Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1517772
Don't get it, the OP was about climbing into cloud after taking off, if you level then 180 in the normal circuit direction you'll be heading back towards downwind, and should still be within the ATZ. I'm sure there are some airfields which might be an exception but doing a downwind join at or a bit below circuit height should be safe enough, as a general rule. What is the OCH for Goodwood?


Ok, take off from Goodwood southerly, into cloud at 800', level so now 900', 180 turn, whoops, turned too far so turn back then start thinking about what has happened, all with a Southerly wind which is why you took off in that direction, then start descent, still with a wind blowing you towards the hills, now let down with a 650' mast in front of you, you went into cloud at 800' but of course it gets lower approaching the hills.
Rather you than me, I would much rather be letting down straight ahead where I know there is no high ground and the cloud is probably getting higher as I get away from the hills!!
#1517817
mo0g wrote:Don't get it, the OP was about climbing into cloud after taking off, if you level then 180 in the normal circuit direction you'll be heading back towards downwind, and should still be within the ATZ. I'm sure there are some airfields which might be an exception but doing a downwind join at or a bit below circuit height should be safe enough, as a general rule.


Particularly for a non-instrument rated pilot (no IR/IR(R)), it can be sufficiently disorientating that could have gone out of the ATZ without realising - opinion of position and reality can be diverging each second particularly if it is bumpy. It happened to me.

It is easier these days with a GPS device on board assuming the signal is not being jammed/spoofed that day or the device does not have a failure at the most inconvenient moment.
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By Gertie
#1517830
GAFlyer4Fun wrote:It is easier these days with a GPS device on board assuming the signal is not being jammed/spoofed that day or the device does not have a failure at the most inconvenient moment.

Do I bother to switch the GPS on if I'm just planning to do VFR circuits? Er ... that'd be a "no" then.

And there's me usually saying when flying IFR "any radio that you're carrying that isn't switched on and tuned in and doing something useful is just a waste of fuel to lug around".

Hmm.
#1517839
lobstaboy wrote:Here's a thought -
You plan to do some circuits (as a student or for recency, whatever). The cloud is low, solid overcast butt good vis underneath. You ask a recently landed pilot what cloud base is. They say 1000' for instance. Your field has a circuit height of 800' and is at 200' amsl.
What would you expect to happen as you climb out?
I'm assuming you're at a field without ATC, like where I fly.


There are more factors than cloudbase and visibility.
What about the cloud tops? Wind? topography? Temperature/Dew? Season? Freezing level? Time of day? Sunset? Precipitation forecast? Icing forecast? Forecast/Actual trends? Diversion options if there is an emergency that closes the runway/airfield for N hours? etc etc.

I would speculate that many VFR PPLs fly so infrequently (for a variety of reasons) it does not matter in the grand scheme of things if they don't fly that day and some will choose to wait for a nicer day and enjoy the views with less risks.

Situation is a bit different for students as the instructors will at some point want the students to start making the go/no-go decisions instead of the instructors. The instructors will have a way better appreciation of weather and the local micro-climate from an aviation perspective than a student and are unlikely to allow anything stupid for a solo student. As for dual, it might be fine and go fly it, or it might go marginal/IMC and might fly it as a learning exercise, or cancel. It depends on many factors.
#1517841
Gertie wrote:Do I bother to switch the GPS on if I'm just planning to do VFR circuits? Er ... that'd be a "no" then..


I used to be the same. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

One the other hand, if it is an airfield where people might moan about circuit discipline and noise abatement procedures, a GPS track log could be your proof you did that perfect circuit and it was not you that bust the noise sensitive areas etc! :wink:

I don't do perfect circuits - there is always a slight bit of variation with wind corrections whilst keeping a good lookout for other traffic or some adjustment to allow for other traffic.

Sometimes reality is different to a pilot's perception/memory of reality.
If there were to be a disagreement in the interpretation of events between pilots in the circuit, where both parties are sure they are in the right, at least I can look at my track log for a reality check of what I did....
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#1517864
mo0g wrote:
Pete L wrote:
Full Metal Jackass wrote:
Beats learning to fly via MS Flight Simulator...... :lol:


Been a while since I dug it out, but my experience of MSFS was that it's cloud / visibililty behaviour could be set up to be very realistic in terms of what you'd see. Set the weather for moderate turbulence and that gets the workload high enough for some degree of realism over what you feel.


It is ironic that on a thread regarding IMC someone is denigrating the use of MSFlight Sim.

