IFR Lessons; …Lesson 1.1; ...Lesson 1.2; …Lesson 1.3; …Lesson 1.4; …Lesson 1.5; …Lesson .1.6…Lesson 1.7;…Lesson 1.8 - Airspeeds; ...Lesson 2 - Vertical S; ...Steep Turns; ...Lesson 3 - Timed Turns; …Lesson 4 - Pattern A; How We Got Pattern A and B; …Olympic Pattern; …LESSON 5 - VOR/Reversals; …Lesson 6 - Holding; ...Lesson 7 - Holding ; …Lesson 8 - ADF; …Lesson 9 - ATC Procedures; …Lesson 11 - Unusual Attitudes; ...Gotch ya;…Lesson 12 - DME Arcs; …Emergency; ...Safety Pilot Experience; ...Review Flight; …Lesson in Success; …Airway Lesson; …Knowing Enough; ...First IFR Lesson in VFR Followed by Hood; ...
IFR training has three levels of maneuver performance. Basic consists of unusual attitude initiation and recovery, hood stalls, and constant-rate climbs and descents usually at 500 fpm and 90-knots. Basic IFR training can begin by doing the vertical-S. Pitch in both climb and descent is done by reference to the VSI. Speed is set by power while using the ASI. HI for heading and turns, when used, set using the turn coordinator.
When any aspect is not to standard, adjustments must be made in both power
and pitch. One cannot be changed without affecting the other. If the vertical-S
is being made at both constant rate and airspeed the power adjustments must be
Vertical S is used to dramatize the need for rapid and accurate instrument interpretation upon which must be based smooth accurate application of power and pitch change. You initiate the climb with power and pitch changed together. The descent is attained by a similar reduction of power and pitch. More difficult changes such as leveling off during a turning climb require high levels of coordination and anticipation.
Dirty Trick: While doing unusual attitudes and the student has eyes closed, reposition the attitude indicator.IFR stalls are not nearly as difficult as one might suppose. I have found that once stalls are performed using the gauges, this becomes the preferred method of doing them. Doing them under partial panel conditions adds a bit of spice.
Begin by showing the student how to set and read the attitude indicator (AI). Make a lesson by covering all flight instruments and have the student perform mixed climbs, level, descents, airspeed changes and even timed turns. Expect the pilot to be able to maintain reasonable control using just the AI.
Now it is time to box the attitude indicator. Full power is used in climbs, low cruise in level , and idle in descent. In the C-172, I would want the student to perform all maneuvers at 90 knots. In the process he is to learn the power settings, the trim settings and AI attitudes required. This maneuvers are initially performed VFR using attitude, power and trim. Next cover all the instruments except the AI. This is an elevator-throttle-rudder exercise that will require simultaneous changes of power and attitude..
Once reasonable proficiency in lesson 1 and 2 has been acquired perform the same routines over time until at least one minute hands off capability is attained in each phase. Again it might bre best to do this VFR first and then AI only. Again these maneuvers will require simultaneous changes of power and attitude
Now we do turns to headings a bit differently. We do the turns using the AI and heading indicator. We are trying to get the scan to the HI down to zero. Instructor will cover HI during rollout. TC and VSI are scanned after AI is level.
Lesson five is learning to read and hold the AI for best angle and best rate climbs while using full power and appropriate trim for hands off flight. Expectation that heading will be constant is a given. At some point a cruise climb will be practiced using full power. A constant airspeed climb is acquired when the VSI is steady.
Slow cruise has a 1/2 bar AI setting. This is the speed normally used for approach and holding. Endurance speed just below the upper end of the white arc will be used for holding. Practice until this configuration comes easily with known power, trim and AI attitude.
Learn the power, speed, configuration and trim required to achieve a constant 500 fpm rate of low cruise descent. use power to keep C.H. effective.
Lesson 1.8 - Airspeed
We will begin by climbing at Vy which in the C-172 is given as a range between 70 and 80 kts. For IFR purposes there is no such range. An exact speed is selected such as 75 kts for Vy. Since ATC must be informed any time a climb of 500 fpm cannot be maintained we may not be able to climb at 90 kts. The desirability of a 90 kt climb is that it is ;a more efficient cruise climb speed and give better cooling in hot weather.
Go from level cruise to slow cruise of 90 kts and back again to level cruise. Do until the trim and power requirements for a quick transition are again reasonably achieved. Next from a 90 kt level cruise initiate a 90 kt descent for 1000' and back to a 90 kts level cruise. Again, once smooth transitions are being made reduce the altitude range to 500' steps.
