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Old 21st May 2005, 09:38   #41 (permalink)
 
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I have to agree with arm out the window / blade root etc.... to be honest I am surprised that more people don't get into strife. Mc Gowan....do your comments apply to fixed wing or choppers? I have never flown choppers but the use of instruments flying fixed wing at night is key in staying alive...particularly between V1 and 1500ft. Would be interested to know if it's that different when in a chopper....are they 'eyes outside' most of the time?
Cheers.
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Old 21st May 2005, 11:41   #42 (permalink)
 
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Having never flown Rotary wing (except for a Huey Cobra simulator at a military base in Japan, but that's another story)
I can only speak for fixed wing;
Back when I completed my CPL in 1985 a Night VMC as it was then known was a required part of the CPL; ie no night VMC, no CPL.
And when doing the training required for the Night VMC my then Instructor made it quite clear that there may be times when I may find myself in positions where although conditions may be 'VMC' there would be no moonlight, no lights from towns/settlements/anything on the ground and no discernable horizon. In short, (and the following is his words to me verbatim) "technically you will be totally dependent on instruments and therefore before I pass you as proficient to hold a Night VMC rating you will be capable of flying in those conditions"
However the first real 'black night' experience I had was after I gained a MECIFR so the NVMC training was never really put to the test.

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
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Old 22nd May 2005, 00:42   #43 (permalink)
 
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N_A_P...not quite true. You CAN log IF when flying NVFR - and conversely you can be IMC and not be legally logging IF!

Without repeating all the regs, read the thread here

How's things over west?

CS
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Old 22nd May 2005, 02:34   #44 (permalink)
 
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A couple of points:
1. NZ and the USA both have a requirement for ground visual during NVFR, and that is why they dont have NVFR LSALTs and those sorts of restrictions. If you can see the ground, you shouldn't hit it. Oz, as we know, has no such requirement. Nor, contrary to some of the posts here, is there a requirement for a visible horizon. Thus we have LSALT, ratings, and instrument proficiency requirements during training and ratings. As AOTW implies, this situation could certainly be revised.

2. I too disagree with McGowan's call on the instruments, though his other comments are spot on. NVFR is ALL about instruments, bith helo and fixed wing. Ideally, all changes should be made using the instruments, backed up by looking outside. The blacker it is, the more time you spend on instruments. Sorry Terry.

3. Contrary to imabell, some of the NVFR helo accidents have involved pilots with significant IFR experience, and have been unrelated to the weather.

4. Somatographic illusions are far less relevant in the helo, though far from irrelevant. Helicopters accelerate only to about 60 to 80 kias on climb out, and they rarely accelerate level to a positive rotate. Generally they increase speed and altitude simultaneuosly.

5. Centaraus: I think UA training in the actual aircraft must be part of the training to ensure that vestibular inputs are experienced: critical in my view.

6. Centaraus: you alledge that CASA claim the Helicopter Association of Australasia said a standby AI was not required. Where do I substantiate that claim? The HAA drafted a response to the intial recommendations of the Mackay accident last year, which has yet to be answered by the ATSB, and I can post that if required. To my knowledge, the HAA has made no formal position known to CASA (or the ATSB for that matter) on standby AIs.

7. The NVFR rating is currently the only rating I can think of that is perpetual. Renewals could be created, and a defined requirement for instrument profficiency introduced. Personnly, I think that until we change NVFR to require a visible horizon and or ground visual, we must insist on instrument profficiency.
Why dont we look at those issues too?
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Old 22nd May 2005, 10:50   #45 (permalink)
 
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Perhaps those with longer beards than mine may be able correct me, but wasn't the night VFR rating originally a Grade IV Instrument rating or somesuch? Perhaps that explains the mishmash of IFR and VFR procedures that we have with this rating.....
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Old 23rd May 2005, 03:44   #46 (permalink)
 
