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  1. #11
    Trainee Pilot DrBlagger's Avatar
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    Never been in this situation (white out) and this might sound a bit naive but wouldn't the addition of an artificial horizon cure this problem ???

    I thought three axis came with them fitted and they're subject to VFR too.


  2. #12
    Co-Pilot goldrush's Avatar
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    In my "previous life" i did have a Gliding "cloud flying" endorsement and would reitterate most strongly.
    DO NOT TRY FLYING IN SUCH LACK OF VISIBILITY WITHOUT AT LEAST SOME TRAINING under the hood.. unless you wish to become yet another unfortunte statistic.

    NO an artificial horizon will NOT cure the problem.. althought it will help.
    Only the pilot can "cure" the problem.

    It is perfectly possible to fly in such conditions without an AH.... but not easy and very tiring.

    3 axis machines are really only fitted with them... because "they look good".

    NO Microlight is approved for flying in the UK, (even if you are have the requisite licence) except under VFR and the OP was technically not flying under VRF


  3. #13
    Founding Member - See my blog entries for help using the forums VinceG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Thorne View Post
    Ahem Cough cough.... Sorry Vince but if your going to fly IFR thats exactly what you have to do...... Rely on instruments to tell you what the aircraft is doing, the brain can be fooled into thinking its doing something its not. The instruments we have are exactly those if not better than most pilots had available for a very long time.

    I seem to recall Brian Milton flying for long periods without visual reference points so it is possible.
    Not with our instruments Frank, Brian has an artificial horizon in his trike, if you don't believe me, ask him, his e-mail address is on his website. Links in the books section on the home page.
    Happy Safe Flying
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    Vince Gledhill
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  4. #14
    Co-Pilot ANDY1973's Avatar
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    Instrument flying is not a black art, but it certainly isn't something I'd recommend you try and teach yourself!

    I think there are three basic elements to consider when people discuss instrument flying in microlight aircraft. First, you need to look at what instruments are available to the pilot to replace the visual horizon. Secondly, you need to look at the handling qualities of the aircraft; this is a complicated question in its own right, and "is this aircraft suitable to teach basic instrument flying" is a common question at test pilot schools as it involves so many elements. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to look at the training, experience and currency of the pilot.

    A very well trained and experienced pilot can fly a difficult aircraft with very limited instruments. An untrained or inexperienced pilot can lose control of a fully IFR equipped aircraft within seconds. It is very difficult to appreciate how unsettling it is to be disorientated in cloud unless you have been there and done it.

    For many of us, learning to instrument fly in a microlight would be a bit like practising ditching techniques. If you are careful about the weather and keep a safe margin from cloud, then you're probably never going to need it. But if you are the type that thinks that one day it is "possible" that they might get caught out and enter cloud, then you might be worried about how you would cope with inadvertent IMC and think about what you would do to get back out safely.

    If you are in the first category, then great! Fly safe and stay out of trouble.

    If you are in the second category then you need to really appreciate what could happen if you go properly into IMC. For that, I would recommend that you get down to your local GA field and do an "instrument appreciation" lesson with a qualified instructor. At the end of the lesson, make sure you try doing some unusual position recoveries with only the instruments you have available on your own aircraft. My guessing is that this will force you into the first category of cloud avoiders!

    BUT, if you are determined to take enough chances that you think you might get caught out in cloud, then you need to think about ensuring you have suitable instruments on your aircraft (I would suspect this would be an Artificial Horizon - a turn and slip requires far more instrument flying skill), suitable training for yourself (bank on 10 to 20 hours training in a suitable GA frame) and a determination to train in basic IF techniques on a very regular basis (I would think that 10 hours a year is a minimum).

    There's a lot of debate about the "instruments" needed for instrument flight, and on the need for "an affordable replacement" for the Artificial Horizon. I think this is missing the point somewhat; when you total up the time and cost of suitable training, then the instrument fit for your aircraft isn't the expensive element.


  5. #15
    Co-Pilot Kestutis's Avatar
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    Flexis are incredible ... no need for fancy instruments to fly in cloud or fog. But I'd recommend GPS as a must. It would let you keep going straight and level - just simply maintain the big fat arrow showing your course. It is also useful to mark all obstacles around - it is the must because you have to know where you are before going down from the cloud or high fog.

    BUT IT REQUIRES TRAINING !!!

