IFR - IMC Go - No go tolerances Launch or scrub?


#1

Be interesting to see what other’s go - no go tolerances are.

Conversation at discussions.flightaware.com/view … ght=#35482 led me to start this thread over here as erisajd said he would not take family in LIFR conditions.

My personal limits are quite the opposite, knowing my own plane’s handling characteristics, I would not hesitate to take anybody down to ILS minimums.

In my short 3 years of having my IA rating, I have done 5 approaches down to the airports minimums. 1 ILS down to 200 AGL with my instructor during training, and 3 GPS approaches down to 400 AGL at different airports and at my own airport 1 VOR circle to land down to 500 AGL.

I have had executed several ILS approaches down to 500 AGL

I had to go missed approach once for the real deal with my instructor thus going to the airport with the ILS

My take is the airplane does not care if it’s cloudy or sunny outside. The only thing that will guide that plane down to terra firma is the human factor. I myself find it no problem in hard IFR conditions. (IMC).

Maybe in someways, I am bass ackwards as not only do I like being in IMC, but night IMC is actually easier for me to navigate then no ground reference in severe clear.

Why you may ask? Inside the clouds, the nav lights give a comforting glow which makes it seem actually lighter outside, not the pitch black.

If I was flying a plane I was unfamiliar with, then I would have higher tolerances, but having flown my plane for the last 6 years, I would unequivically not hesitate to shoot an ILS approach down to minimums of 200 feet AGL with passengers I know and love.

My longest flight in solid IMC was 2 1/2 hours that ended with a VOR alpha back at my home airport KMBO at night.

Don’t get me wrong, flying in IMC is the grand poo pah of flying, but isn’t that why we got our IA tickets?

Just what are your tolerances or limits??? Would you slide down the ILS at 90 knots (or whatever your final approach speed may be) and break out at 200 AGL 15 seconds before wheels kiss terra firma or would you scrub that flight?

In this scenario, it’s a cozy 50 degrees inside the clouds, winds are light and variable, in other words, other then IMC, no other mitigating weather factors. And to keep everybody on the same playing field, if you have an autopilot, consider it inop., you must hand fly :slight_smile:

Airport is at minimums for that particular approach is the only thing between you and ground.

What would you do, what would you just do???

Allen


#2

As I plan on getting my intrument rating sometime in the near future, I think about this question sometimes. If I were planning a long x-country to a destination that is forecast to be at or near minimums, I would make sure I had plenty of fuel onboard to leave room for lots of options, and I’d make sure there is better weather reported within that range of my reserves and that that weather is not forecast to deteriorate.

Having said that, if I found myself at my destination in 200-and-1 conditions, I wouldn’t hesitate to give an ILS approach a try. Before getting my private license, I spent a LOT of time playing with MS Flight Simulator… I know - I know - I can feel a lot of eyes rolling here :unamused: but I consistently flew good approaches and landings in 200-and-a-half conditions. That’s gotta be worth SUMTHIN’, right? If nuthin’ else, I got a lot of praise from my instructor when doing the hood work for my private license! He said I was “a natural”! Unusual attitudes…? Piece-a-cake! I looked forward to doin’ them.

I will say that I have significant problems with non-precision approaches (on flight simulator) when I try them, so I didn’t do them very often - I figured I’d wait until I get proper training on how to do them before I work on them all wrong.

Now, taking my family along for an ILS approach to minimums…? I’d wait until I have some real world instrument experience before I answer in the affirmative on that one.


#3

From my perspective, you can’t really answer your question definitively (with one exception that I’ll come to at the end). Are there situations where I would fly a well equipped single engine piston plane single pilot IFR to 200 foot minimums in non-icing conditions, yes. However there are also situations where I would not. Top of my list would be how current I was in flying low approaches, how familiar I was with that specific approach and how sharp I was that particular day. If I hadn’t flown any IFR and low approaches in a few months, was flying into an airport with a complex approach and high obstacles where I had never flown and I had a cold and not slept much for a few nights, no. Even the airlines with two pilot crews have higher minimums for pilots under certain conditions.

My one exception is your last point: I consider an inop autopilot to be a no-go item for single pilot IFR.


#4

This ought to get interesting…As a professional pilot I think that I will partially disqualify myself from this one. However, when I achieved my IA rating in working towards my goals…I took proficiency very seriously in my decision making. As my experience and proficiency level increased, my confidence increased. And as I was confident with the equipment I was flying, I had no problem with taking my family along…I did it then before I became a profesional pilot…and I do it today. And if it takes an approach to minimums…bring it on…if I have to go missed, then I go with the contingencies I’ve planned for…that’s just part of what instrument flying is all about.


