Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 12 - IFR To Lansing And Back

Well, lots of news to report from this lesson.

I filed my first IFR Flight plans today.  Kevin talked me through it as there are a few interesting steps and idiosyncrasies, but I did all the work.

I arrived early and did the flight planning and chose the appropriate departure, arrival and approach.  I then completed the flight plan and filed it via Foreflight.

I then did the return flight and again filed via Foreflight.

Both plans were accepted and I got the clearance and had a perfect and organized read back, had everything loaded in the Garmin 430W exactly as I needed it, and then we were in the air at 10:45.  I got everything I could pre-loaded on the ground and that paid off in organization and reduced workload in the air. 

We went up and were almost immediately into the soup.

Actual IFR.  It's lovely grey/white clouds with no horizon or nothing.

Yes, spatial disorientation sets in and happens very quickly with your body telling you one thing and your instruments another.  

Believe the instruments.  My body was telling me we were descending in a right turn - no such thing was actually happening.  It went away as I concentrated on the instruments, but it is quite a feeling when that happens.

We then contacted Detroit Approach and got a vector to Lansing via our plan, and then got a change to direct to avoid some weather that was moving in.

I did the ILS 28L approach into Lansing and did a nice breakout with the clouds above minimums, and landed just fine.

Then we activated the plan for the return to Pontiac, loaded everything up on the ground and then got cleared to take off.

We hit a fair bit of weather and again got vectored around some but got into some light precipitation and solid IFR on the way back.

We then had to get vectored due to other traffic and then were again on the RNAV approach to Runway 27L which is out of service for construction.  We then circled to Runway 27R and landed.  Right after we landed, we heard some thunder come in.  Excellent timing.

My first IFR Cross-Country Flight. Lots of effort involved. Lots of radio work, setting the GPS for changes en route, and checking over plates etc.  A lot of fun and very satisfying to do, but I do need more practice for sure, even as I'm grasping the concepts and steps a lot better.

That's 2.1, 2 landings; 1.0 actual IFR; .6 simulated; and .5 VFR.


B said...
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B said...

Now yer learnin something!
I did my entire IFR cross country in IFr. From 12oo ft agl at takeoff to the first landing at or near minimums. THen back to home the same way. I learned a LOT that day.
Kinda cool to break out of the clouds and see the PAPI and the runway all right as it should be, innit?

How do you circle 27l-27r?

Old NFO said...

Nicely done! And what you got was what is called the death spiral. That's what killed young Kennedy a few years ago.

Rick said...

I think that flying actual IFR is the most unnatural thing one can ever do. It is a blast when breaking out to see the runway exactly where it's supposed to be.

In training, I begged and pleaded with my CFIs to do round robin flights which involved many approaches to different airports (with missed and holds) on cross country flights. It is during training that you'll sweat, 'real' flights won't be - or shouldn't be! - as tiring.

I have a well defined sense of spatial awareness. I thought all that talk of the 'leans' was overblown. So I sandbagged on a couple of IFR training flights. When the CFI had the pilot maneuver, I closed my eyes and sat very still. I proved it to myself that one cannot - must not - trust their senses.

Oh, and 'see and avoid' is still the providence of the IFR pilot. Between layers I was nearly clipped by a C-210 skimming the tops just below me. I queried ATC who said he didn't have even a primary hit on the suspect target. Then ATC said, Oh yeah, now I see him.

IFR is a helluva achievement.

Aaron said...

B: Yep, lots of learning occurred. It was a side-step to 27R rather than circle, but under IFR it's apparently still called a circle to land anyways and not a sidestep. I do love breaking out of the clouds all lined up with the runway right where it is supposed to be it's just plain cool.

Old NFO: Yep, that's exactly how it can happen if you're not locked on the instruments.

Rick: Nothing better than breaking out right where you want to be. Lots of sweating going on in training for sure as lots is getting thrown at me plus the plane bouncing around a bit in the weather.

Definitely still need to see and avoid in between layers - we were in a cloud when ATC let us know of an airplane near us but we told them we were in straight IMC so they had the other plane change course.