stuck in IFR
> conditions result in the pilot having his ticket pulled. As I said
> earlier, sometimes things happen that are out of the pilots control. The
> only time that a VFR pilot will have his license revoked (or suspended) is
> if the FAA determines that the said pilot had demonstrated "willful
> disregard" for the regulations and procedures that regulate VFR/IFR
> flight, or that they knowingly violated said regulations and procedures.
> Personally, I would rather lose my license but still be alive, rather
> than try to continue into IFR conditions that I am not qualified for, not
> seek any help, and wind up....dead.
> Incidentally, a pilot isn't just "supposed to do his weather homework
> before the flight". FAA regulations specifically REQUIRE a pilot to check
> the weather at the point of departure, along the intended flight route,
> and at the intended destination. If something bad happens during the
> flight, and the FAA can prove that the pilot didn't check the weather
> prior to the flight, then the FAA can suspend or revoke the pilots
> license. Hope this helps...
>
> Randy L.
>
> "Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
> news:1ZOte.7358$NX4.2094@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>> I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument rated
>> pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
>> weather.
>>
>> I know he's supposed to do his weather homework before the flight, but
>> sometimes God has other plans for the weather and it closes in around
>> him.
>>
>> So, now he's IMC and really a hazard to everything in the sky... what
>> does
>> he do?
>>
>> Question 2: After it's all over and he's on the ground do they pull his
>> ticket?
>>
>>
>> Dallas
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
June 24, 2005 3:01:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

"Simon Robbins" <simon@NOSPAMsjrobbins.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D 9b89b$ll6$1$8302bc10@news.demon.co.uk...
> "Dallas" <Cybnorm@spam_me_not.Hotmail.Com> wrote in message
> news:1ZOte.7358$NX4.2094@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> > I've often wonder what happens in real life when the non-instrument
rated
> > pilot making a cross country VFR flight suddenly finds himself in IFR
> > weather.
>
> I would seriously recommend you read "The Killing Zone - How and Why
Pilots
> Die" by Paul A. Craig. It examines VFR into IMC in great detail.
>
> But the short answer is: you maintain airspeed and do a 180 until you
leave
> the conditions. In fact there really shouldn't be a "suddenly in IMC"
> situation. It's not like you can't see cloud banks ahead of you. Perhaps
a
> more stealthy killer is flat water at night. (Think JFK Jnr.)

Years ago, while flying at night near Valdosta, Georgia, all the lights
on the ground went out. I wondered about the power failure for maybe 30
seconds, when a realization hit me -- was I in a cloud? I turned on the
landing light and everything was white! Fortunately, I was "approximately
50 percent through an instrument rating" (uh-oh, sound familiar?) and I was
able to do a 180 and get clear.

So perhaps you CAN be "suddenly in IMC" with no warning. It was a dark
night, and I had no indication of a cloud in front of me. But it was
certainly frightening!

--
Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA
!