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  #71  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:17 PM
Rob Erdos's Avatar
Rob Erdos Rob Erdos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 108
Default Supplementary IFR Limitations

Folks,

This is an interesting thread. I concur with the sentiment that establishing personal limits is a critical part of the decision-making apparatus. When I ask a pilot about his crosswind limits in a particular airplane, I always feel more confident when he states a specific number than an ambiguous answer that includes "it depends". Judgement can be malleable. Limits aren't.

I'm in the process of obtaining Canadian approval for IFR in my RV-6. I propose to write the following in my Flight Manual [the rationale is in brackets]:

1. No dispatch with an unserviceable autopilot [I can hand-fly. I have to prove it during every check ride. Still, let's not plan on it.];
2. Takeoffs with below 500 foot ceilings must have a takeoff alternate within 20 minutes [If a contingency arises on takeoff, a 500 foot ceiling is sufficient for a modified circuit and landing. Otherwise, if something bad happens immediately after takeoff, even an approach at the departure airport would require about 20 minutes, so any "landable" airport in the vicinity is sufficient. Even so, no, I don't intend on zero-zero departures!];
3. No flight within 2000 feet of the forecast freezing level or below 2 degrees C in visible moisture [Ice is bad. Very bad.];
4. No night IFR operations [To provide at least some engine failure options];
5. Enroute weather shall not be less than 500 feet and 1 mile [Again, in the interest of preserving engine failure options].

Opinions?
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  #72  
Old 12-16-2015, 03:49 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
 
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Location: SF East Bay
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Default

Out of curiosity, how do you plan on proving/complying with #5?
Think about this. You plan a flight from A to B and there are no Wx reporting stations between.
Just make sure however you write your limits that you can actually do it.
Would hate to see somebody paint themselves into a corner by imposing a limitation that sounds good on paper but in the real world is not workable.
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  #73  
Old 07-17-2017, 12:07 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,541
Default Sometimes light IFR can surprise

Searched for a thread to tag this onto rather than a new one. Kinda' relates to the personal limits discussed here.

Took off IFR from KAVL Asheville in a thin broken dissipating fog this morning. Current and forecast weather at destination KBUY Burlington was VFR. When I was handed over to KGSO Greensboro (about 20 min out) they said expect visual approach which agreed with the automated weather from KBUY. Well... Everybody missed. Flew over KBUY for a look but it was socked in solid below me. I wound up shooting a GPS approach all the way to minimums.

It happens.
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Last edited by rzbill : 07-17-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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  #74  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:31 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 570
Default Flew 5 practice approaches in my 6A today in IFR

This thread is really good for sharing IFR experience. Brad said he flies practice approaches in actual IFR in his 6A if it's allowed by his personal minimums.

My personal minimums are higher than his, so, it's taken a long time for the stars to align, but I did it today.

I needed 6 approaches and a hold, and me and the plane were ready. It was low IFR this morning, with a VFR legal alternate within about 100 miles. By 2pm the ceiling had lifted to about 1000'. It was a solid overcast. This seemed like conditions I could safely deal with so I filed "local IFR" at BTR and set out.

When I took off it was about 3pm, and the sky seemed to be clearing. I was actually afraid that I might not be able to log the approaches, but by the time I got "on top" I saw no holes in the overcast. I hand flew 3 ILS's while I was fresh and then let the autopilot and 400W take over.

After the forth approach, I noticed I was breaking out at about 500', and the light was dimming surprisingly fast. I began to get that feeling you've heard about. You know, "I wish I was down there and not up here." So, I informed approach that I'd be landing after the 5th approach.

By the time I got back below that layer, the runway lights were on, and I think I could have legitimately logged a night landing.

I'd have been a lot safer taking off at noon even though the ceiling was a little lower then. Departing late in the day in late fall just doesn't leave enough daylight for going to an alternate if you have to.

That's the point of my newly added minimum requirement. "Have enough daylight to get to the alternate and make an approach and landing."

John
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  #75  
Old 11-12-2018, 07:23 AM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 771
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Erdos View Post
Folks,

This is an interesting thread. I concur with the sentiment that establishing personal limits is a critical part of the decision-making apparatus.

1. No dispatch with an unserviceable autopilot [I can hand-fly. I have to prove it during every check ride. Still, let's not plan on it.];
2. Takeoffs with below 500 foot ceilings must have a takeoff alternate within 20 minutes [If a contingency arises on takeoff, a 500 foot ceiling is sufficient for a modified circuit and landing. Otherwise, if something bad happens immediately after takeoff, even an approach at the departure airport would require about 20 minutes, so any "landable" airport in the vicinity is sufficient. Even so, no, I don't intend on zero-zero departures!];
3. No flight within 2000 feet of the forecast freezing level or below 2 degrees C in visible moisture [Ice is bad. Very bad.];
4. No night IFR operations [To provide at least some engine failure options];
5. Enroute weather shall not be less than 500 feet and 1 mile [Again, in the interest of preserving engine failure options].

Opinions?
I very much agree with Rob's basic tenets. Other factors to add in:
* Cumulus clouds give a very rough ride in the RV-9A. If the height from cloud base to top is more than 3 or 4 thousand feet, I avoid them;
* Instead of 500 foot overcast below, I prefer 1,000. Over known flat, open land, maybe lower, but even Iowa has swatches for forest that would be really bad if your first glance was at 500 feet;
* As for approach minimums -- you **** well better be able to fly an approach to minimums!! Weather does change en route. The difference is whether you plan a flight where you anticipate flying to minimums;
* For me, inflight fatigue can be an issue, so time of day, overall energy level, etc are factors;
* Since my canopy doesn't seal well, rain is a factor;
* Another way at looking at go/no-go decisions is to count the number of challenges on the flight: turbulence, crosswinds, solid IFR vs on top or in and out, ATC environment, airspace restrictions, what happens if the autopilot dies, etc. Too many total challenges on the flight, or too many challenges at once are reasons to reconsider whether to go or not. (And it's also real challenging to have the autopilot die when you're busy fussing with the automation and have low situational awareness because of the automation...)

Y'all be careful out there!

Ed
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  #76  
Old 11-14-2018, 01:40 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 570
Default A hold and approach

Still needed a hold and one more approach by the end of the month. Ceilings were about 1,000' yesterday, but there was an icing forecast near but not exactly in the space I would be flying. The wind was gusting to about 20 knots and there was a turbulence forecast near but higher than I would be. I hung around the airport waiting for better conditions, but decided to write it off and try again another day.

Ceilings were about 1000' and climbing this morning with an icing airmet from the surface. Winds were about 8kts. By late morning the icing airmet was removed, and surface temps were at 41F. The ceiling was still rising. There were no precip reflections. Overcast extended from 1400' up to 2900'. A 172 took off and flew an approach while I was prepping the plane with no apparent difficulty.

I filed "local IFR" and flew a hold and an RNAV approach to landing. The temp at 3000' was 32F with mist in the clouds but no ice on the aircraft. I may have cut it close with respect to icing, but with the ceiling at 1400' the airport in Marginal VFR conditions and with flat terrain and no tall antennae where I would be flying, I reasoned I could let down below the ceiling in a pinch. It worked out well today. Should I have flown or stayed on the ground? John

Last edited by jpowell13 : 11-14-2018 at 03:57 PM.
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