I begin being critical when headings exceed 10 degrees, altitudes off by over 100' and airspeeds over 5 kts off. As the lessons proceed these parameters will be reduced. I make an effort for the student to anticipate the attitude, power, and control changes needed for each transition. Every pitch up and power increase must be accompanied by anticipatory right rudder pressure. I will insert into this lesson the effect of acceleration and deceleration on the compass reading according to ANDS.
I give about one hour total time of this lesson but about 3 tenths are used in departure/arrival and visual performance prior to use of hood. I encourage my students to practice this and all exercises with each other by trading off as safety pilot. The tape recordings can be reviewed to make a written record of mistake type frequency. Typical listing will be mistakes of heading, altitude, and power settings.
At the end of the lesson the next lesson is described as being based on Pattern A (Refer to back of Instrument Training Handbook) and use of the ADF. Students are asked to memorize Pattern A with the initial heading of North. Instructor will point out that all North headings are at cruise speed and all South headings at low cruise. The 45 degree ticks on the heading indicator give the headings required for the procedure turns. Refer to end of this section for history on Pattern A and B.
Perform with variations of partial panel.
Lesson 2 - Vertical S
At an altitude over hills but within 3000' of the ground we will select a heading and proceed with a series of vertical S's. From the 90 kt climb level off and go the level cruise; transition to an airspeed climb of 90 kts for 1000' and again level off to level cruise. Repeat as required. When the transition from climb to cruise on heading is reasonably accomplished add the next step.
Pitch power and trim utilizing the vertical S maneuver. Perform the maneuver in each of the six configurations of flight in bold print. Climb, cruise, cruise descent, approach, approach descent and non-precision descent.
Descending 360 while losing 1000' First to left and then holding altitude in a 360 and finally a 360 to right while descending 1000' Consists of three 360s and a loss of 2000'. Standards are within 10 seconds for reaching all altitudes and headings. Altitudes within 100' and airspeed within 10 knots. When power is the variable the power controls vertical speed and pitch (trim) controls airspeed.
The vertical-S can be done as a constant airspeed maneuver, as a constant vertical speed maneuver or as a maneuver with both of them constant. Regardless of which performance criteria used it requires control of both throttle and pitch to get the performance sought.
For the student who can do all three of the above with a constant heading, the instructor should present another constant called angle of bank. Perform the maneuvers while turning during climbs and descents.
So that 180 turns occur during every 500' of climb or descent. Tain't easy.
Execute 180 degree turn from initial (cardinal) heading by crisply entering bank and locking elbow to hold horizon. Lead right turns with rudder and check ball for center in both left and right turns. Initiate all rollouts at 22 1/2 degrees before desired heading. Be prepared to apply forward yoke on recovery to prevent pop-up. Perform both left and right. Repeat banks using trim assist. Perform two left and two right turns in level high cruise, level low cruise and approach configuration.
Execute two left and two right 360s and 720s. Note that in doing the 720s you will fly into your own wake turbulence. The most likely effect will be some loss of altitude. Be prepared to vary bank within the allowable + 5 degrees to make altitude corrections. Proficiency when able to roll directly from one bank into the opposite direction. All 45 degree banks within 5 degrees, altitude within 100' and rollout heading within 10 degrees.
Perform with variations of partial panel
Lesson 3 - Timed Turns
The students are told to commence developing an IFR checklist supplement to their VFR lists. This list will cover the preflight, paperwork, pre-start, presetting radios, instruments, start, ATIS, taxiing, runup, pre-takeoff, takeoff, post takeoff, with more to come.
For this lesson we plan our departure toward KKIS 990 using the ADF. This is for familiarization and to get us into a practice area. I select an odd altitude such as 1850' which will generally be above ground reference flights and below airwork and arrival/departure traffic. Timing will be introduced.
We will initially make some level timed turns with full panel referenced cardinal directions then again referenced to the radio station and the ADF needle. The maneuvers will then be practiced as both partial panel gyro and compass turns. We will next fly timed squares about the radio station in descent, level and climb both full and partial panel.
Lesson 4 - Pattern A
We fly pattern A but I may reset the heading indicator to make the North/South reference line a safer direction to operate. The first pattern is flown visually. I will suggest that the student note the ADF needle occasionally to use as a position reference.
The second pattern is flown under the hood. When the student is flying the pattern I may introduce verbal distraction to see the level of concentration achieved. I will also allow the student to proceed well past a heading or time before making a corrective comment. The third pattern is flown using the NDB for our North/South references but flying the heading indicator heading as it appears with the ADF needle on "0". For the first 180 turn I will have the student use a 90/270 course reversal back to the NDB on the way home. Still to come on the NDB is interception of a given bearing to the station and holding patterns.
