Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By Paul Van Brunt
CFI MEI IGI Faast Team Rep 

Weather Flying Again

 

October 1, 2020

Photo courtesy of Paul Van Brunt

The summer is fading fast and the weather change is inevitable; no more high clouds and light rain, its low clouds, fog, and yes snow for the general aviation flying. If you have an instrument rating are you prepared? Remember all the acronyms that are used? Things can get intimidating fast if you have not flown in the weather in a while, and without using the auto pilot.

With new technology we have auto pilot approaches that are becoming common in GA aircraft, but what happens if the auto pilot decides it needs a break? Can you continue on a nice stable approach or does panic set in and sweat starts to form on the forehead? We have all been there at times but a good solution to avoid that is to get current with a good instructor. If you don't know one contact your FAAST team rep and they can help you.

Normally I like to start out with a short cross country and approach and then depending on the pilot to add things that could happen as their confidence increases to see how they handle it. If you get a nice day with 4 miles and 500 feet there is lots of room when they break out to adjust and you can go to mins if they are really good. For the confident pilot go to an airport below mins for a practice miss in actual. Let the pilot do the work and assist only as needed to bring the training out in them and let them gain back the confidence they had. If you don't have an instrument rating then maybe its time to look into it? The instrument rating is probably the most interesting and fun rating I teach. It builds confidence, allows you to fly in most weather conditions, and you obtain great decision-making skills for flight.

There are two types of planes for GA, steam gauge or TAA aircraft, both work equally well. One presents much more info in front of you and can be a little overwhelming if you do not keep up on it. Most instructors train in both types but lots of GA plane owners are still on the steam gauge planes because of the cost to upgrade to glass panel.

With all the information and technology its time to get back into the air with your CFII and get your currency or start your instrument training. Attend a FAAST team seminar / webinar and find out more information and it will get you wanting to fly by the gauges.

 

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