Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1865016
Mike Tango wrote:..
If really lucky there may be a current GA pilot/controller involved in an ATC training session, but they are not that common these days. ...


This is one reason why I wonder whether the ATCO school at Staverton may be able to provide a better real-world (normally routine, but occasionally perhaps real emergency) GA exposure than that at Swanwick, although they are presumably teaching an identical (and presumably, still, EASA-based) syllabus. Staverton may no longer have 3 hard runways in regular (and occasionally simultaneous) use, but yesterday from the JAM overflow (airside grass) car park I could watch 27 in use for FW (microlight to Citation yesterday), 'heli-north' for RW training, and an autogyro take off from 22 grass. Swanwick students couldn't see that at nearby Southampton, let alone from just outside their classroom (not, of course, that any students there look out of the window during lectures :wink: ). Oh, and of course, I believe they still have MP3 on staff (when he's not flying a Cuby or RV4, or vandalising, sorry repurposing, bits of 747 :) )
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By JAFO
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1865023
quickieq2uk wrote:I agree, if you have no other better option then put it down even if it’s closed and deal with the issues after you’re safely on the ground. I had to make an emergency landing at Wattisham when it was closed once.


In my time there I remember a Cub and an R22 (separately) having to do that.
#1865083
GonzoEGLL wrote:I’d just like to say, that although I can’t speak for any non-NATS units, the NATS units that provide ATSOCAS have ‘PPL lost in cloud with terrain in close proximity’ scenarios come up pretty regularly in annual (and in fact at the moment more like every few months) refresher training.

I know the Farnborough controllers discuss, train for, and are faced by this regularly; I’m often regaled by them with tales of those who try and find the gaps in the South Downs to squeeze under the cloud to get out to the S coast and then become unsure of their position while descending with the cloud base. Those whom I know I think have had a few years taken off their lives while watching and working this sort of thing.

In this particular case (as in any other) let’s not make any assumptions about any of the actors involved.


Some (anonymised) reporting to the wider PPL community of these incidents might make for some instructive and salutary reading .
Last edited by Pilot H on Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
pplmeir, T6Harvard liked this
#1865086
Mike Tango wrote:....If really lucky there may be a current GA pilot/controller involved in an ATC training session, but they are not that common these days. So with the best will in the world the norm for ATC tabletop discussions or simulator training for scenarios such as this unfortunate event are at best likely the partially sighted leading the partially sighted, with probably zero actual experience of what the pilot is looking at on the instruments in front of them or feeling in their senses.

Which, if you think about it, could actually be quite import to appreciate.



Using the phrase "Flight Critical" simplifies it and removes the need for a controller to know or understand the terminology or the technical aspects of light aircraft, and cuts to the chase...

"I have lost a flight critical instrument, or I am in a flight critical situation due to cloud, icing etc is one that AOPA USA have advocated - partly as a result of this:

https://youtu.be/7sfHlzv6Rlk
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By matspart3
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1865144
I occasionally instruct and examine at the ATC College Kanga mentioned. There are only 2 in the UK now. Training isn’t undertaken with ‘live’ traffic, but the general hustle and bustle of being at a busy GA airfield is definitely beneficial to the students.

The ‘Aircraft’ module of the ATC Basic Training Course includes the details of gyro and vacuum instruments, associated failures and a number of presentations and videos, specifically on loss of control in IMC. The ‘Emergency’ phase includes lost aircraft theory and the rating courses, particularly Radar, includes practical simulator exercises and the lost in IMC scenario comes up in at least one of my oral examination questions.

I’m able to share my experiences of almost 3 decades of GA controlling, which genuinely include potentially life-saving intervention by myself and colleagues in these situations and, tragically, a number of fatalities, including those of personal friends and acquaintances.

These are hard lessons to teach but I do believe the message comes across.

Whilst not, sadly, a mandatory part of the syllabus anymore, the College at Staverton does give all candidates a trial flying lesson; Covid, weather, serviceability dependent etc.

At their unit, after college training, controllers undergo ‘ABES’ training (Abnormal and Emergency Situations), prior to validation and annually thereafter, which will sometimes include familiarisation flights, pilot briefings etc.

I urge all of my students to undertake their own study and research into accidents and incidents. In the fullness of time, post-AAIB investigation, this accident might also offer up some learning benefit to controllers as well as pilots.

I’d also encourage flying forum members to offer flights to their local ATCOs; I know from personal experience that it’s a mutually beneficial experience.
Flyin'Dutch', johnm, G-BLEW and 8 others liked this
#1866432
Rob P wrote:I would expect a CAP10 to have an adequate instrument fit - what used to be called a blind flying panel, now a six pack.

You'd also think the pilot of an aerobatic type wouldn't have much issue with unusual attitudes and recovery from them

But we are now solidly in the territory of the 'S word', so I shall shut up.

Rob P


CAP 10's are certified for VFR conditions only. However they do "usually" have the standard instrument setup that would allow for safe flying in IMC.