I will keep the student under the hood as we return to the airport and give vectors, power changes and flap settings until on final. I want my students to become capable of making the IFR/VFR transitions from the very beginning.
I advise the student that the next lesson will involve pattern B and VOR tracking with a visual LDA approach into CCR
Perform with variations of partial panel
How we got Pattern A and Pattern B
During WWII gyroscopic instruments began to be installed on all training aircraft. However, the use of these instruments was sadly neglected for two reasons. First, the instructors had mostly learned during an era of 'seat of the pants, wind on the cheek' flying. Secondly, gyroscopic instruments were placarded to be caged during maneuvers.
Until shortly before the end of the war, instrument instruction, was most cursory. A pilot would often be sent overseas with fewer than ten hours of instrument flight instruction and perhaps another ten in a Link Trainer. Hundreds of pilots were lost because instrument skills were thought to be exclusively an airline pilot skill area. Airlines, viewing schedules as profits, had moved ahead in training and instrumentation. A good case could be made for the statement that more pilots were lost in WWII due to weather flying than due to combat. Hard at work to correct this situation was Joe Duckworth. He learned to fly at Kelly field in the late twenties. As a reservist he flew with Eastern Airlines and had acquired thousands of hours of instrument time and an understanding of the importance of instrument flying. Shortly before the war began Duckworth returned to active duty. He was assigned as director for training at a multi-engine facility in Mississippi.
Duckworth found flying was being taught by older instructors as though gyroscopic instruments did not exist. Combat returns were indicating that weather constituted a life and death hazard comparable to combat. In fact, more aircraft were lost in WWII because of weather than due to air to air combat. Duckworth initiated an instructional program which first evaluated flight instructors and secondly standardized teaching programs. The most immediate result was a 40% reduction in night flying accidents. The relationship between the absence of visual reference at night and instrument flying was quite apparent to Duckworth. "Needle, ball, and airspeed" was the original instrument system. From this, with the invention and installation of the artificial horizon and directional gyro, Duckworth developed attitude flying instruction based upon a scan of the full panel of instruments.
The pilot first needed to learn to fly the aircraft performance envelope using the instruments. Then these skills were applied to the flight maneuvers required to fly the radio range stations of the day. To train pilots in flying this way Duckworth devised the "Pattern A", "Pattern B", and the "Vertical S". Duckworth had found a system that would enable survival in weather.
Next he developed a small program for instructors. Their enthusiasm and acceptance of the attitude flying system soon began to be felt and heard throughout the training command. A head to head competition between the worst of Duckworth's students with the best of the "needle, ball and airspeed" students was held. The results convinced, General Hap Arnold the commander of the Air Force, to open an Instrument School just for instructors. Col. Duckworth became the commander of the base and its program. For the last two years of the war flight instructors were sent from all parts of the training command for a months duty. These instructors in turn would return to base and establish training programs for more instructors. By the end of the war no pilot was graduated from the Air Force Training Command who was not proficient as an instrument pilot.
In the Bay area I would recommend performing these maneuvers over a low mountain area that allows the procedure to be well clear of airways or common flight-ways. The altitudes should begin at the nearest thousand over one-thousand above ground level. Range of two thousand feet will be required above the initial level.
This pattern consists of a mix of 360s placed alternately on the interior and exterior of a square pattern with rounded corners. The interior 360s are inside the square while the exterior 360s are outside the square.
The pattern is to be flown at 90 knots whether level, descending or climbing. All turns are standard rate. The entire procedure is timed. The initial maneuver is flown in level flight by flying a 30 second straight leg in a cardinal direction. This leg is followed by a left 360, then another 30 second straight leg.
Then a 30 second left turn with another 15 second straight leg followed by a two minute right 360 followed by a 15 second straight leg. The inside 360s are left turns while the outside 360s are right turns. Make the first left 360 a climb and the next two 360s are descents followed by a climb. All climbs and descents are at 500 feet per minute at 90 knots. Start at :45 seconds. Performing the pattern with a right entry will reverse the orientation of which 360s are turns in the right and left direction.
After the level procedure has been performed satisfactory with each arrival at the tangent of each circle occurring at the even minute, proceed to make the circles into climbs and descents
Instructional procedure should consist of drawing out the level procedure which takes eleven minutes to complete. Proper performance may that segments be extended for of several flights. A major aspect of the procedure is situational awareness. Initially instructor may help with timing and calling the maneuver. Student may be loaded by having him call manevuer ahead of time.
