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VFR Pilots - flight into cloud.

So basically I included this partial panel training to my VFR students in preparation of the PPL(A) and Night VFR

I had my FAA BFR the other day and I specifically asked the instructor to include some partial panel stuff, because my JAR license has an IMCr attached to it, and I have experienced both a vacuum pump failure, and more recently just a DI failure. Fortunately both not in IMC, but it reminded me of the need to practise this stuff.

I also recall on my IMCr revalidation, that I had forgotten how hard it is to maintain wings level using the turn co-ordinator, without seperate reference to the floating compass and the altitude indicator. When rolling wings level after a turn, the TC will show an opposite angle of bank (due to the momentum change in applying opposite force to stop the turn presumably) and you could continiously be chasing it left and right. Things you dont realise when the AI and DI are working properly, so it was good to be refreshed on partial panel again.

You could always put it into a spin an old cloud break method used to stay roughly in the same place for old aircraft with poor nav and instrument. this gave a controlled (Yes) descent through cloud. when you break out its then a simple matter of stopping the spin and away you go!

Only joking as not a good method especially for inexperienced pilots

Seriously the 180 is supposed to take you back in the direction you came from and stop you flying into even worsening conditions but there is always the loss of control risk in doing so. If you are going to do a 180 its important to keep the bank shallow. situational awareness is important! What was ahead of you when you entered cloud? What is the MSA? Talk to someone pref with radar who can give you gentle turns into an area of low ground where you can descend safely. As with most things in aviation no one solution fits every scenario

Pace

on this planet

"Nothing serious, for I could have filed VFR night to EHBK instead"

I don't think you could have done that as night vfr is not allowed in The Netherlands

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

I don't think you could have done that as night vfr is not allowed in The Netherlands

Out of curiosity - are you sure about this? With EASA, there have been some changes in this respect. I only know for certain about Spain, where night VFR was not allowed (in typical Spanish fashion, it was allowed in the AIP, but with a blanket clause empowering the 'Director' to disallow it. Which he duly did.) Since EASA has come in it is allowed.

Quite certain. The only exceptions are helicopters and when the flight is part of the training for a commercial licence carried out by an approved school. Normal vfr night is not allowed.

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

When rolling wings level after a turn, the TC will show an opposite angle of bank (due to the momentum change in applying opposite force to stop the turn presumably) and you could continiously be chasing it left and right.

I don't think my TC does that.

What one does have to watch with a TC is that it senses only the rate of turn. There is no gravity vector sensing (erection mechanism) so if you fly say a 10deg roll but the turn is uncoordinated (by pushing on the rudder for example) sufficiently to stop the turn, the TC will indicate zero roll.

The instrument is spring-loaded to centre, so shows zero roll on the ground regardless of how crooked the landing gear is - this confuses some avionics installers who are for ever trying to make it read zero

Only joking as not a good method especially for inexperienced pilots

Welcome to EuroGA, Pace

Funnily enough, in one of UK's printed aviation mags, a very famous UK aerobatic pilot (don't recall his name) wrote exactly this as his favoured fallback method for when he finds himself above an overcast.

Not sure I would try it...

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The Turn Coordinator does this (airplane symbol). The turn and slip indicator (pin) doesn't.

As of VFR night, I thought SERA was active in NL. Otherwise there would have been EDLN or EDDK...

mh
Aufwind GmbH
EKPB, Germany

The TC does sense ROLL first and only THEN it senses rate of turn, that's because the axis of its gyro is tilted 30 degrees.

Which is a very good thing, becasue you see when the roll starts, before the plane starts turning

You could always put it into a spin an old cloud break method used to stay roughly in the same place for old aircraft with poor nav and instrument. this gave a controlled (Yes) descent through cloud. when you break out its then a simple matter of stopping the spin and away you go

A friend who is the best pilot stick and rudder I know flies in US national unlimited aerobatic competition. A couple of years ago he flew back from the Nationals in Texas on top of an overcast, downloading weather that told him he'd be in the clear in a couple of hundred miles. Given that the aircraft has no gyro instruments, I asked him if he'd spin down if the engine quit. He said no, he'd prefer to jump out :-)

PS (off topic, sorry) Alexisvc - I was told the wheel fairing contract requires they sell them exclusively to the OEM, even if they were supplied for a "homebuilt" (I asked).

A few years ago in a homebuilt Tecnam sierra I was approaching Chambery in between various cloud layers. I was trying to figure out if I could make it over the ridge into the valley to land when I entered IMC. I had never been in cloud before and never had any instrument training, but I did have a glass cockpit. I knew there was high ground so immediately turned away from it using shallow turn. I talked to the Lyon controller and told him. He was incredibly helpful and gave me a vector to Lyon brun. I was in IMC for 9 minutes before descending out of it and then landing at Lyon brun.

Why did I survive? I think the glass panel was a huge part of it. Knowing the terrain and having a good GPS another part. SkyDemon gave height above terrain which helped.

EGKL
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