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Need some winter GA IFR flying tips


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Need some winter GA IFR flying tips

Old 09-25-2008, 06:17 PM
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Default Need some winter GA IFR flying tips

Since I finished up my Instrument/Commercial this last June, I'm wanting to get gain some IFR experience. Winter is fast approaching, and I'm worried about IFR in a GA aircraft because of the freezing levels being lower, and that the aircraft don't have De-Icing (other than Pitot heat and Alchohol) or Anti Icing equipment. Does any one have any good tips for IFR winter flying?
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:52 PM
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Don't fly GA IFR. Seriously the winter is very very hard to be able to fly IFR in. I mean I might be a little more careful then most. Just that if it is 34 on the ground then what is it going to be in the clouds. Remember you need visual moisture in order to get ice. What are clouds. Just stay to VFR during the winter in a GA aircraft and you will be fine. When the summer comes back then give it a try (just watch out for thunderstorms.) In my own opinion I really don't think that there is any reason to fly IFR in a GA aircraft. Unless your flying on an IFR flight plan in VFR then that's OK.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:14 PM
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You can do it. It's all about risk management. There are plenty of times during the winter that have a low overcast that is only a few hundred feet thick and clear above. Sometimes there is a temperature inversion. Do I go tooling around in the soup in a 172 for hours? No, but I will do practice approaches and short cross countries if the conditions are right. Where do you live? Is it an ice laden area? It can be done and it doesn't mean certain death. Do your research and leave yourself several options. Remember ice is usually in the tops. Ice is usually isolated as well. Nasa says that a change in altitude of 2-3,000 feet should exit the icing event. Ice is serious business, and I speak from experience. Be careful.

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Old 09-25-2008, 07:26 PM
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My tip: Never try to be braver than your most timid passenger.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:04 PM
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Always give yourself an out. If you might get into the ice, be sure there are places to go to get out. Be sure you'll be able to descend to the MEA and encounter VMC. Take baby steps with your new license to learn and slowly gain confidence.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jsfBoat
Since I finished up my Instrument/Commercial this last June, I'm wanting to get gain some IFR experience. Winter is fast approaching, and I'm worried about IFR in a GA aircraft because of the freezing levels being lower, and that the aircraft don't have De-Icing (other than Pitot heat and Alchohol) or Anti Icing equipment.

Does any one have any good tips for IFR winter flying?
My advice
yes, don't do it.....

Some food for though, a week after I passed my instrument check ride, I went up into hard IMC with my instructor, good thing he was there or I would've killed myself..... fast-forward 2 years, I took a couple of my multi-engine students up into hard IMC, I'm talking right at ILS mins, I had to jump in a couple times.

When people pass that instrument check ride, they're legal to fly in the soup, but are they ready or safe??? NO, that comes with time, and you know when you're ready.

Now you're not even instrument rated, and you're talking about IFR- winter flying?? slow down my friend, walk, don't run.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:11 PM
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He is instrument rated.....since June!!!! You need to use your head.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:25 PM
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I won't say don't do it, but definitely heed the warning of others. Most of my flying is in AF jets, but I do have about 200 yours in piston singles from the local FBO. I've been in solid IMC twice in singles and picked up ice both times. Both times, I had the "you were pushing it" fealing afterwords. Jet aircraft with another pilot, great autopilots, loads of bleed air for anti-ice, and the ability to operate from the surface to FL410 are way better equipped to handle winter IMC. I'll use my IFR rating to get me straight back to the airport versus cloud dodging, but no more solid IMC in singles for me.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by papatango269
He is instrument rated.....since June!!!! You need to use your head.
Ooops, sorry JSFBoat, I missed the instrument rated part.

I need to use my head because I missed one word, hum, I bet you're a joy to fly with.
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:15 AM
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I would say definitely get some experience in the winter, because it will force you to do a little more planning. There are days where it will be above freezing and you can get in the clouds just fine. Another thing to remember is that SIM instrument is just as good as the real thing when it comes to logbooks. Sure actual IFR looks good, but the hood is fine. So if you want to build time working on IFR in the safest possible conditions get a safety pilot and file an IFR flight plan in VFR conditions and just fly it under the hood, or go fly practice approaches. If your local school has a sim jump in that to practice and get proficient. Dare I even say use Flight sim X to work on your scan. There are a number of things you can do that wont increase your risk until you are ready and prepared to do that. Never go outside of your comfort zone.
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