View Full Version : IMC Training in cloud no radar cover
17th Apr 2012, 14:15
An opinion please.
I am an experienced instructor but inexperienced in IF training.
I carried out an instructional revalidation training IMC flight from Cambridgeshire(Unlicensed strip) up to DTY - WCO - CFD - Cambridgeshire.
Departed early Friday morning got on top at about 3000 ft then flew the corresponding quadrantal to DTY in VMC. No radar cover as I assumed Cottesmore are now closed, so was talking to Cranfield.
Turned at DTY - WCO but due to lower quad. decended encountered cloud whilst on the appropriate quad. Still talking to Cranfield so didn't get radar cover.
Then turned to CFD and still talking to Cranfield getting a basic service. Cloud cleared and then we turned onto eastly heading back to Cambridgeshire.
Thinking about the flight on the way home I felt we should really never enter cloud without a radar service as increasing risk of a collision, quadrantal does only work if everyone else is doing the same. Climbing and descending there is still a risk.
What could I have done better ?
17th Apr 2012, 16:21
Nothing, sounds like a well executed flight within the privileges of the IMC rating. The nature of the IMCr is that you will frequently encounter this type of scenario and it is good practice for you and the student. Mind you it's personally why I prefer to teach for the IR as I spend all the time pretty much in CAS!!!
17th Apr 2012, 20:10
Cottesmore Zone 130.2 will get you a service,although A/F is `closed,except by Notam..
17th Apr 2012, 21:10
No it won't.... Cottesmore is gone. There is no Zone and no service. I live right under the Wittering ATZ which is also deactivated but can be activated by NOTAM.
18th Apr 2012, 17:38
I agree with bose, from what you've said, you carried out the flight perfectly appropriately, although I'm not really that familiar with that airspace without looking at a chart. Isn't there any LARS coverage in that area, or any ATC unit with radar who would give a service? Is the TA 3000' all round that route?
Whether you fly in IMC without radar cover is a question entirely for you personally to answer, there's no requirement, just your individual attitude to the perceived risk.
I do it on a regular basis, doesn't really bother me much. If I can get radar, of course I'd prefer it, if I'm in one of the aircraft I fly which has an active 'TCAS' system, then it doesn't concern me at all.
If you want to have a mid-air collision, go and loiter over a navaid, or on a final at a busy GA airfield, ideally on a sunny weekend. Being in cloud, on a spring Friday morning isn't really going to do it. Someone may correct me here, but don't think there's been a mid-air involving light aircraft in IMC OCAS.
As to quadrantals, well they just don't work at all do they. I'm delighted that we'll soon be rid of them, but despair that it's taken so long. How does concentrating all the traffic above TA OCAS at four defined levels reduce risk of collision? It doesn't, it must make it more likely, as there's now only lateral separation left to keep traffic apart. How much better would it have been if you hadn't been forced down into cloud by rule 34, but could have simply chosen an altitude above the tops of the cloud and below the base of CAS, which would have allowed you to stay VMC whilst IFR, so one of you could still lookout.
That's if you believe see and avoid works :eek:
19th Apr 2012, 12:24
I am an instructor, although I don't teach IF...yet.
I believe the Transition Altitude within Class G airspace underneath the Daventry Control Area changed last year to 6000ft (from 3000ft) - see link to AIC: Y 004/2011
My understanding here is that under the Daventry CTA, below 6000ft AMSL Quadrantal Rule doesn't apply so you can pick an altitude to fly. I am not sure if this applies to all of your trip but would to some of it, and I would have thought should give you the ability to fly IFR above a cloud layer legally (up to 6000ft), where previously QR would force you lower.
I am also interested in this post because I often think about calling up a local civil airfield for a Traffic Service when climbing or decending through cloud to carry out upper air work. However, the RT and workload, and the delay sometimes to call up, then change to Basic Service when above cloud (since it's difficult enough to teach as well as maintain the radio watch that a Traffic Service requires) then back to TS for descent and finally back in touch to reduce back to BS or change to local airfield approach just seems more trouble than it's worth for 500ft of overcast.
When I explain the 'big sky' principle to students I get the impression that they leave thinking 'russion roulette'!
Thats what I thought too after decending recently through a very thin overcast layer after an aerobatic trip to find a hot air balloon of my starboard side, about 0.5nm range with it's canopy poking into the cloud.
Wondering what other people do?
22nd Apr 2012, 09:40
I don't go into cloud with students during PPL training (don't want to encourage them to try it for themselves), but I have often gone through a thin layer on a private flight without the benefit of a traffic service. The big sky theory has worked so far:)
22nd Apr 2012, 12:13
I have been IMCr teaching all morning with no Radar service in the same area. Wittering down to Cambridge for Procedural NPA, Leicester and back.
Plenty of cloud and rain around. Correct cruising levels and big sky does for me.
22nd Apr 2012, 13:02
I was out yesterday tracking towards Westcott, lots of gliders so remained VMC then went up towards Coventry, and indeed transition altitude is 6000'. I guess below this altitude, Qs with not be used anymore, as you will be on the local QNH, and big sky principle will surfice.
Went back to my FI instructor and got his thoughts, he has 25000 hours and concludes with most comments on here, no radar is not a great problem, you have more risk of a collision at the VRPS at airfields in VMC he felt. He also stated that he thought no collision in IMC OCAS in UK since the war.
I have to say with nearly a 1000 hrs of VFR flying instruction, IMC training is a nice change, and quite fun getting students to fly to the tighter tolerances, I am finding it quite demanding getting the lessons as effective as I do in VFR teaching, but I guess its experience, briefing is taking me ages if its an approach lesson.
NDB teaching with an RBI in a strong wind and a slow aircraft has to be the most interesting teaching to date, how really can you do this with out a GPS backup ? The aircraft I have been using this week has no DME, and student is taking his test at Coventry. The plate says that ranges will be given by ATC, but not sure if they will be happy to do that if busy, I will check with them next week before we start the approaches. Im assuming that vectoring onto the approach maybe not allowed in the test ?
22nd Apr 2012, 14:53
NDB teaching with an RBI in a strong wind and a slow aircraft has to be the most interesting teaching to date, how really can you do this with out a GPS backup ?
Without problem, as I demonstrated this morning. If you can teach the fundamentals properly you will turn out a much better student.
25th Apr 2012, 08:43
NDB teaching with an RBI in a strong wind and a slow aircraft has to be the most interesting teaching to date, how really can you do this with out a GPS backup ?Estimate the drift on track (using the relevant proportion of MaxDrift) then continuously visually overlay the RBI needle on to the DI, using head or tail as appropriate, make appropriate heading changes to maintain desired track.
A word to the wise: if you have a rotatable RBI card, pretend you haven't and leave it set to North-up.
Ask if anything here is new.
(Edited to fix typo)
25th Apr 2012, 13:01
"Oxford Radar" should hopefully be filling some of this gap in the next few weeks. Won't be LARS though so subject to the normal constraints/availability.
28th Apr 2012, 18:21
Are we doing away with quadrantals?
28th Apr 2012, 19:36
The TA is meant to be changing to 18,000' AMSL, so for all practical purposes in light GA, we will no longer be tied to quadrantals.
29th Apr 2012, 22:41
Not quadrantals, but ICAO semicircular cruising altitudes (see page 30 of that document)?