LESSON 5 - VOR/Reversals
In this lesson we will learn to track two and from a VOR with course reversals. We begin the lesson introduction by walking through the procedure of flying to a VOR and turning outbound for one minute before initiating a course reversal. We enter the cockpit and go through the process of developing a VOR logbook in the rear of our flight time logbook. This will be updated every 30 days by noting the frequency, place, time and date, To and From radials for each VOR and the amount of difference. This information will be signed and dated by the one doing the calibration.
Since this flight will be to the CCR VOR we will preset the #1 Nav to 117.0 and Ident while setting the OBS to an initial setting of 350. The #2 Nav will be set to 112.1 SGD (Napa-Skaggs Island) and the OBS to 101 degrees. This #2 setting serves as a poor man's DME by providing a reference as the VOR is approached. This function of the #2 VOR should be utilized at every opportunity with reference to checkpoints, intersections, airways, VORs and NDBs.
We depart visually to the CCR VOR. This is one of the more difficult flight segments because it occurs during climbs and turns within three miles as well as significant wind changes. Once we have passed through 600' we will turn direct to the VOR and make only one initial setting of the OBS to center the needle. From this point on, the needle is to be corrected by aircraft heading.
At station passage we may proceed with the intercept heading or 260 IFR or VFR. We will proceed to SGD and make contact with Napa and advise them that we will be doing VOR tracking to and from SGD at about 950'. As we approach SGD we will slow to 90 kts and do all the exercise at this speed. Direction of the tracking will be selected to avoid homes, the Class D footprint and the game refuge along Highway 37. Advise APC (Napa) tower of what you are doing and monitor their frequency of 118.7.
Fly to SGD VOR and descend to 7-800'. This should put you below any instrument arrivals. Avoid Naval installation if possible. Advise APC tower of your operation and get clearance if your directions so require. The advantage of such a low altitude is that the zone of ambiguity is much smaller and you are very unlikely to meet traffic at that altitude. You can set your HI incorrectly to make cardinal headings to fly and still avoid hills and homes. Don't intrude on the National Game Refuge along the San Pablo Bay shore line.
First, fly visually directly up-wind to the VOR and start your time at station passage. Fly for two minutes or less (You may need to fly slowly) and then execute a course reversal back to the VOR. Reverse your OBS during the course reversal. Do this several times until you have it down pretty well. Then do it with a safety pilot and under the hood. Remember, the zone of ambiguity is above the station while the zone of confusion is 90 degrees to one side of the OBS/course setting being flown. This zone of confusion is most noticeable close beside the station.
Next, fly at right angles to the wind and do the same tracking and course reversal procedures. Correcting for the wind makes the flight more interesting.
At SGD we will proceed with repeated tracking and course reversals working on altitude, airspeed and heading control. We are trying to improve our selection of headings as they are required to keep the course deviation needle centered. As the lesson proceeds the instructor will gradually shift the load to the student beginning with the need to reverse the OBS during the course reversals.
After a minimum of six and maximum of 12 patterns we will depart SGD for CCR. This lesson may be concluded by a flight to CCR followed by instructor vectors to a short approach to landing. The hood is not removed until turning final as a method of simulating the sudden transition from IFR to VFR conditions prior to landing. Alternatively, an approach VFR or IFR may be requested and flown to CCR.
PYE VOR (Point Reyes) might work better with more interesting winds. There will be very little low level traffic at PYE. Remain at least 2000. above the game area. All of these exercises can be done at the CCR VOR but the required altitudes make the station passage less exact and traffic is somewhat a problem.
Perform with variations of partial panel.
Lesson 6 - Holding
Before this lesson can be flown an intensive ground session on holding patterns is required. We will make the same arrival procedure to SGD but now we will be doing holding patterns. Two flights may be required. Every third practice hold should be done visually to provide situational awareness to the student.
First we will make the four possible direct entries from a given arrival direction. After determining the approximate wind from APC's ATIS, we will plan our entry to hold directly up-wind at first in right turns and then in left turns. Do this until you have been able to adjust your inbound time to one minute.
Since there are two other entries you now depart briefly and make arrivals that will require the other direct entries. Next we will depart on a course that when followed by a course reversal will require tear-drop entry into a similarly selected holding pattern that will require you to make your time correction for a downwind hold. Do this for both left and right turns
The last step would be to make departures that will require parallel entries with 90 degree crosswind holds in both left and right turns.
Perform with variations of partial panel.
Lesson 7 - Holding
This will be a VOR exercise at CCR at an altitude within 3000' of the ground.. Radio contact will be maintained with Travis Approach on 119.9 as a means of monitoring traffic. Over CCR at 2923'(or less) the 180 radial will be intercepted and flown to the CCR VOR. The specified hold will be "Hold North at CCR in left turns". After the hold has been established and corrected for times and headings, the aircraft will depart CCR VOR for three minutes on the 180 radial.