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Just a Couple of replies,
150Areobat, my comments are aimed at or relate to Helicopters, I'm not an aeroplane pilot to speak of, only PPL. I hope that explains something, I don't rotate, for me it's just "positive rate of climb, positive increase in AIS" (much bigger windows in a helicopter) and keep looking outside most of the time. cjam, hope that also helps you.
helmet fire, please disagree, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but being the coward I am, if it is not a great night for NVFR you will find me tucked up in bed. Also the regs mention that if you operate the aircraft soley by instruments, you are operating by IFR, not VFR.
Basic instrument flight is demonstrated and practiced by day under a hood during training for a NVFR rating. You might also notice that the basic IF stuff does NOT count to your rating. When training someone, unfortunately they usually don't have endless money, so you give them as much practicle knowledge as possible for the dollar (yes I know, it all comes down to the dollar). While doing that you try to explain how extremely hard it is to fly IFR in a small single with no stability augmentation of any kind and how very, very easy it is to get yourself and whoever is with you into neck deep trouble because you are not trained for IFR...........
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Old 23rd May 2005, 08:03   #47 (permalink)
 
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NOtimTAMS; Leafing through my old pasteboard licence, the one that fitted neatly into a shirt pocket, I note that the Night VMC rating was indeed referred to as a 'Class Four' instrument rating and carries the endorsement 'Class Four valid while licence is valid'
BTW I don't have a beard, grey or otherwise. Mrs Pinky would boot me out if I grew one!

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 10:41   #48 (permalink)
 
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Cheers McGowan. I assumed you were talking fixed-wing night VFR training for some reason. I agree wholeheartedly regarding your other sentiments also.
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Old 24th May 2005, 07:04   #49 (permalink)
 
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MCGOWAN,
cheers for that, I didn't realise that you looked out the window more than us fixed wing pilots at night. Do you ever get the somotogravic (sp) illusion?
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Old 24th May 2005, 09:10   #50 (permalink)
 
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Cjam. This "somotographic illusion" thingy that happens on take off, must be pretty horrible. What I can't understand is why it seems only to happen to light aircraft pilots at night, but not to airline pilots who are flying aircraft that accelerate a great deal faster on take off than a typical Cessna 172, Baron etc?
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Old 24th May 2005, 13:00   #51 (permalink)
 
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Good point Centaurus,

Personally, I think it could happen, but at the higher end of experience you are on instruments after departure, and if you are monitoring the dept, then you won't get the illusion.

Experienced and inexperinced pilots get the leans, but that is because the fluid in the ear moves too slowly (<.05ms2) one direction and sloshes back faster the other. This sensation cannot be overridden by scanning and believing the instruments.

In the acceleration case, the fluid moves back in the semicircular canals exactly the same way as the pitch up sensation. Depending on what you expect to feel you will feel it. Expect to be going faster as the AH is 7deg nose up and past V2 and all ops normal, then your neural pathways will tell you that. Have an open mind about it, don't consult the AH and, who knows...

I had the SGI one night out of a place in western vic on my first night solo flight. Did not know what it was at the time, but all went wierd for a while, felt very confused as to what the a/c was doing. Eventually looked at the AH and it was wings level, nose down a bit and ASI accelerating (as much as a 172 does)... Only years later in ATPL study did I come across the illusion in a textbook and what happened to me made sense.

In recent years, flying turboprops in pitch black moonless nights from reflectorised ALAs in the outback I have never had it. But, I still get the leans occasionally (when handflying in IF. ) That's cos my ears can't override the cause of the leans, but my mind can override the cause of SGI.

CS
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Old 24th May 2005, 13:06   #52 (permalink)
 
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cjam, check previous page for your somatographic answer, and a contrary opinion on helicopter pilots looking out the window more than the fixed wing pilots.

centarus, any answer to the question I asked on the previous page?

