IMC approaches to minimums experiences

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How often do you engage APR mode on the autopilot

Stick and rudder all the way
13
27%
I do it by hand, No Flight Director
7
15%
I do it by hand, with Flight Director
5
10%
Occasionally hand fly it in.. APR to mins most of the time though
19
40%
APR to minnimums
4
8%
 
Total votes: 48

Brize
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IMC approaches to minimums experiences

Post by Brize »

What's it like to shoot an approach right down to minimums in IMC? The adrenalin must really shoot through the body sometimes. Is the pressure to make it look good in front of the other pilot there? You must get sloppy on occasion.

steady needle... :shock: ..steady...man it was sunnier at 17,000ft :roll: .... dammint.. &*%$ neelde's full right...

Lets give this polling thing a try..
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frog
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Post by frog »

Just like your first solo...the first one is scary...but after a while !!!!!
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Radio Phone
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Post by Radio Phone »

First off, if you've got adrenelen shooting through your viens on any IFR approch, you're in the wrong job.

The wonderful thing about the IFR environment is that is controlled. you fly the a/c to the numbers, then look outside, if you don't see what you're supposed to see, go to the next set of numbers. This is an easy thing to do, that's why thousands of commercial flights a day go on around the world with very little fanfare. Yes, I'm sure the first one might be a bit exciting, but after that, it's not something that should have the alarm bells going off.

VFR on the other hand, can get a bit hairy in certain situations and environments. The reason for this is that each decision that YOU actually make, leads to another and another, which drastically affect the outcome of the flight. Each of these decisions will have many different options that you must choose from. When in extreme areas such as the arctic, most coastal areas and high mountains, each and every decision is infinitely imortant when in the shit. IFR done properly is VERY safe and whether the approch is to minimums or not, it's all layed out for you in advance - piece of cake.

Good luck in gathering experience, it's a blast.

RP
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Post by Cat Driver »

Flying in cloud is far easier and far more accurate than flying VFR.

Its all a matter of getting used to it.

Cat Driver
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Post by PT6-114A »

Have done a few and always hand fly them and ues the F/D to help dont trust the A/P
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Post by FA28 guy »

IFR has a rule and procedure for almost every event if you find something that doesn't fit the rules your probably missing something. Like everyone is saying IFR is a paint by the numbers kind of exercise. You still have to quality control the information but it's like magic. You fly by the rules and just like magic the long dark runway seems to always show up. The trick is to always understand where you are and relax. I use hands on without outo pilot with most aircraft with the occational autopilot. I enjoy the hands on.
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Post by RB211 »

PT6-114A wrote:Have done a few and always hand fly them and ues the F/D to help dont trust the A/P
Sadly, that must just be a function of the A/P you have at your disposal. SOP's for me dictate use of the A/P as standard especially to minimums. It can do a better job than I ever could anyway. Having said that, hand flown approaches in the F28 were fun. :D
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Post by flyboy »

I agree with RB, some of the A/C I fly have ap's that just don't cut it on approach, so I hand fly. Most larger equip. turbines and up have AP's that do it perfect, and if I'm shooting a 200 and 1/2 approach, I'd rather be monitoring what's going on than handflying.
That being said, I fly primarily single pilot, I suppose two crew operations may choose to handbomb it.
my .02
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I AM the autopilot

Post by ahramin »

I am happier not having an autopilot. You are far too likely to wake up to find the other guy asleep with an a/p.

I hate it when that happens.

ahramin
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Brize
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Post by Brize »

Must have been nap time with cookies, milk, and puffy clouds.
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Post by chiefpilot »

Auto-pilots should be used as little as possible on an approach :)
After take-off we wait until 10,000 ft to engage and descending through 10,000 ft to dis-engage.
If the approach is left up to the auto-pilot all the time then one get's rusty, and this can bite you in the rump :oops:
Not all of our type of A/C have auto-pilots so, you can get very rusty jumping from auto to hand bomb after a month, and when you need to hand bomb to minimums for the first time in a month :oops: "HEY!, DID WE LAND OR WERE WE SHOT DOWN" :roll:

And as for the comment up there someplace, I agree, there should be no adrenaline rush, you should be CALM, COOL, and RELAXED.

CP
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ASA120
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Approaches to

Post by ASA120 »

Different times of the year your sharpness and concentration will come and go into and out of focus.

Having flown VFR for the first five years of my career, the transition to IFR can be tiresome and was a little intimidating. Shooting an approach to minimums may have been once a year, then five times in one day. The first few where shaky then they tightened up.

