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Flying IFR through turbulence

TradingPilot

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Hi everyone,

I have a stage check coming up and I'm still having some trouble staying focused, maintaining altitude, & heading with turbulence. I wrestle the airplane the whole way!

Is there any advice you guys could give me to reduce some of my work load?

Thanks,
TradingPilot
 

brokeflyer

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dont wrestle with it so much....relax and go with the bumps.....momentary deviations from alt and heading are ok provided you correct. The instructor "should" if he is at any good, will take the conditions into account.

If you constantly fight with it then it will fatigue you and then when you need your strength it wont be there.
 

MCOE175

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Try flying with just a couple of fingers on the yoke. This should help. An airplane (depending on the design) should have built in stability, so it should return to a nuetral position of flight if disturbed by TB.
If you are having trouble holding heading and ALT and what not.
Then maybe you should take some time to practice with your instructor and delay the stage check.
If you are at a 141 school there is no reason you should be up for a stage check if you can not hold the basics in IFR with TB.
We have all been there one time or another, and there is nothing wrong with delaying the check.
I know it is a blow to the ego but ability needs to be demonstrated.
 

LR24B

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Flying throught Turbulance

Flying through turbulence can be a Pain in the... So the first secret is Trim. Trim thy Airplane.

If your are a VFR Student. Keep the Bug-Spot from the windshield on the Horizon. Keep the Dash parallel to the horizon.

If you are an instrument student... Read below.
Always keep your eyes moving. Fixating will kill your performance, but it also induces fatigue. So, Concentrate on 2 items.

First, note your pitch setting in stable unaccelaterated flight. Now, when you encounter the turbulence, nudge the aircraft back to the original pitch setting. Use the VSI to cross-check your input. An old gray-haired instructor used to tell me... "The VSI is the Fortune teller, The Altimeter is the history book"

Second, Watch your bank angle. Try to keep your wings level.

So, if your Pitch and Bank don't move... Neither will your Altitude and Heading.

Lastly, have fun and relax.

Reference: Instrument Flying Handbook Page 4-4
Attitude Instrument Flying Using the Primary and
Supporting Method


 

nosehair

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"The VSI is the Fortune teller, The Altimeter is the history book"


I like that quote. I also have learned to use the VSI as the primary pitch instrument, and will add this quote to my box of teaching tools. Thanks.:)
 

TradingPilot

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I did a lot better this last flight! The only thing affecting me now is my nerves!! I made some dumb mistakes because i was so nervous trying to do everything right! I just have to relax and keep chair flying at home.
 

Fly-By-Cable

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All good advice above.

Try spending more time on the AI during your scan. 2-4 sec then scan the rest and make appropriate adjustments. Don't forget, thats your window in IMC. Worked wonders for me. Good luck
 

7574EVER

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I did a lot better this last flight! The only thing affecting me now is my nerves!! I made some dumb mistakes because i was so nervous trying to do everything right! I just have to relax and keep chair flying at home.

Don't be nervous about a stage check my friend. 141 schools do a good job about hyping them up. The fact of the matter is that it isn't a checkride and there will be no permanent record of you're performance. Don't take what I'm saying out of context...a good student should always be prepared and a good instructor should make the student prepared. At the end of the day...the only thing you're about to do is take a flight with another CFI and that's all that you need to think about it as. You have NOTHING to be nervous about. The only thing on the line at this point is your ego. Take a deep breath, relax and look at the stage check as a learning experience.

I remember being in your shoes and sweating over the thought of the dreaded stage check. Now i look back on them and laugh. The only thing they really did was hold up my training. At one point i waited nearly a month and a half to get one done due to weather and scheduling conflicts...and i couldn't continue until it was done.

Don't sweat it. You'll do just fine.
 

Morettis

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When you're getting bounced around in in cruise in IMC flying a precise heading and altitude just isn't practical. The way I do it is to set up a box depending on how bad the turbulence is, but usually something like +- 100-150 ft and +- 5-10* and just try to keep the plane within that box.

If you're in cruise, you have plenty of space all around you, and noone is going to care as long as you keep it fairly close to where you're supposed to be. If you spend the whole time fighting for +-20ft and +-2* then you'll wear yourself out for no good reason.

The bigger the turbulence, the bigger the box. Save your concentration for when you're getting your ass beat on an approach.
 

TradingPilot

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The approaches phase really kicks my arse. I'm flying a lot better now, 2 flights to go then the stage check. I gotta clean up some things but i think i might make it through I just need to be confident!
 

siucavflight

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Just turn on the autopilot, this should help.
 

siucavflight

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Exactly! Just tell the examiner that!
 

FLYHY

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Due to it's mental demand, instrument flying causes everyone to have difficulty with it at some point in the training process. That being said, if you at the approach stage check point, and are having difficulties with maintaining heading/altitude during bumps, you may need to take a step back and do some basic attitude flying.

It sounds as though your scan is deteriorating as the workload increases. When this happens, your nerves cause your brain to hiccup resulting in overcontrolling the airplane (like a kneejerk reaction).

I would suggest practicing on a FTD. I know it is not like a real plane, but it will help you practice your scan and to keep your inputs light. This will also allow you and your instructor to determine if you may need to take a few days off to let your brain rest. If you are pushing yourself to finish the stage check, you may be sub-consciously adding stress to an already critical flight scenario.

Good instrument pilots are becoming rarer. In this profession, it makes for a long day when you have to work with someone who doesn't know how to fly IFR. Don't worry about finishing, worry about being a good pilot.

Best of luck - let us know how it turns out.
 

LR24B

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Good instrument pilots are becoming rarer. In this profession, it makes for a long day when you have to work with someone who doesn't know how to fly IFR. Don't worry about finishing, worry about being a good pilot.

Best of luck - let us know how it turns out.

Great Post and very true! I thought I knew how to fly instruments until my 20 series Learjet days. The autopilots didn't work.

I can still hear an old Lear Capt say... "Did you get your license out of a Cracker Jack Box?"

Semper fi - Learn, Over-Come, Adapt
 

TradingPilot

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The big day is tomorrow!

My skills have improved dramatically in the last few flights! And I feel good! Thanks for all the advice I will let you guys know how it goes.
 
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