#5

perhaps it was my reply which started this, but I have down approaches to minimums in practice under the hood. I tend to like to practice clouds, rather than in VFR conditions. I’ll go out on a 1000 OVC and10 mile vis day and do 4 approaches.

My home airport has 700 ft minimums for GPS hence waiting for 1000 ft days - makes the approach realistic.

The ‘problem’ with doing low approaches is several fold:

  1. Days when wx is truly LIFR requiring 200 1/2 means it is likely also precipitating. That makes me want a 5000 ft runway so I do not need brakes until very slow - wet runways want me to have a safety net.

  2. 200 1/2 means ILS - which means a Class D airport at least. In many cases in the Northeast USA where I live, you need Class C before you get an ILS. I am not going into thethose airports using General Aviation - those are my BACK UP airports with ILS.

  3. really low weather also means stationary fronts usually, or fog in the winter [which is warm air over snow or cold ground] these are set ups for ice, at least in winter.

  4. LIFR means you may not have a legal alternate available within range of a GA aircraft - that starts a whole new issue.

Flying GA means going into smaller more convenient airports - those airports, if not towered - generally do NOT have ILS, This means a Localizer, VOR, GPS, or ADF approach with higher minimums. My 530 is not a 530W so WAAS is not available to me. Plus, there are no WAAS GPS Appraches in the NE USA that are not into airports which lack ILS. Seems silly, but thats a true statement. If an airport has ILS to 200 1/2 why use a GPS approach with a 250ft or 300ft min? Other than equipment being out.

The entire point of GA is to AVOID the larger, more expensive airports away from where I want to go. If I want to fly the airlines, then I’ll do it!

This means, most of the time, I’m flying approaches with 400, 500 or 700 foot minimums which I’ll do day in and day out.

My issue is flying, say, from Connecticut to my vacation home in South Carolina. Lets say the minimums are 400 ft for a GPS. Ceilings are 300-500VRB. The forecast is for better weather in 12 hours. Why not wait? It is inconvenient as heck to fly down there - run an approach into 73J. Not make it - go missed and have to go to SAV, shoot the ILS and then rent a car, drive to my house and then back to airport the next day to get the airplane.

Don’t tell me that professional pilot ‘HAS’ to make the flight cause if s/he needs to go missed, they end up at SAV as well, and their passenger is inconvenienced. Minimums are minimums - and to a professional pilot I hope they are. You go missed you go missed - simple as that.

The whole point of GA is convenience. This thread started with a slam dunked Bonanza that was off course, descended below minimums of 200ft and crashed CFIT.

Airlines and Part 135 and Jet Part 91 are usually going to airports that have ILS - and do it regularly - great. Those airports then have the lighting and other indicia to a good approach and aircraft with good autopilots.

As I said in the other thread, my Comanche has a S-Tec 60-2 with both GPSS and Alt-Preselect, together with a Garmin 530, an HSI, and a radar altimeter. If I’m pressing the buttons properly I’ve got the DA dialed in on the Radar Altimeter, the DA in the ALT Preselect and Hold function and the airplane is tracking itself down the NAV line, be it ILS/LOC/VOR or GPS.

The autopilot generally flies most jet, large twin and other heavy approaches in bad weather - that good technique and FlightSafety and the other schools train that heavily. Handflying is generall done in a sim or on good days or when you feel reach sharp after flying a few the last couple days.

Now, ENROUTE IFR is a whole different ball game. I’m flown 4 hours of the the 4.5 hour leg from IJD-73J sitting in the clag, seeing no ground from 500foot to 600foot AGL at either end of the trip. That’s as rare as being VFR the whole way.

Now, on this past Sunday we had real gentleman’s IFR - unexpected stratus layer 3000 up - about 1000 thick. Thats an EZ visual if they can get you under the clouds legally. The layer makes VFR hard because under it it is bumpy and visibility is poor and uncomfortable for the 75+ elderly parents in the back seat of the Comanche. So I went IFR so I could get above it. The flight home was nothing short of spectacular. We were at 6000, cloud tops had come up top about 5800, the sun was setting,; those of you who have been there know what I’m talking about. My in-laws [first or second time in a small airplane] were sitting there agape at the scene - 200 ft above the clouds, lit orange by a setting sun. Plus, it was IFR since I was less than 1000 ft above the cloud tops - I could log it too!