A course reversal will be used to re-establish the aircraft inbound on the 180 radial to CCR VOR. At the VOR the specified hold will be "Hold East at CCR in right turns". After the hold has been established and corrected for times and headings, the aircraft will depart CCR VOR and intercept and track the 180 radial for three minutes.
A course reversal will be used to re-establish the aircraft inbound on the 180 radial to CCR VOR. At the VOR the specified hold will be "Hold East at CCR in left turns". After the hold has been established and corrected for times and headings, the aircraft will depart CCR VOR and intercept and track the 180 radial for three minutes.
A course reversal will be used to re-establish the aircraft inbound on the 180 radial to CCR VOR. At the VOR the specified hold will be, "Hold South of CCR VOR in right turns". After the hold has been established and corrected for times and headings the aircraft will depart CCR VOR for a VFR full approach to CCR so the student can see just what happens in a procedure turn. The remainder of the approach can be flown VFR or SIFR.
Unusual attitudes will consist of recoveries at high speeds and low speeds and stalls. Full and partial panel recoveries will be made.
Perform with variations of partial panel.
Lesson 8 - ADF Part A An extensive ground walk-through of the following lesson as well as VFR flying of the routes will strengthen the situational awareness required for IFR flight. Using VOR skills to augment NDB procedures is a preferred teaching/learning procedure.
Visualization of flight to an NDB can be greatly improved by selecting a VOR radial that goes through an NDB or radio station. This radial can be determined by flying over the station and centering the OBS needle. CCR VOR and Kanan NDB are aligned near on the 060° radial. Fly some distance from the station and set the VOR inbound through the NDB and VOR. Visually fly the VOR radial and watch the behavior of the ADF needle. Any ADF needle offset will be the wind correction required to track inbound. At the VOR do a course reversal and fly outbound on the radial through the NDB. Again note the ADF needle offset required to track the VOR radial.
The next step is to fly an ADF intercept of the VOR inbound radial using either the double-the-angle method discussed below or a 45 degree intercept angle. Fly off the VOR radial a mile or so and follow the steps:
--Set compass and HI
--Identify the NDB
--Fly a heading parallel to the magnetic course
--The ADF needle will point left/right to the course line
--Double the number of degrees the needle is off the nose to get the intercept direction and angle, or for quicker intercept...
--Your distance from the course line as shown by the angle of the ADF needle will determine the selection of a 20 degree; (less than 10 degrees ), 45 degrees; (over 10 degrees; ) or 90 degrees; (in a hurry)intercept.
--Turn to new 45 degrees; heading using 45 degree; tick on heading indicator to select angle
--Intercept is when the ADF needle has reached the rear 45 degree; heading tick. 15 seconds lead at standard rate works.
--Turn inbound/outbound and see if ADF needle and VOR radial agree.
Use wind corrections of 5-10 degrees. Needle will be flown off to one side the amount of wind correction required. If needle moves you need to select a different wind correction angle.
You will note that you have been using a process that will work just as well in making a VOR radial intercept. Additionally you might note that the sum-of-the-digits at the 45 degree; angles works just like the 90 degree
Prior to departure a ground session of diagram and walk-through of the Double the Angle method of bearing interception to an NDB. We will depart IFR to the CCR VOR and then proceed VFR to Intercept a 090 bearing to KKIS followed by a hold west of KKIS in right turns. This is a good time to show the effectiveness of doubling the inbound heading to obtain the outbound heading correction. On completion we will depart SIFR (Simulated IFR) back to a position that will repeat the exercise of 090 bearing to KKIS and a hold in right turns. The holding pattern will be flown several times as required to adjust both the leg times and the headings required for the hold.
We will depart KKIS on a heading of 120 for several minutes before turning 090. This should put us off the 270 bearing so that the execution of a course reversal near Antioch should allow sufficient time and distance for a 270 bearing interception to KKIS and a hold west in left turns. After the hold is established and corrected both for leg time and headings required we will depart for CCR. Again the option exists for either an approach of instructor vectors.
Perform with variations of partial panel.
Lesson 9 - ATC Procedures
From this lesson on the instructor or the student will give a brief of the particulars for the flight and the approach before it is flown. Each heading, altitude, etc. should be verified by the other party. The anticipated communications will be reviewed. During the flight the student should talk through where he is, what the guages should show, and what is coming next. The talking student is much less likely to fixate than the silent student.
Lesson 11 - Unusual Attitudes
Don't let a situation become dire before taking actions and know what to do ahead of time.
Low airspeed unusual attitudes require:
--Lower the nose
--Level the wings
--Greatest hazard is over control and entering spiral dive.