    I have flown for 10 min. seeing nothing but white ... My friend has landed once in very thick fog in an unknown airfield. Fixed wing pilots where shocked a lot

    This experience is a must, but it is very dangerous ... Do not do it alone


  6. #16
    Captain Jiggles's Avatar
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    "This experience is a must, but it is very dangerous ... Do not do it alone"
    Quite so, if you're going to die, do it with a friend.
    Flying through cloud or fog, in this country anyway, is not only illegal, but without the proper instruments and training is dangerous to the extreme. Straight and level flight is difficult enough, but any sort of maneuver could, almost certainly, result in DEATH.
    John
    Last edited by VinceG; 24-12-10 at 14:56 PM.


  7. #17
    P Kelsey
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    Interestingly Paul Leigh has decided to check out whether a Garmin 496 with the panel page being used would be useful in using the Artificial Horizon to control the Flexwing in turns whilst in a IMC situation.
    ( The check was made in VMC )
    Watch the video and then discuss


  8. #18
    Founding Member - See my blog entries for help using the forums VinceG's Avatar
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    The IPhone 4 (and only the iPhone 4) has a gyroscope built in and so does work in the air and Would work in a flex as the 496 above does.

    Happy Safe Flying
    May your Landings = Your Take Offs
    Vince Gledhill
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    http://www.greeneru.co.uk to save the planet by changing to LED lights.

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  9. #19
    Co-Pilot vicky G's Avatar
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    my tuppence worth ? i pod also
    gps496
    , are they non toppling horizons . OR are they ANGLE OF BANK INDICATORS and to what rate of turn do they stop, also they are not rated . Not that i wish to find out in practice. no doubt good for holding position, in an emergency or helping to returning from whence you just came. Cloud flying can be fatally violent remember 1, G forces +4 ....-1. whatever. ..2 flexes most have only a lap strap ....4 nothing to stop the bar violently hitting you in the ribs , ....5, remember your cloud Minima. ....6 its unlawful to fly into cloud , therefore you are Un insured .
    ! .sorry to be a kill joy. Happy new year and safe flying everybody , remember!........ A cloud is like a giant panda ,..... all white, cuddly and silent ,.........get on the wrong side of it and its ..VERRY NOISEY and FU##ING VIOLENT ! book , film , T -shirt bin there ! no plans to return !
    Last edited by vicky G; 27-12-10 at 22:38 PM.

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  11. #20
    Captain Phil Perry's Avatar
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    Let's not start this one again guys PLEASE....

    Yes, if you have flown for a long time, you've probably all entered clous at some tiome or other, beit intentionally or not, but there really ISN'T ANY METHOD of flying straight and level if your aircraft isn't fitted with a gyro. Iphones and other "Toys" won't work as most of them use two accellerometers, which are quickly fooled by a slow turn.

    Dave, I don't know what flexwing type you fly, but I wonder, does it have the capability of a STABLE spiral dive, without it developing into a VNE busting airspeed ? some earlier flexwings can be placed ito this condition and will only speed up so much. If this is the case, that would be the only sensible way out of the cloud, providing altitude and ground clearance were a known value. My flash 2 will not do this, it rapidly develops into more of a vertical "Corkscrew" and the VNE is approached very quickly. I have had this demonstrated to me in an Alpha by a very high hours instructor, but I really don't know if the same dynamics apply to the later Hotships with 912 lumps on the back.

    We have ALL heard and read the anecdotes about hero pilots who say that they have travelled through solid cloud for long distances in non - IFR equipped aircraft, but these should ALL be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

    hat about the ones which never got told nor written, maybe those are the ones in the fatality statistics under the banner "Controlled Flight Into Terrain" or "major structural failure of airframe for no apparent reason...." and what about ICING ?? I have not seen any microlight aircraft which are fitted with de-icing kit. . . . If you wanna see how quicky this develops, try flying in Stratocu for a few minutes and you'd be amazed at how quickly it builds on the aircraft's fontal surfaces.....

    When guys like Andy,Ginge, Paul (D) myself and a lot of other 'ancient' pilots tell you this stuff, ( not forgetting some noteworthy YOUNGER pilots too, [ like Vicki + Joan !! ] ) I think I can safely say that we are not trying to be old killjoy farts, it's just that we've been there and heard it all before, and we'd really love you to have a really loooooooooooooong and happy lifetime flying your plane, so that you can pass it on to the next generation.

    Compliments of the season

    Phil. ( secretary - Mitton Old Farts Aviation Society )
    Last edited by Phil Perry; 28-12-10 at 17:51 PM. Reason: Badd speelign agin
    Skype : PilotPhil312 E: cosigngraphic@yahoo.co.uk Ham Radio Station - G4 OHK 10 Mtres FM, 2 metres fm, 70 centimetres fm, and lurking about on15, 20 and 40 metres ssb as well. . . . .

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