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Old 10-09-2018, 01:53 PM
jwilbur jwilbur is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 661
Default IFR experience

I've been flying my RV10 for a year now. But I started IFR training two years ago in a 172 and decided to stop after about 30 hours so I could finish the RV10 and complete training in my own airplane. I got my first experience under the hood this morning.

We climbed up over a broken layer and I had the strangest experience. As I got started with the foggles on, for a good 10 minutes I was having an almost uncontrollable desire to turn left. I would notice (often with a reminder from the CFII) that I was in a turn, I would correct it, and then sure enough I'd be in a 20 degree left bank within a minute.

Eventually I realized I was seeing clouds go by out of the lower corner of the foggles which was giving me the sensation I was in a right turn - just by the way they went by. I didn't even realize I was seeing them. This never happened during training in the 172. It was just the strangest thing to be concentrating on the instruments and still end up in a turn based on subtle, almost subliminal visual queues of motion around me.

Once I realized what was happening I was able to do it right. But what a realization of just how easily and disorienting it can be when senses lie. It was, in the end, a good experience in forcing myself to ignore everything but the instruments. You know you're supposed to do that but actually doing it, it would appear, is another story.

... It was a fun time and I just thought I'd share.
-Joe Wilbur (N520LW)
Phase II - 11/2017
First flight - 8/2017
RV-10 Build Log
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:17 PM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Austinville, Alabama
Posts: 2,391

Reminds me of a conversation I had with Bob Crippen, the astronaut, many years ago, when I was working on my Instrument rating. His advice was unless you fly in the clouds a lot...and much more often than the minimum frequency the FAA requires, think twice before launching off into the murk.

For me, I decided the best decision was to be a really good VFR pilot. I learned a lot studying and practicing for the Instrument rating, and I'm glad I did, but I decided my time and money were better spent out of the clouds. So I never took the written test and ended my Instrument lessons.

Don Hull
RV-7 Wings
KDCU Pryor Field
Pilots'n Paws Pilot
N79599/APRS Automatic Position Reporting System

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard

"It should be added that the sublime beauty of the facture brings within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking. " -using Doug's Art Critique jargon link and my birthday, I get this!
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:31 PM
Paul Thomas Paul Thomas is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Posts: 483

I was flying at night over the everglades years ago. I could see lights on the ground (likely I75, I don't remember that detail) from a hole in the could. The lights were in a straight line, but at an angle to me. For whatever reason, when the light first appeared, I thought I was in a turn and re-checked that all the instruments were correct indicating that I was straight and level.

The sensation was SO bad, that I turned off the autopilot to make sure I wasn't crabbing. I wasn't but still couldn't reconcile what I was seeing out of the window with the instruments. It was so freaky that I did a couple shallow turns to make sure the instruments were working.

I ended up covering the part of the window that gave me grief and concentrated on the instrument until past that area. It was a good lesson that you need to trust the instruments.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:58 PM
woxofswa woxofswa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 548

West of the Salt Lake area are several huge evaporation ponds. On clear still nights, those ponds can become mirrors of the sky showing the moon and even the stars. They also have straight levees dividing them at weird angles that can mimic a false horizon. Many a new pilot would love to fly friends or family out to Wendover Nevada for dinner and get sucked into the optical illusion, never to return. Some even on pattern turns where they’d initiate a turn and subsequently roll it right into the ground. I took all of my students, primary or IFR, out there to show them the incidious trap and reinforce the “believe your instruments, not your hiney” concept.
Myron Nelson
Mesa, AZ
RV-10 BPE, Dynon, Airflow systems A/C
First flight May 10, 2014
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:19 PM
Latech15 Latech15 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: louisiana
Posts: 71

I found foggles to be a great help when flying in the soup. Especially when traversing a layer or on climb out. They take away that temptation to watch the clouds and get disoriented.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:41 PM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 950

When I was training in a C172, I got misleading peripheral motion cues from the lower left corner of the windshield. I started taking along a piece of cardboard to block that area. Problem solved!
RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual experimental touch screens with autopilot, IFR GPS)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
2019 dues slightly overpaid
Retired - "They used to pay me to be good, now I'm good for nothing."
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:54 PM
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Flyin'Bryan Flyin'Bryan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 268
Default Take advantage of the learning experience

Once you start working on approaches you will find that the real IFR world offers up a plethora of visual challenges that you have to learn to deal with once you are on the last 1/2 mile or so of an approach, while getting very close to the DH, DA, or MDA, and you must now start searching for that coveted runway environment while continuing to watch the instruments at the same time. Smashing through different kinds of broken cloud layers is definitely a challenge for any IFR pilot, but it is something that you will have to learn how to cope with. Basically you will need to learn how and when to add that visual scan to your instrument scan, and unfortunately a lot of that can only come with experience in actual conditions.

Personally, whenever that opportunity presents itself, I like to have my instruments students remove the hood under those conditions so that they can get that "real life" experience. Glad to see you are back at it in the RV-10.
Bryan Raley
Building RV8
EAA Chapter 301
SportAir Workshop Graduate x 4: Sheet Metal, RV Building, Electrical, and Composite classes.
Tail Wheel Endorsement Completed
Empennage done, Wings in progress, N462AK reserved.

Last edited by Flyin'Bryan : 10-09-2018 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:03 PM
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sglynn sglynn is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes, WA
Posts: 773
Default IFR

Yep, your conclusion is what I do. Focus on the instruments and ignore any weight, visual, momentum, or feelings inputs. Only the AI rules. Still when I first enter IMC there is about 30 seconds of focus focus focus, to kick out any other input. I discovered years ago that the yoke in my Cherokee was turned in IMC for straight and level. Gotta ignore that to. Only the AI rules.
Steve Lynn
Flying Phase I
Anacortes, WA
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:04 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ks
Posts: 2,033

Like Bran, with my students I go “hood off” prior to cloud entry and exit as it produces its own unique challenges. I have to ignore outside references and focus on instruments for at least 30 seconds prior to the transition from VFR 2 IFR.

Acquiring and keeping Instrument Proficiency is a real challenge, I use every chance I get as PIC and instructor in an attempt to maintain a safe level of proficiency.

Find a fellow pilot/instructor that can help build the experience and proficiency when the weather presents itself. When the IFR conditions pop up grab your buddy and go fly!
RV 7 300 hours and counting
12/17 donation
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:20 PM
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TJCF16 TJCF16 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Greenville SC
Posts: 150

I got my instrument rating in a round dial 172p model. I now fly RV9A all glass dual 10 “touch G3X with autopilot. From my personal experience I can say flying glass is sooooo much easier and I have no problems keeping the aircraft level. For some reason I just didn’t fight it like I did in the round dial. I will say There is no way I could fly a round dial IFR now! I don’t mean to say glass is better, I just don’t think I am capable! I think it would be hard for anyone to fly glass for a long period of time then jump back to round dial. It just might get you killed!
Tim Crouch
RV-9A N626TC
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