--Nose down is most common and dangerous
High airspeed unusual attitudes require:
--If the airspeed is building rapidly to Vne, close the throttle.
--Level the wings before applying back pressure.
--Level flight by using altimeter. This reduces any loading due to bank and turn and puts all G-load into reducing airspeed.
--Nose up is apt to be caused by trim
--Get the nose to level or down and lock your arm
In high performance aircraft you must lock your arm to the side and use only the palm of your hand to push with. (See instructor)
During the unusual attitudes when the student has his head down and eyes closed, Reach over and turn the heading indicator 180 degrees. Then ask him to:
--Determine aircraft location while circling (Hood on)
--Locate an intersection by its radials
--Determine heading to intersection and ETA
Hold at intersection on crossing radial
Lesson 12 - DME Arcs
Locating the DME arc distance can be done by flying a heading that will put the DME station abeam. By crossing abeam the station your groundspeed will approach zero. That heading if held is on the arc, by turning 10 degrees toward the station you should be able to make your distance decrease by a decimal. By holding the new heading when another decimal decrease in distance occurs you can anticipate the need for another 10-degree heading change. It is a by guess and by golly process but all turns should be toward the station with the DME distance making decimal by decimal changes.
Select a VOR that has hilly terrain to allow flight within 3000' of terrain at an altitude such as 4,300'. Fly VFR toward the VOR on a cardinal heading such as East. Slow to approach speed as you come within three miles of the 15 mile DME arc. At 15.5 DME turn 90 degrees to the right/left.
Set the OBS for 5 degrees deflection that will allow the needle to track through center to 5 degrees to the other side. When a total of 10 degrees has passed, reset the OBS 10 degrees to a 5 degree deflection, make a 10 degree turn to 90 degrees of OBS setting.
Set heading bug, if available, to 90 degrees for each selected OBS setting. Fly to each side of bug to correct for wind or to correct DME reading. If Using HSI have moving bar be set for 1/2 deflection on top and fly to 1/2 deflection to the bottom before resetting OBS another 10 degrees, changing heading bug and flying desired heading. Again you fly slightly to each side of the bug to make DME corrections.
Initially fly VFR for three or four heading changes then simulated IFR. Make a inbound radial intercept to the 10.5 DME arc and track a 10 DME arc back in the other direction. The needle swings will be faster, the heading changes will be required sooner.
You are out of currency and are faced with an IFR emergency. First, do nothing. Make your best choice as where to go for nearest VFR conditions.
If a student is trained in relatively high pressure situations he is more likely to take positive action instead of freezing. A pilot who is not current is in an emergency situation when faced with the necessity of instrument flight. the first requirement is the ability to perform a level 180. Be patient and you will reach better weather.
For instructional purposes with a student make some labels such as, start, level, turn, straight, rate, up/down. Have the student do a series of heading changes with two minute level flight in between. the student must not lose control even in turbulence. Enter a descending turn and have the student recover to level flight before climbing back to the original altitude.
Safety Pilot Experience:
Acquaintance is a CFII but relatively new. He has frequent need to use this aircraft to commute between two nearby airports. He wanted to confirm his proficiency for making the flights in IMC. His equipment is ratty to say the least. He called and asked if I would be available to fly as safety pilot. I was, barely. Next day we set up a late afternoon flight. I make a practice in all flights to tape lessons. He told me not to. He certainly had valid concerns about having a tape of this flight.
As is my nature I wanted to go over the approaches with him. First I asked if he had required VFR charts. He did not. I did. Looking at the Jeppeson charts he had out, it was evident that he was planning to do an approach for which he did not have proper equipment. He planned to substitute non-certified GPS for DME. Doing this is contrary to FARs. Even worse The VOR/DME approach had distance measures from the LOC at the far end of the runway. There was no way the GPS could be used for DME without using a homemade reference. When he finally accepted my argument he said he would use the Airport Reference Point on the GPS and subtract ...5 miles from DME mileage on the charts. He wanted to do this approach because of 300' lower minimums. Since conditions were VFR I went with his plan because he expected to have DME relatively soon and certainly before flying the approach in IMC.
Except on two brief occasions did he never had any loss of control. Flying the plane was never a problem. Departure and turning to the VOR three-miles away was a problem. He ignored the existing winds so that he tracked to the VOR but had full deflection of the needle downwind one-mile from the VOR. Even with my help he did not make a good station passage. The clearance said that we would be radar vectors to final approach course. We were given at least four vectors before we were on the course ATC desired. The pilot failed to get the current ATIS and when advised that Romeo was current never requested a frequency change until I made my third emphatic suggestion. But the ATC just gave it to him.
