Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Late report on a VFR trip Silvester from Rotterdam EHRD to Portoroz LJPZ

Great writeup!

Interesting and honest analysis too.

You should not worry about VMC in case of an engine failure. Everything is legal then

Formation stuff indeed needs to be organised with care. I have done a few totally adhoc ones (for photos) which ended up a total mess and I just flew on, leaving the other guy to do the same. Won’t be doing that again… Actually one was out of Portoroz and the other guy got a bollocking from Pula radar afterwards for busting their airspace A distant formation is fine but then you may never spot the other guy which is the other danger.

Piran is beautiful. We had a fly-in there in 2015. I recognise that statue

Great mountain pics, in perfect light!

I’ve done Zell am See a few times, even winter, but never saw the canyon snowed up like that. Beautiful. Someone said the airport restaurant has been permanently closed; clearly it wasn’t when you were there, so that’s good news.

Regarding EASA-reg 50hr service intervals, this is such a problem on longer trips that I would not be surprised if some people log their flights “differently” There was a case many years ago of a UK pilot who flew down to Australia and – as expected – their Annual came due down there. The UK CAA wanted him to pay for two first class airline tickets for two inspectors to fly down there! He found it was easier to move the plane to N-reg and carry on with the trip…

It doesn’t sound like you flew the full ILS (not the glideslope) but an ILS is the ultimate lifesaver in aviation. Even a PPL with no formal instrument qualifications should know how to set up the avionics for an ILS – IMHO. I am not an instructor but if I was teaching somebody I care about to fly I would make sure they know it. And the autopilot also.

Bottom line is you made good decisions and they worked. Nothing wrong with TAFs; they are produced by people who do this for a living and you will never do better than they do. But they are just a local airport forecast. Nowadays we have better tools for the overall “big picture”, with windy.com being the main one.

Great decision to declare an emergency. Most would not have done that, possibly with a bad outcome.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Except for the maintenance limitations, I had a very profound “yep, done that”-feeling while reading your report. A PPL is a license to learn. You’ll be wiser when the next trip comes.

EBST, Belgium

As another low time VFR pilot, I want to add my voice to thank you for sharing your adventure. I’m sure it will help me in the future.
But also, a VRF only, low time pilot, descended through 10000’ of clouds to break out at 700’ and land on first try? I know it does not require ‘skills’ as such, but I’m sure it required some nerves of steel. Good job!

EHLE, Netherlands

hmng wrote:

? I know it does not require ‘skills’ as such, but I’m sure it required some nerves of steel. Good job!

As a matter of fact, at that point the story sounded disturbingly like one of those “AOPA Air Safety videos” (all of which are excellent) and where the story often ends with the demise of the pilot upon entering IMC.

But unlike the pilots in those videos, Sebastian did call an emergency in time and trusted his instruments / kept control of the aircraft all the way to the ground. The trip could easily have been fatal if he didn’t. Great job, following some bad decisions that will be learned from!

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing!
Declaring a mayday was a wise thing to do. You broke the chain of events leading to an incident at that moment.

I too had a couple of inadvertent VFR-in-IMC encounters. My conclusion was that VFR flying and my character profile don’t match very well.
With VFR (flying in an IFR capable aircraft) you as the pilot are the limiting factor. With an IR its the other way around: you can fly through a layer of ice but your aircraft can’t.

An IR greatly increases your opportunities, but with a Robin in wintertime you still need fair wx…

Thanks Sebastian-H, with your analysis probably the best writeup I’ve read. I’m not sure I’d be that honest even with myself.

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

Sebastian_H wrote:

There were repercussions

@Sebastian_H , what kind of repercussions were these? Within the club or from the authorities or both?

EDLE

europaxs wrote:

what kind of repercussions were these? Within the club or from the authorities or both?

Within the club. The incident evaluation flowchart they used looked strikingly similar to the (military?) one posted in the long thread here when discussing Just Culture. In the end, the three major issues were the neglect of maintenance hours, continuing on after the runway excursion, and of course the bad weather preparation before the last leg. With all that together, I lost my renting privileges for the time being, which I can understand. I’m not happy about it, of course, but as it were my own decisions that led to those issues, I have to accept the consequences.

lenthamen wrote:

With VFR (flying in an IFR capable aircraft) you as the pilot are the limiting factor. With an IR its the other way around: you can fly through a layer of ice but your aircraft can’t.

Interestingly enough, the particular plane I had flown on that trip is despite the nice equipment also “just” N-VFR certified.

What would have been great to have would be some kind of instrument qualification that allows you to fly approaches for cloud breaking purposes, quasi an inverse E-IR with pragmatic equipment rules. As I see it at the moment, the jump to an IR would be workable from the pilot’s side, but since it would be most helpful for the kind of long weekend / vacation trip flying I hope I can do in the future, club rental is uneconomical, and (shared) ownership of something comparable in performance to the RV-7 would probably break my flying budget by far.

On a much more positive note, I obtained today my tailwheel endorsement on the Piper Cub in Lelystad EHLE, so the last milestone before familiarising with my future plane has been reached!

EHRD / Rotterdam

lenthamen wrote:

I too had a couple of inadvertent VFR-in-IMC encounters. My conclusion was that VFR flying and my character profile don’t match very well.

Not sure if it is a match with the IR then? As I see it IFR flying is just like VFR flying but you trade in VFR safety margins for extra training and equipment.

EHTE

Removing renting privileges is pure punishment and thus inappropriate.

The trip you did was more advanced than perhaps 99% of PPL holders ever attempt.

But it was within the privileges of every PPL.

So, let me get this right… You tried to make decent use of your license privileges, having paid 10k plus to the school to train you. You made some bad decisions, but made the right decisions to rectify these and come back all fine. And the only reason the majority of the other PPLs have not made the same bad decisions is because they would not dare to even try. Why don’t they try? Several reasons, the main one being training inadequate for the privileges of the licence!

I have often written that if one sent every PPL holder to fly across the length of the UK, most of them would never arrive. Actually a big chunk would be unable to even plan the flight.

Almost all renters have no clue about maintenance intervals… They rely totally on someone watching that. Same re insurance etc.

It is also obvious from your writing style that you are among the most diligent people flying in the PPL scene. Probably in the top 1%.

Maybe I missed something but the punishment seems way excessive.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top