IFR in the clouds

Started IFR training a couple weeks ago. Today we flew from KPTD to N89 which is in NY right in the clouds most of the way, How do you do you do it? I was ok for awhile but really screwed up when I deverted my scan to change freq on the radios, I did it but with great over seeing buy my CFI, I was beat after our flight. Does it get better???


  • Same way you get to Carnegie Hall...Practice, Practice, Practice...

    (OLD joke, sorry).

    There is a reason the FAA mandates the same amount of time to get your PPL as an instrument rating.

  • I have had my instrument for two years. Being in Florida you don't get alot of actual IMC for any length of time. I think in 250 hours of IFR filings I have 10 hours actual and it came as .5 here, .3 there and so forth. Every time I take off into some clag I have to really focus or I get the famous left leaning tendency. On a couple of trips that were of any length I wouldn't have done them without the aid of an autopilot. Furthermore, It is very easy to stay current it is very difficult to stay proficient. In the end you will be a better overall pilot for getting your insrument and I commend you for it but as a commercial pilot friend told me when I got mine. "Now you have a license to kill yourself if not careful."
  • PilotKris Wrote:
    > There is a reason the FAA mandates the same amount
    > of time to get your PPL as an instrument rating.

    .. AND a reason why the FAA makes you have a certain amount of practice every six months! Instrument proficiency takes real work to achieve and keep.

    Ductman, it does get better. I went through the same stage during training: "I'm going to kill myself if you turn me loose with this!" You are fortunate to have an instructor who takes you up in actual. With practice, though, you'll get to the point where you are confident doing everything in the PTS.

  • Yes my friend it will get easier and a lot of fun.I got my first inst in a helicopter in the military then transfered those skills to fixed wing. On my fixed wing wing check ride I actually had fun and was laughing as the examiner was playing "stump the chump" but I survived any way. Remember flying can be challenging but should always be fun. When you are happy and working an approach it is just too cool. Enjoy and keep us posted.
  • As others have said, it does get easier. In fact, the change will come over you suddenly, rather than incrementally. You'll be struggling along with a masochistic instructor who makes you start briefing the next approach while you're still flying the missed on the one you just aborted. And then one day, it's like "voila!" Everything will make sense and you will have a newfound sense of confidence.

    I also suggest Rod Machado's "Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual." This one goes beyond just basic instruction and gives you things to think about that affect real instrument flight.
  • Yes, it does get easier. I had an interesting instructor. All I did was flight maneuvers under the hood and onlly started practice approaches the last couple of hours. I honestly felt I flew better under the hood than in VFR conditions. It made me very proficient flying the airplane on instruments. Therefore, approaches were a piece of cake. Remember, number one job: FLY THE AIRPLANE.

    One more thing. I consider an autpilot necessary on long IFR flights. If you have trouble keeping things right side up changeing freqs wait 'til you have to look for an obcsure intersection on a chart. You'll be doing aerobatics before you find it.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
  • Thanks to all that replied, I was just so overwhelmed. I have often thought Kennedy could of and should have been able to Finish his flight but after my first in IFR heavy I can understand completely how things can go wrong and just get worse. Thankfully my CFI kept telling me to dig myself out, I just could not believe how bumpy inside the cloud could be,,,,,and how hard it was staying on course and keeping my wings level hopefully I will get better and thank god for well trained CFI's Bill
  • Yes, Ken, you're right. For some reason I was washing dishes this morning and it just popped into my head that I'd used the wrong word. Although in my case, since I was doing IFR training in the squirrely spring winds and turbulence of Atlanta, I think we were BOTH somewhat masochistic being out there!
  • ductman Wrote:
    Does it get better???

    Just curious, how much time was spent on basic maneuvers and scanning exercises in an instrument trainer or under the hood before you started the cross country phase after those first two weeks?
  • Sac Arrow Wrote:
    > I truly had the checkride from hell... winds were
    > 20 kts gusting to 30. He asked if I wanted to
    > postpone the checkride, but I was all about hey we
    > are both here, let's do it.

    I think you should have listened to the examiners suggestion.
  • Not to scare ductman or anything, but I actually got pink-slipped on my first IFR checkride. I nailed all the approaches, but got really flustered trying to hold on a VOR that was part of the missed-approach procedure. The VOR was just a few miles south of the airport, so it was real easy to quickly get into the "cone of confusion" and lose track of your position relative to it.

    He let me fly around for about 10 minutes trying to get it all figured out. Even tried to give me a few hints to get me back on track. But in the end he just decided to call it a day and then we went back and talked about strategy for how to capture and hold in that situation. So it was a good learning experience, if emotionally (and financially) upsetting. I think it cost me $100 to retake the test, the sum total of which was to go out and hold on that same damn VOR.
  • Proper training in a logical sequence will make the experience more easily achievable and far less frustrating. Proper lesson plan sequence should be used to apply the building block concept. A Part 141 training facility is an example of an intense program that has lesson plans properly sequenced and is FAA approved. Less flight time is also required for all certificates under Part 141.

    Instrument training and flying today is a far cry from the "ancient times" when all you had was an altimeter, airspeed indicator, a turn and bank indicator and a compass. It shouldn't be harder today than it actually is.

    Navigation was visually or with your ears in IMC. How lucky we are to have artificial horizons, CDI's and GPS courses to follow today.

    Navigating with your ears:

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