As we were being vectored I asked how he knew his location. He had put our destination airport into the GPS so he was able to give me our position from that airport. He could not and did not use the VOR/OBS to find our vector route. Even though he knew that at some point we would be making a base vector to intercept the LOC, he never made any effort to protect himself from radar/radio failure over 2500' hills.
Shortly before we were to be given our base interception vector he experienced an Attitude Indicator failure. It never turned excessively but would only indicate excessively high or low with extremely lazy movements. We covered it. Only once under this partial panel did he have a brief attitude problem but his headings often varied over 10 degrees until I brought it to his attention. He never informed ATC of his Gyro failure.
He overshot the LOC but finally made a reasonable intercept at two-miles out .His modified DME system worked. After landing he did some business matters and then filed a tower-en route back home. He took the clearance in the runup area but was unable to make a good copy or read back. Even after four tries it was necessary for me to point out that the first turn from runway heading was not right. He mentally was unable to accept that ATC would deliberately turn and vector him 180-degrees away from a nearby destination. ATC would and does. A built in plan to reduce IFR traffic. Happens in the L.A. Basin all the time.
Prior to departure I had discussed his failure to keep a good situational-aware program in effect. This time I helped him keep track of his progress along the vectored courses back home. Once again he was put in a position of making an approach without DME. Instead he used a timed LDA approach which was greatly helped by using the GPS for ground speed. Without DME the minimums were 520'. I asked him about arriving over the runway threshold at 520'. He claimed that he would have no problem on a 5000' runway. However, I had a problem with it. The approach had a Visual Descent Point at one time.
I showed him how to make a VDP for any non-precision approach based on the minimum altitude for the approach. He used my suggested procedure and proceeded to blow the whole landing (in my opinion) by turning off into an inactive runway. As of the latest AIM you are allowed to turn off on to an inactive runway with ATC approval.
Did a pre-checkride review of some basic instrument procedures combined with partial panel.
Student had not had such a concentrated review before. Went to partial panel on takeoff and under the hood at the same time.
Flew to NDB in the climb and leveled off at 2700 AGL. Stayed there the entire
flight until returning for landing 1.8 hours later. Longest time I have ever
done this with a student. He was flying so well that I just kept him going.
Endurance in partial panel is very important because it is after a period of
time and several unusual attitudes that the skills seem to fade.
Departed the NDB to intercept a VOR radial some 12 miles out. Student had to make several attempts to get established on designated bearing from the NDB and had failed to set proper frequency for VOR intercept. So we went back to the NDB on the reciprocal bearing and tried again. This time everything worked perfectly.
Did some slow flight, stalls, and several unusual attitudes with partial panel and under the hood. No problems observed. Changed to a VOR procedure that is used to determine time to VOR without DME. We flew at right angles to a radial to intercept a radial ten degrees further on. By noting the time in seconds required to make the 10-degree change we can compute the number of minutes to the VOR by dropping the final digit. Total time to fly across 10-degrees was two minutes and 10 seconds or 130 seconds. Drop the final zero and we are 13 minutes from the VOR with no wind considerations. Turned toward VOR and used DME to confirm our estimate.
Had student parallel airway inbound to NDB and used the 'double the angle'
method to get inbound on the airway. Took three or four tries before we got
fully adjusted for wind correction but were never very far off. Good passage and
then tracked outbound to intercept a localizer. I gave a couple of heading
vectors to intercept the localizer and we flew a very smooth localizer at 2700
Departed the localizer airport and contacted approach to do an NDB approach to a full stop at home field set student up for an easy intercept by having him ask for vectors. Had to help him figure how to make the intercept turn to the NDB. Flew well but busted his circling minimums.
Student found that flying partial panel reduced the heading problems because the compass is so variable it is harder for the instructor to be overly critical. The fewer instruments to watch seemed to make things easier. I have found this true, also. Student flew exceptionally well because he had a full nights sleep. When compared with flights we usually make after he has worked all night it is obvious fatigue is a severe detriment to flight training.
Lesson in Success
Had an instrument student have a success experience today. We did a pop-up IFR while holding at a fix that would give us a VOR-A approach into an airport. As we arrived at the fix I covered the heading indicator with a 'no-peeky'. It went well until he began his descents. The compass became less reliable and he failed to make the necessary changes in heading to keep the needle centered.
The approach was a bust. I reviewed with him the backwardness of the compass numbers and how the timed heading changes could also be done just by counting into and out of the turn. I had him fly back to the fix with the HI and we flew the approach VFR but under the hood without the HI. What do you know, it worked. He was ecstatic. Some how, in the past, he had missed one or more of of the key learning points in the process. Things fell into place. He is ready for the practical test and he knows it.