Terry, NEVER would I call you a coward mate, I agree with the climb back into bed statement you mentioned for NVFR, that's for sure. I wasn't suggesting that you only look at the instruments, I was saying that it all changes are made with reference to the instruments, backed up by a visual check outside. As opposed to "sole reference".
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Old 25th May 2005, 03:41   #53 (permalink)
 
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There has been some mention that the regs have no requirement for a visible horizon, a sad but true fact. But I seem to recall that I've seen something in a flight manual that requires some sort of light, "sufficient celestial illumination" I think. Now what this means is porberbly up to the person reading it, but I would be inclined to say ground lights, moon or stars. Something like the ammount of light you get even on an overcast dark night in the Sydney basin......... Being a flight manual requirement would mean it needs to be complied with for NVFR.
Any thoughts?????

cjam, not really sure about the somatographic effect, I doubt anything I can fly will accelerate fast enough for it to occur, or as I look outside, this could prevent it from happening.
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Old 26th May 2005, 21:56   #54 (permalink)
 
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Apologies for slight side-track in the thread...

Still looking for a reference regarding (in)ability to log IF time in a NVFR operation. My personal thought was in line with CS, but it appears others disagree. What I'm hoping for is to (re)discover a regulation that applies.
I logged IF during NVFR once, and was told by CP "you can't do that..." and from memory shown a CAR or similar that dealt with it - never could find it again.

Let me get this straight -

(1) one night I depart, with details filed IFR, into the inky black, and log IF.
(2) the next night I leave for the same flight (wx permitting ie no cloud good vis), having lodged only SARTIME details, say nothing to centre, depart INTO THE SAME CONDITIONS, IN THE SAME A/C, USING THE SAME TECHNIQUES, and it is forbidden to log IF?

On both occasions (for a certain period anyway), are you not handling WRT INSTRUMENTS ALONE, as you establish climb, reconfigure, turn to intercept, then intercept track and establish enroute climb?

CR is confused...
Not for the first time!

The whole NVFR thing is a bit sketchy eh...
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Old 28th May 2005, 00:10   #55 (permalink)
 
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Angry Forced Landing at Night.

Heard a story from many years ago. NVFR PPL pilot goes to coastal airport to collect his Cessna after 100hrly. Leaves late as AC was not ready when he arrived to collect it.

The flight becomes NVFR over 30 min to return to home base. Oil pressure drops suddenly, engine seizes. Oil drain not properly closed.

The forced landing that resulted was amazing. Pilot picked the darkest patch of ground and put the AC down into a perfect grassy & flat field. Survived to tell the tale.
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Old 28th May 2005, 00:53   #56 (permalink)
 
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I have not heard of a fatal accident concerning a single engine night forced landing in Australia.
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Old 28th May 2005, 02:15   #57 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have not heard of a fatal accident concerning a single engine night forced landing in Australia
Funnily enough Bushy I cant recall ever hearing about a fatal single engine forced landing in PNG

Does this mean if youre ever lost at night /in cloud it may be better to turn the engine off?
 
Old 28th May 2005, 17:58   #58 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lara, VIC.
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NVFR Landing.

VMC4ME, what are you suggesting? I am sure many of us have done a NVFR landing being caught after last light.

There is a vast difference between such a situation and deliberately flying at night without the rating.

Not that I condone the former. We can all be harmed just as easily landing NVFR without the skills and experience a rating brings.

I tend to agree with many postings here. The NVFR rating potentially is one of the most dangerous rating we can do.

I remember a fligt of 30 min duration NVFR. I was passenger. We flew into a cloud without warning and were non visual for about 30 sec. Very fightening as there was no way of telling how thick or deep the cloud was. We flew out the other side and encontered no further cloud en route.
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Old 29th May 2005, 13:41   #59 (permalink)
 
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counter-rotation

The "reg" you can no longer find was one of the blue AIP RAC supplements that had guidance on how to fill in your logbook. The supp was withdrawn some years ago, but in any case it was not a legally binding document anyway.

If it's that dark it's IF. Simple.

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Old 30th May 2005, 06:11   #60 (permalink)
 
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Having early in my training been caught IMC on VFR I was kinda glad of the instrument and Night components and think its best included.
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