Flying an aerobatic aircraft does not imply the pilot has any aerobatic ability at all. I bought my CAP10 from a pilot who just bought it to pass his PPL. He never did a single aerobatic manoeuvre in it, even though the instructoress encouraged it.

Even if the pilot did have the skills, you cant recover a plane until you have a visual reference point, and if the IMC was as low as suggested, the pilot would probably have been too close to the ground to make a successful recovery.

Its reported elsewhere that its tracked speed was 209 mph, which is basically its VNE.

You can recover to straight and level just on instruments, but that takes very skilled, in practice, and IR qualified pilot to pull that off. Good luck practicing that, just make sure you have a lot of altitude.
#1866442
michaelbinary wrote: Good luck practicing that, just make sure you have a lot of altitude.


Thank you :D :thumleft:

I practice flying my aerobatic type on instruments every instructor hour, including some recovery from unusual attitudes. I don't have an IR, the aeroplane doesn't qualify to be used for that. I don't believe my limited amount of practice guarantees I would survive an incident in IMC so I steer well clear whenever possible. Which is nearly all the time.

Rob P
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By AndyR
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
#1866500
johnm wrote:I fly in IMC quite a lot and studiously avoid unusual attitudes at all times. For me rate 1 is a steep turn


With respect, we all attempt to avoid unusual attitudes at all times when flying IMC. I have spent a lot of time in IMC too, as you know and try to apply this at all times. However, they happen.

Whilst one would hope that 1000' vertical separation from a 'heavy' is sufficient, I have certainly felt the after effects and in IMC it tends to wake you up a little more.
We can all get caught in rotor at the most surprising of times, even when maintaining sufficient altitude above terrain of that nature - I have had some interesting moments flying over Scotland, for example the Class E corridor to Stornoway from Inverness as just one example.
An unforecast embedded CB can produce some interesting effects too.

Whilst we all endeavour to maintain our scan, it only takes a momentary lapse in concentration to find the aircraft not in the position one thought it was.

I appreciate that I probably do a lot more hand flying in IMC than most, so don't have the 'luxury' of an autopilot to maintain my scan, whilst probably coping with a higher workload (demands of the job), but I regularly practice upset recovery with screens/foggles (along with an appropriately qualified instructor) and would recommend every pilot who flies in IMC does the same.
I also ensure I have regular practice at holding a 30 degree bank turn and a steep turn whilst under the hood.

Being in current practice will help SHOULD the worst ever happen and you find yourself in an unusual attitude. It can happen to anyone.
MikeB, Miscellaneous, 2Donkeys and 5 others liked this
#1866644
My greatest worry when flying IMC (VFR only now) was an insidious failure of the vacuum system leading to unusual attitudes brought about by following the (misleading) information from the DI / AI. I knew that I was probably far from competent enough to recognise this in sufficient time to be able to do anything about it. After all, it takes even a very well trained brain time to make sense of conflicting and / or unexpected information with which it is being presented.
#1866655
I knew that I was probably far from competent enough to recognise this in sufficient time to be able to do anything about it.


I expect you're not giving yourself enough credit. So long as you use the basic 'selective radial scan' then you would quickly note the information given by the performance instruments does not tie in with AI etc (I say etc because the DI could have failed as well). A nice straight & level AI with increasing airspeed, reducing altitude would make you think. A straight & level AI with a changing DI would make you suspect one or the other and q quick check with another heading source would help diagnose which one is wrong.

The people who have problems are the instruments chasers. Instead of adopting an attitude and then seeing what the performance instruments (ASI, VSI, Alt) do, they chase the performance instruments. Very, very few people are good at that ( I knew only one) and that definitely will not help bowl out the insidious vacuum failure.

Of course, far better is to have electric with backup batteries but that's another story :D
AlanC liked this
#1866657
I have had a couple of vac pump failures in IMC on 6-pack aircraft, in both cases the DI wandered first. and in both cases the aircraft was properly trimmed; the first time S&L and the second time in the climb. Makes life a lot easier if the aircraft is in trim!

Both occasions were no drama really. On the second occasion, I was OCAS and climbing towards CAS and so told the ATSU and they just came back with a clearance :thumleft: As it turned out I levelled off VMC and OCAS.

When I teach instrument flying “Trim the aircraft” is one of the three main things I say, the others being, “Maintain your selective radial scan”, “Fly the bugged heading” and “Fly the correct RoD” :D
#1866665
Pilot H wrote:Using the phrase "Flight Critical" simplifies it and removes the need for a controller to know or understand the terminology or the technical aspects of light aircraft, and cuts to the chase...

"I have lost a flight critical instrument, or I am in a flight critical situation due to cloud, icing etc is one that AOPA USA have advocated - partly as a result of this:

https://youtu.be/7sfHlzv6Rlk


I'm sorry, Pilot H, please correct me, but I believe you are wrong.

"flight critical" or as elsewhere used, "fuel emergency" are useless phrases.
The ICAO terms MAYDAY (thrice) or PANPAN (thrice) should be used throughout the aviation world; not only sent by those in emergency/distress situations (respectively) but received and acted upon by those on the ground.

Rob
scd975, NigelC liked this
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