Now THAT is IFR!!!

For you wannabes, thats IFR 90% of the time. Enroute in the clouds, with an autopilot, descending to a 1000-2000 foot ceiling so you are essentially VFR at the time of landing. You use the rating to get above clouds and shoot approaches into what I’ll call MVFR.


#6

Wow, this is surprising and interesting to see everybody’s varied responses.

Regarding CAFlier’s response My auto pilot has been inop since I have owned the plane, thus me tossing that in.

To be honest, I probably would not use it, as just like cruise control in a car, I THINK autopilot would lead me to a risk of complacency FOR ME and for me, could lead to issues of situational awareness. I know autopilot is a work load reducer especially enroute.

Regarding Needlenose’s response. MSFS on a desktop computer is a great tool for learning IFR procedures. It is not a great tool for learning to fly in IMC as I am very confident you will see that when you touch your first cloud. The word leans will be front and center that lacks in MSFS on a desktop computer. So, use it to learn the IFR procedures, but don’t be surprised if your performance in the “real world” degrades.

Regarding azav8r response. Sounds like your decision making process is similar to mine. Fly hard IFR and deal with what cards are dealt to you. If it means going missed, no different then a go-around in VFR decision, you do it and work the problem rather then the problem work you. If working the problem means going to an alternate, so be it. That’s what courtesy / crew cars are for. See groups.google.com/group/rec.avia … put=gplain for my one time diversion experiences while in my IA training.

Regarding erisajd response. Like you said, LIFR means going to a larger airport especially in a congested area like you are. You have way too many things poking out of the ground (AKA towers) as the normal minimums around my way for GPS approaches is 400 feet AGL

LIFR means ILS no matter what since that is below WAAS minimums, which really implies larger airport for you as things currently exist. Where I am, there are small airports with an ILS.

So, if I understand you, convienance withstanding, you would fly to ILS minimums if it was convienant to you (airport wise).

Regarding logging IFR, do you mean you log IMC for flying 200 feet above a cloud deck? Only time I log IMC is when I cannot see out the window. I don’t differentiate in my log book VFR vs IFR, just VMC vs IMC

If I am VMC 200 feet above a cloud deck, I don’t put an entry under “actual” or simulated.

Very interesting responses, look forward to seeing more! :smiley:

Allen


#7

For Allen:

Given an ILS and an unattended airport - no - I would probably not do LIFR unless it was the ONLY option - such as it being the alternate and it was bad too.

I’ll go to ILS to mins if I’ve flown some approaches in the last week or two. Its all in the comfort factor more than skill - the autopilot and avionics help the comfort factor. But you still need the experience even with 700 or 1000 hours. But then only at big airport with wide open spaces close in, and Airport fire rescue.

As for logging time, think VFR cloud clearances. If you are not 500 under or 1000 over you are not VFR. If you are not VFR - what are you? There are operational IFR considerations with operating that close to a deck.

Allen - at the end of the day it is about the go / no go. Given EXPERIENCE, I have found that often the weather is better than forecast - this is often the case. It often happens that your approach works out much easier than you thought it would. You often burn less fuel than you thought. So, given real world experience, I lean in the direction of go. However, if there is a front around, or a convective sigmet and we have airmass TSRA instead of frontal [a line you can simply avoid - land - wait out - whatever], wide areas of IFR [as in a state or two wide] then before I go I make sure I have a solid gold VFR alternate within fuel range either on the way in so I can stop and take a look, or close by. I have NEVER violated that and also, never had to use it, remembering that VFR is 3 miles vis and a 1000 foot ceiling. Thats pretty low in and of itself. The other big no go for me is freezing rain and virga that is freezing. I’ve been IN a cloud at 3,000 feet inside freezing virga thats rain that does not read the ground - thankfully in a KingAir with ant-ice - but there cloud bases were at 5000 and you could see through the warm front rain shield - but picked up ice from the ZR that was not being reported on any local ASOS.

I’m in a little 4+2 seat airplane with no anti-ice that weighs 3000 lbs. Even with my very good avionics package that is a different decision than a 150,000# airplane with an even better autopilot, two pilots with 2000 hrs or more PIC, anti- and deice, anti-skid brakes and slats and flaps.


#8

FYI to those wondering when one can and can’t log instrument time…

Logging actual instrument flight time depends on the weather, not what you can or cannot see. FAR 61.51(g), “Logging instrument flight time,” says “(1) A person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions.”