I used it extensively during my IMCR training, and use it to brush up before renewing, it is brilliant for instrument training and flying practice, which is all about using instruments and ignoring what you see outside or feel.


You are referring to IMC / IFR training where it's all about procedures, and here, yes, I agree it's good but I was actually referring to new students. Most of the instructors I know ask ab-initio students whether they've dabbled with any Flight Simulator because then they know what typical foibles they have to overcome.....
#1517885
"Do I bother to switch the GPS on if I'm just planning to do VFR circuits? Er ... that'd be a "no" then."

I do. Firstly I want the track logs and secondly in case the runway becomes unuseable and a diversion is necessary.
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#1517888
I always turn all the aids on for two reasons, firstly so they are there just in case, secondly I was told that moisture can build on the inside of avionics, turning them on warms the circuit boards slightly and helps drive off the moisture, not sure how true this is but seems to make sense!
#1517923
That assumes you are totally conversant with the avionics aboard.

We have just had a GNS430 installed in our Robin for 8.33 compliance. I flew it back from the MO but left it turned off because I havent learnt how to use it and believe that to be best done on the ground, preferably using Garmins sim.
Ive downloaded the manual & sim so that the next time I fly that aeroplane I will know how it works and will indeed switch it on - but I will probably need to make a conscious effort to ensure I dont "play with it" to the detriment of flying the aeroplane.

Regards, SD..
#1519570
1. Aviate - As soon as it becomes obvious you'll be IMC start a visual scan. Reduce power to descend gently out of the cloud and regain sight of the ground.
2. Navigate - Plan and execute a low level circuit to return to the runway.
3. Communicate - Tell the tower and anyone else who's listening at what height VMC terminated and your intentions.

Of course, if this was an unintentional clime into CAS then you'll want to do 2 & 3 in the reverse order and you'll need some help completing your IMC approach and landing
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By Lefty
#1519656
mo0g wrote:As I have said previously, during our instrument training for PPL we are taught to 180 out of cloud, back to the weather we just came from.


If you are in the cruise at altitude - then a 180 is a good option - but it does have it's own risks.

However if you have just climbed into IMC, you know that you are only perhaps 50 - 100 feet away from VMC, and in these circumstances, I feel it is much safer to simply keep the controls central and wings level - retard the throttle, reverse the climb into a gentle descent - until you pop out the bottom of the cloud again. This assumes that you know where you were when you climbed into IMC - and that you know there are no obstructions for you to hit if you descend (straight and level).

1) doing a turn in IMC can be dangerous if you are not used to instrument flying.
2) turning back 180 degrees does not guarantee to take you back to the airfield - it puts you on a reciprocal heading - some (unknown) distance left or right of your climb out path.
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By mo0g
#1519669
Lefty wrote:
mo0g wrote:As I have said previously, during our instrument training for PPL we are taught to 180 out of cloud, back to the weather we just came from.


If you are in the cruise at altitude - then a 180 is a good option - but it does have it's own risks.

However if you have just climbed into IMC, you know that you are only perhaps 50 - 100 feet away from VMC, and in these circumstances, I feel it is much safer to simply keep the controls central and wings level - retard the throttle, reverse the climb into a gentle descent - until you pop out the bottom of the cloud again. This assumes that you know where you were when you climbed into IMC - and that you know there are no obstructions for you to hit if you descend (straight and level).

1) doing a turn in IMC can be dangerous if you are not used to instrument flying.
2) turning back 180 degrees does not guarantee to take you back to the airfield - it puts you on a reciprocal heading - some (unknown) distance left or right of your climb out path.


I am simply trying to make the point that the only training we receive during our PPL is to 180 out, we are tested on that in our flight test, a 180 must be the recommended manoeuvre for a reason.

Let me suggest another reason, other than potential terrain ahead; what if that could is a rain cloud? You can descent out of it but you could well find yourself in poor visibility as you are now in rain.

Me, I would descend out of it again if I wanted to try and regain VMC but I have my IR(R) and wouldnt panic/freeze if I entered cloud unexpectedly. We have all experienced the dire warnings of flying in cloud, 60 seconds to disaster, or whatever it is, so in those cases I think it is a much safer and prudent 'golden rule' to fall back on your training and KNOW you will shortly be back out of the cloud, and the weather, and heading in the general direction of your airfield. This alone will be comforting to a panicked pilot, in my opinion.

Again, I believe the reason we are taught to 180 is that we KNOW what weather/terrain we came from.
Last edited by mo0g on Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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