When I flew at Bearskin, there were no autopilots, and realistically flying the B99, most of the approaches to real minimums were few and far between. Icing was a greater concern then the actual ceilings and visibility. If we did actually shot a real ILS in YHD or YQT most of us, haven't shot a real ILS in six months. It was more of a change then anything else.

When I left the Bear I flew Metros and B1900 south of the border and everywhere you go it is an ILS or at least 99% of the time. Still eleven months out of the year the weather is at least 600'. However, you can get five days of bad weather. However, the big differences in shooting appraches to minimums in the BUSH and at a certified instrument runway is the lighting. Flying the Metro and B1900, was single pilot which is not approved in Canada, but for frieght was approaved in the U.S. The greatest challenge in hand flying approaches is still windshear, and thunderstorms. Most days that it is at minimuns you don't have the driving rain, and wind shear warnings.

Flying the CRJ-200 now, most of us hand fly with the flight director on. Though we are supposed to couple the approach in low visibility approaches few of us do. The reason for this, is practise, despite what Allen Iverson says you still need practise. Though I suppose with people on board it is not practise, it is game time.

We have a 1000 foot agl call "altimeters and instuments x-checked."
A 500 foot call "no flags, gear checked down."
A "200 feet above minimins."
A "100 feet above minimins."
"minimins, runway in sight, or approach lights in sight continue or no runway."

Pilot flying response at minimins. Is either "runway in sight, continuing if approach lights in sight, or Set Go Around power, spoilers in, flaps eight."

If the runways lights are in sight we go down to another 100 feet. Then either continue to land or go missed approach.


The interesting part of shooting an approach is how your body reacts to the enviroment. Each of can draw an example of fatigue associated with flying. Shooting approaches to Minimuns in certain circumstances can be very fatiguing. The varibles around each approach are different. In the far reaches of Canada, shooting an approach is definately more crucial. The thought of going missed has more consequences. Where are you going to go. The alternate may be a long way, the Wx crappy there as well. Fuel considerations, passenger considerations, accomidations, etc.

Many times it is the circumstances that we consider pertaining to each flight that add fatigue to the situation. Being boxed in in a helpless feeling. Combining the boxed in feeling with an old panel, ice, and rust can be a challenging situation.

Proper briefing of the approach are vital to reducing work load during an approach, especially when tired. However, that is the same for all occasions.
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Post by Cat Driver »

I found the pilot monitered approach to be the easiest and safest method.

Of course you are hooped for using this method if flying single pilot...which I no longer do....

An IFR pilot monitered approach has the added safety factor of no need to transition from the instruments to an outside enviorement.....makes it real simple..

Auto pilot is disconnected for the approach...

Cat Driver:
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The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


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Post by Anti-Ice »

A contraversial debate for sure. about 50% of our Be-20 captains hand fly most of the time and the other 50% swear by the A/P. Myself I like the A/P, especially at the end of an all night medevac, approaching to mins. :lol:
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Post by Brize »

Thanks for the responses.. very informative for us low time pilots. I'm getting a better idea of what's in store and how to approach IFR.

Do physiological effects in IMC such as "the leans" change as you progress through to larger aircraft?
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RB211
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Post by RB211 »

By leans I expect you are referring to vertigo. It becomes less likely as the IFR experience level increases.
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Post by ASA120 »

With larger aircraft you are flying faster, and when you are flying at a faster speed the turning radius increases which makes for a larger turn. Less likely to get vertigo.

As well when you have been flying for a while you are less like to look back over your shoulder when you are turning to look for something.
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Last edited by ASA120 on Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bubbles »

plus, even if you do get the leans, you just know to trust the instruments. Recognizing that you have the leans is the first step, though. :shock:
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Post by joe to go »

An approach to minimums is just like sex. Do it properly and there will be no issues. Do it wrong, and get ready for the shocker of your life!! Except for the fact that the consequences for an unsafe approach don't happen nine months later!!

joe
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Post by 32a »

Flying minimums approaches is earning your pay by doing it right. The stress is not necessarily higher unless you get "behind the aircraft". Solution: planning and practice. The planning aspect doesn't apply just to the approach...know what you're going to do if the approach is not successful. There are an incredible number of pilots who have never missed an approach in actual conditions or have never diverted from destination. There is quite often a "will always land" mindset which needs to be broken to become comfortable with minimums approaches.

Handfly or autopilot? Depends on the quality of the autopilot. Some fly better than I can, others are used for a chuckle every now and then. Here lies another key. Be proficient in the use of the gadgets. There is no use having all the new generation gizmos if you aren't confident operating them.

Leans? Most has been said already. Personally, I have been flying IFR for 24 yrs and am most susceptible to the leans when simultaneously accelerating and turning during IMC departures. I know it, am ready for it, and "believe the instruments" to deal with it.

Fly safe!
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