Cat Driver wrote:
I am going to have to respectfully disagree with this one. I can honestly say that in over 10 000 hours of float flying on the Central and North Coast, I have NEVER entered cloud. If you guys are letting it get to the point where you are entering cloud at 300 feet and then having to do a turn in cloud, then I would suggest finding a new career before this one bites you in the ass. VFR flying is what it is, VISUAL flight rules, and I stress the word visual. You should turn around long before it gets to the point of entering cloud low level.
I agree 100%.
10,000 hours of coastal float time and you've never stooged around at minimums over open water on a misty, drizzly, glassy day? Because that's what I'm talking about Bubba and Cat, not flying into a cloud.
Leading a new float pilot to the coast to believe that our weather and decision making out here is as black and white as the above post is, in my humble opinion, doing that pilot a huge disservice. It's a million shades of grey out here man.
The reality is we spend a lot of our days flying around in inclement weather and he's going to have lots of 300 foot, open water (no land in sight) misty, drizzly, glassy, same temp as dew point, stressful-as-hell days. There's no getting around it.
And every once in a while, he's going to go from 2 miles to 1/2 a mile in a split second and his ability to safely execute a 180 is going to be the difference between living to fly another day or unintentionally hitting the water.
So what's his best option now? Revert to his instruments to safely and calmly execute a 180, or ignore all the good stuff staring him in the face (VSI, T+B, ASI), bulge his eyes, try not to shit his pants, crane his neck, look out the side window and hail mary it around?
Just to be clear, I would never intentionally fly into cloud, nor do I condone flying IMC in a VFR aircraft.
Accurately gauging forward visibility and remaining clear of cloud is pretty straight forward with some vertical reference like an island or any shoreline.
Accurately gauging forward visibility at 300 feet over open water on a glassy, drizzly, misty day, not so much.
We all enter this world with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of knowledge. The trick is to fill up that bag of knowledge before your bag of luck runs out.