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IIMC at night

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Thanks for sharing that link Goldy. Not to be a jerk to pilot xyz, and his instructor but W.T.F. were those guys thinking? That was painful to read. Bad enough for the student to screw the pooch that bad, but the instructor too? I'm glad they both made it home alive, but that flight school/instructor need a visit from the FSDO ASAP. Very scary stuff.

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Bad enough for the student to screw the pooch that bad, but the instructor too? . Very scary stuff.


The real story within the story is that the "student" pilot had thousands of hours under his belt, many of them in full IMC conditions...just not in helicopters. Its really a story of two pilots, both afraid to admit to the other that maybe they ought to sit this one out...glad they both lived to tell about it, and I thank them for sharing it with the rest of us.

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Russian roulette, friends.

These guys started that game when they launched cross country with a busted WX brief, at night in a VFR only aircraft. All their decisions after that point were suicidal: Continuing lower than potential obstructions; Relying on a single source of nav and orientation data (highways); Finally, the the critical point in the flight-


"Since I had been flying, I quickly said, “I’m going lower,” and started a fast descent to regain some semblance of visual references. “Maybe we can climb and fly on top of this stuff,” my instructor said. “It’s OK to fly on-top.” I quickly replied, “No way! If we do that, we’ll find ourselves above the scud, in the clouds with zero visibility!”


This crew were dead at this point, it's a flip of the coin as to whether they'd establish contact with the surface, another toss to see if they'll have adequate time to avoid a crash, and yet another if they'll hit something else after recovering to "controlled flight". These are dead men, I've seen their busted bodies in more than one smoking heap.

It's better to be wrong on the ground than in the air. When in doubt, there is no doubt- chicken out, abort the flight, survival is as much as you'll get, sometimes.

Edited by Wally
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You live and you learn, I myself fly both airplanes and helicopters with plenty of time in both types. I while ago I was offered a job taking very new Cessna airplanes to europe. And by new I mean straight from the factory. The airplane was a brand new 182 with a Garmin G-1000. I was told I would be checked out on the G-1000 since I have no time on that system. What I got was 20 min around the pattern. two take offs and landings and I was told I am good to go file hard IFR and play with the G-1000 enroute. No charts, they are all in the G-1000. I made the only decision I could make, I walked away from the whole deal. I had talked to people since then about what you need in the way of training and currency on the G-1000 for what was needed on that flight, I was told at least 3 to 5 hours ground training and 8 to 12 hours of flight time with the G-1000 at the min. This just goes to show you that even thou you have to do things, In this case I needed the job and the money, you still have to be able to say no, and just walk away. Like I said you live and you learn and you never stop learning.


I forgot one thing about the G-1000, I spent some time in the Manual there is 108 function buttons, and you have short manual acessable to the pilot at all times. think about being hard IFR and trying to do something and having to look it up in the book.

Edited by gmsemel
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You live and you learn


It was pure luck that this did not turn out to a "die and teach." It probably was a case of overconfidence along with the "need" to get the time logged. You would think a someone that made it to "old pilot " status, would know better than to venture into "bold pilot" territory. I'm glad he is still around to share this story on a firsthand basis, so we could read it and hopefully remember it, if faced with a similar situation in the future.


Goldy: Thanks for the link.

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