The regulations define actual instrument conditions in Part 170, which regulates “Navigational Facilities,” and gives the definitions for a number of terms used throughout the regulations.

FAR 170.3 says “Instrument flight rules (IFR) means rules governing the procedures for conducting flight under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) instrument flight.”

A bit further down the list, FAR 170.3 says “Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) means weather conditions below the minimums prescribed for flight under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).”

FAR 91.155 gives the minimum VFR weather conditions, which are the dividing line between VFR and IFR flight. When the weather conditions are below the weather minimums for the airspace you’re flying in, you can log actual instrument time (and you must comply with all the other regulations governing IFR flight, naturally).

by S.M. Spangler (AOPA)

It would appear that flying above the clouds, which gives one reference to the horizon would not qualify as instrument time. One may be under IFR, but not in IMC. Flying in Class A is under IFR, but certainly not IMC 100% of the time, also.

Chris


#9

As you can see, go - no goes are truly is varied pilot to pilot and there is no right or wrong answer as it is personal comfort.

In my case, controlled airports are 100’s of miles apart, so my options on alternates are far and few between when I file. Especially when I select a city like McComb MS. (KMCB)

Needless to say, if I am to do hard IFR and go places, I better get comfortable with doing approaches in actual down to minimums and be ready to fly far to my alternate .

Of course only way of getting experience is to get the airplane wet.

Yep, operational considerations (IFR) are of course different the IMC I am referring to. I guess for my purposes, since I am not trying for additional ratings, that I count “actual” as conditions that I can’t see out the window, but I can’t remember if I learned it here, or somewhere else, you are right, actual conditions are conditions that are less then VFR in the airspace you are in. So, if you operate 200 above a cloud deck in severe clear air, you can count it as actual conditions.

This is definately quite different then my experiences for weather at least down this way. For easy high pressure days, high cloud decks, and easy forecast days, I find what you say above to be correct. However days like today, the forecast was for 1500 ceilings this morning. If you look at the obs for this morning at srh.noaa.gov/data/obhistory/KJAN.html lower seems to be the norm around this way. Again, all relative to geographic location and quality of the forecaster I guess.

It truly is pilot personal preferences, just that in my lil ole Sundowner, with 2 coms, 2 navs, no autopilot, based on conditions posted in the original message, I wouldn’t hesitate to go to any airport and fly down to ILS minimums.

Add in other factors, naturally, that decision would be based on the factors that come up whether it be icing, convective, human factor, currency or whatever.

For simplicity sake of this thread, that’s why I stressed in the beginning benign IMC conditions, no winds, no ice, leaving out operational thoughts such as alternates and such, simply IMC between you and the airport, would one hand fly and approach to minimums with what experiences they have at hand.

In other words, it’s more of a confidence level question then anything else.

Allen


#10

Allen-

There are many good articles out there about setting (and sticking to) personal minimums that I would encourage you to read. For example, one company I know raises a pilot’s personal minimums by 100 feet if they are flying into an airport for the first time. I’ve flown a small plane down to 200 agl before and would do it again in the right situation, but as I said before, there are other situations where I would not. In California, most of our low IFR is due to coastal fog so there is usually another airport not far away with higher (or no) ceilings. [a piece of aviation trivia: the first ILS was in Arcata, CA (ACV) built by the air corps during WW II to test how to bring in military aircraft into foggy old England].

The FAA changes minimums based on equipment status (lights, glideslope, etc.). It makes sense to me that they should also change based on the status of the most important piece of ‘equipment’ on the plane: the pilot.

Slightly off topic, I was stuck at an airport this summer waiting for the VP to depart. It was 400 overcast and tall mountains around (JAC) and I was planning to depart when the field reopened. I started talking to another pilot who was former Air Force (now flying her own plane) and she made a very strong statement that anyone flying single pilot IFR was a complete fool. I pointed out to her that Navy pilots flew single pilot IFR to minimums for carrier landings. That stopped her rant.


#11

Correct.

However, if ceilings are 1500 and tops are 1800 and you are in E airspace, you must maintain 500 below or 1000 above.

By definition provided above if I am cleared to fly at 2000 feet in severe clear conditions, I am below VFR minimums (cloud clearance) and it can be considered IMC. As I stated earlier, I don’t log this situation as IMC myself, but one can do so, as it is not VFR.

Crazy, but true as I am below the minimum prescribed VFR rules.