Student was concerned about flying airways. Together we worked out an hour flight triangle using airways. We flew at minimum en route altitudes with 500' hemispheric rule additions. We flew VFR with constant radar contact, advisories and handoffs. Student was not under the hood.
We walked through the courses and altitudes to be flown. We selected all the com frequencies required as well as the nav frequencies for our primary courses and radials crossing at intersections. We located and marked all the COPs (VOR change-over points).
We departed VFR and contacted approach, advising them of our route and intentions. With successive handoffs we extended our flight for direction and distance. ATC was very cooperative.
On our next flight we will repeat the flight in the other direction but with the student under the hood. I have never before felt that such a lesson was necessary. The success of this lesson both in student and instructor satisfaction means that I will add it to my necessary list of IFR lessons.
I just wanted to let you know that your web site is extremely helpful and thorough and I can tell that you must be incredibly knowledgeable in all aspects of instructing. I also, I realize that you must be very busy, but I would appreciate your advice on a matter that arose on an IFR training flight-
I was busy setting up freqs, listening to and complying with ATC, flying the airplane (meticulously holding headings and altitude), when my instructor asks me to tell him where we are on the low en route chart. Basically, he wanted me to cross reference the radials between the VOR to determine our location.
My question is, that considering how busy I was in the cockpit, was his request reasonable?
The result of all this was that I fell behind (deviated from heading and altitude), felt INCREDIBLY frustrated, was reamed out by my instructor and had an overall very negative experience.
The best way to answer is perhaps to give a similar example of that kind of instructing I did yesterday with a student pilot. He has completed all his PP requirements and we are working of pre-test proficiency. He got a 93 on the written. However, he is weak on unfamiliar airport arrivals. Knowing this, I wait for his arrival at the airport and told him that we were going to a nearby uncontrolled airport that he had never been to. I had him preflight and asked if he was ready to go. He said he was.
Needless to say, the flight was a mess. no frequencies, no radio plans, nothing seemed to go right. He had to work out everything on the go and it was not easy. Afterwards I told him that flying with out being ahead of the aircraft only made things more difficult with slow flight being an option.
That evening he called me to thank me for giving him an excellent well needed lesson. In your case you were just staying even with the requirements of IFR flight doing everything you were supposed to do and doing it correctly. However, you were not flying in such a way that you had any reserve capacity for the unexpected. In my opinion your instructor either knowingly or unknowingly gave you a wake-up call that said it is time for you to develop your operational reserves. Call him and thank him for showing you that doing just enough to do everything right is still not ENOUGH. You must always be capable of handling the unexpected.
English philosopher John Locke said, "It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth."
I just called my instructor and told him about the email (and thanked him). This alleviated the tension and hard feelings that were the result of my flight. And, THANK YOU once again for the great web site and great advice.
First IFR Lesson in VFR Followed by Hood
My student is a 20 year out of experience private. I have flown about 20 hours of area familiarization, pilotage, radio procedures, planning arrivals and departures in a mix of weather conditions and visibility. During this process I worked on one-finger trimmed airspeeds in all flight speeds and configuration. I was to handle all the communications on this training flight except for departure and arrival.
My first IFR training flight consisted of VFR flight between two VOR about 60-miles apart without the hood. We spent about 45 minutes planning the route, intersections, frequencies and radials. using two navigational radios where we always flew the #1 from and to a VOR midpoint on the route. All the intersections were located by use of the #2 navigational radio. All of this was plotted on the chart.
We then went out to the aircraft and did a dry run setting all the
navigational radios to the appropriate frequencies and OBS settings as
referenced to the charts. This actual making the required changes in the
frequencies and OBS settings helped student to see where the short way to turn
took some prior planning.
We planned to fly the vertical-S in C-172 with all climbs at 90 knots and level flight transitions to cruise speeds and back to 90 knots for descent.. All level flight eastward was done at odd-thousands plus 500 and westward at even-thousands plus 500. We also planned using airway intersections from both left and right sides of flight planned route. Course reversals were made at each end. of the airway two minutes after crossing the VORs. Flight timing was done using DME.
The VFR part of the flight went very well with the student fully occupied without being overloaded. Due to time restraints we were able to get only 40 minutes of hood time going a second time on the route but only half way and back.
We have planned a second flight (cancelled by weather) where we will file an airway flight of about an hour that takes us on a modified 'wreckedangle' pulling our intersection turns off of VORs from both ahead and behind. This will increase the need for changes in headings, radials and OBS settings in the #1 nav radio as well as a few radials changed in the #2 for courses and intersections. Decision as to whether IFR or VFR depends on conditions.
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