Allen


#12

Personally, the answer lies in the definition itself.

The pertinent regulations provide, as quoted by Chris:

**FAR 170.3 says “Instrument flight rules (IFR) means rules governing the procedures for conducting flight under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) instrument flight.”

A bit further down the list, FAR 170.3 says “Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) means weather conditions below the minimums prescribed for flight under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).” **

While basic VFR weather minimums[14 CFR 91.155] - dependent upon type of airspace - when I was at 6000 and the clouds were between 5500 and 5800 - I am REQUIRED to be on an IFR flight plan.

Thus, Chris, by the regulations you cited, I can not only log IFR time but HAVE to be on an IFR flight plan to be at that altitude - finally - this EXACT question is on the FAA IFR knowledge exam. . . .


#13

Absolutely agree CAFlier.

I have certain parameters that I simply won’t fly. ipilot.com/forum/message.aspx?pid=193418 is where I shared a “no go” decision that was to be my first Angel Flight.

While each individual parameter in the link above was at or above my personal limits, everything together just didn’t add up.

The following are weather related no go decisions.

Forecasted Icing of any kind (remember I am in the deep south!)
Embedded thunderstorms in my flight path
Squall lines in my path
30 percent chance or higher of thunderstorms
Winds over 15 knots crosswind component

Allen


#14

Not to nitpick, but 6500 would not be VFR in class E if cloud topped out at 5800 but who measures a few hundred feet when it’s all eyeball anyway. :smiley:

I still haven’t figured a way to measure 2000 feet horizontal in a “scattered deck”! My measurement is, if the cloud wisps are zinging by, I am too close.

Allen


#15

very True Liberma - thats why @ 6000 I was on an IFR flight plan!! clouds between 2500 and 5500 are GA unfriendly for flights under 100nm!

I’m big on personal minimums but even bigger on the ‘big picture.’

If i’m flying to a destination and you have a stagnant air mass with low vis and I’m sked to arrive at 2pm I’m more likely to take a crack at it than if its 8pm in summer. The haze thins a little in the middle of the day.

That being said, I was south cal with a literal zero-zero once. I could not see the door to my house 50 feet away standing my driveway.

Personal minimums are great, but what about the day when its 300OVC all day, calm winds, 10-20 miles under that low deck and its only 1000 feet thick? If you have 500 foot personal mins you do not launch, yet, in THAT scenario that is gonna stay right at that altitude and NOT go down. Why not break your rules then? Keep an eye on the big picture.


#16

I think that minimums can be “dynamic” as one learns so I agree with you up to a point.

I was looking back in my previous postings and I used to have a personal minimum of 10 knot Xwinds. With more experience, I seem much more comfortable with 15 knot Xwinds. So, as one gains experience, the minimums can be adjusted. Folks that fly out of OKC may laugh at me but these are my limits.

But when it comes to a minimum that exceeds my comfort level, then I am not “forgiving” in deviating from my set minimum. In the case of ceilings and viz, I am comfortable with ILS minimums, so I can’t go any lower.

When it comes to Xwinds, if the forecast is 15 knots, and no other parameters are a factor, then I will launch. If it’s 17 knots, I don’t go, no ands if or buts.

NOW, to expand on my parameters, I do actively seek the upper limits of my safety parameters so I can get comfortable.

If its winds of 17 knots directly across the runway, quick call to a CFI would be in order, so I can expose myself to the higher limits and learn more with guidance of a CFI.

Now, revisiting the ILS down to minimums AND toss in 15 knots Xwind, I won’t launch.

Each parameter alone would be a go decision, but both together, I figure, it’s time to drive a car. 15 seconds from breaking out to the tires touching ground isn’t enough time for me to acclimate from my instrument mode to a visual mode. There is nothing worth pushing my limits when I have a car available, that yes may take me longer to get to the destination, but netherless I do make it safely.

So yes, I do keep options open and evaluate the big picture, but only in the sense of expanding my self imposed limits, not exceeding them.

Expanding = flight lesson time
Exceeding = no go decision

Tomorrow, I plan to fly and do some local IFR work. If the ceilings are below my airports minimums, I will launch with the expectations I may not get back at a set time. If I had to be back at a certain time and ceilings were near the minimums, I wouldn’t launch. Like you said, look at the whole picture.

Allen


#17

Thus, Chris, by the regulations you cited, I can not only log IFR time but HAVE to be on an IFR flight plan to be at that altitude - finally - this EXACT question is on the FAA IFR knowledge exam. . . .

So what you are saying is that when you were on top of the deck, you flew solely by reference to the instruments – didn’t look outside once??? You had no idea where up, down, left and right were? Were you using a view limiting device, or are you that just that disciplined as to not look outside? Actually, it doesn’t matter on the latter part . . .

You can take 170.3 and apply it however you wish, but you also need to apply 61.51 (additionally, I would wage that on top, you have your minimum 1000 feet and 3 miles – application of 91.155). If you are wearing a view limiting device, the windshield is blocked, etc. then one can log simulated instrument time. If one has reference to a horizon, then it isn’t instrument time. This is one area where the FAA can and will invalidate logbooks (particularly on ATP rides). Most of the time I fly in class A where we are above cloud decks. Our autopilot flies fine , and the autopilot is following the instrumentation – not our eyes; however, I do know where I am at – I know up, down, left, and right, and I can see at least 3 miles and have at least 1000’ to the next cloud deck (presuming that one is above me). I do not log, and legally cannot log that time as instrument time, because I am not flying by sole reference to the instruments. Once I descend into the clouds, or I lose visibility below 3 miles and/or the clouds are less than 1000 above me (think in between layers), then I can legally log instrument time.

Here’s another one for you – flying at night, on top, but no moon and no visual references to the ground/horizon. You have 3 miles (at least you think you do), and there are no clouds above you, but it is night, so who really knows. I would contend that each one of us flies by sole reference to the instruments at this point. This can legally be classified as simulated instrument time, and thankfully, you don’t have to wear the view limiting device.

In both scenarios, one is flying by sole reference to the instruments, and FAR 170.3 has been met.

Finally, using your line of logic, then it is impossible to fly VFR on Top, since instrument time can be logged whenever flying above what might be instrument conditions below you, no matter the conditions that you are in.

All FAR’s have to be met in order to log instrument time.


#18

This subject came up awhile ago, so I’ll repost this.

Here is a similar question posed and answered (very creatively, I would say) on the AOPA web site:

Q. I fly a scheduled route in Nevada every night. On some nights there are no clouds, but I fly by reference to my instruments because there are no ground lights to give me a visual reference. I looked in the federal aviation regulations to see what could legally be logged as instrument time, and nowhere do the regs say that you have to be in the clouds. My interpretation of the FARs is that anytime I?m flying by reference to instruments because of the lack of outside references, I can log this as actual instrument time. Is this accurate?

A. No. Logging actual instrument flight time depends on the weather, not what you can or cannot see. FAR 61.51(g), Logging instrument flight time, says (1) A person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions.

The regulations define actual instrument conditions in Part 170, which regulates Navigational Facilities, and gives the definitions for a number of terms used throughout the regulations.

FAR 170.3 says Instrument flight rules (IFR) means rules governing the procedures for conducting flight under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) instrument flight.

A bit further down the list, FAR 170.3 says Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) means weather conditions below the minimums prescribed for flight under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

FAR 91.155 gives the minimum VFR weather conditions, which are the dividing line between VFR and IFR flight. When the weather conditions are below the weather minimums for the airspace you’re flying in, you can log actual instrument time (and you must comply with all the other regulations governing IFR flight, naturally).

So the only time you can log your night flights as actual IFR time is when the weather is below VFR minimums because darkness isn’t a meteorological condition. You can, however, log your night flights, where you’re flying in VFR conditions but can’t see a thing, as simulated instrument time, because the darkness “simulates” flight in IMC. If effect, darkness and the lack of ground lights is nothing more than a view limiting device you don’t have to wear.

S.M. Spangler


#19

Thats a PRETTY HUGE assumption you are making Chris, that, when I was ONTOP of the cloud deck, that I had a level horizon to fly by visually.

I just said tha tthe cloud deck was variable from 5500-5800 or so - since it came up and down on us.

So, in a way, YES, given the fact I was on top, I was using instruments to maintain altitude and attitude, to not turn, and to not climb or descend.

Tecnhically, with a rough cloud deck less than 500 feet under me- I WAS maintained altitude and attitude solely reference to instruments.

You do not have to LIKE my answer - but anyone who has ever been there knows to NOT rely on a horizon either at night or above clouds.

I said I logged it - I did not say I logged it as ACTUAL. Even though legally, it is. Capicke?


#20

See discussions.flightaware.com/view … sc&start=0 for gory details.

Almost a month to the day :stuck_out_tongue:

Allen