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Old 11th Jan 2015, 09:03
  #16 (permalink)  
Ramjet555
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 226
A long time ago, I did an Australian ME IFR and did that very long initial flight test etc.

After several renewals, I moved to Canada where I had to do a fresh ride and a type rating.



Then I experienced real IFR not just that fluffy white stuff but real unexpected icing.

I could tell stories till the cows came home but for anyone getting an IFR, I think it is very important to realize that In Aus, you are not really likely to be seeing or experiencing any serious IFR weather.



There is ONE unique Place, Halifax Nova Scotia, where you are dam near guaranteed to have the best IFR weather ever.

IF you check out the cost, its even cheaper to do it in Canada or north east USA than to do it in Australia. Just return, do the IREX and a ride with lots of stories to tell when you get back, stories you will never ever get in Aus.



Now, once I used to fly night freight. On one very dark and dirty night, we looked at the forecast and decided to go. It was a very careful decision. We chose our altitudes wisely.

In the space of about 40 minutes, we were called up twice to call and listen to 121.5 when their transponder went out.



On each occassion, a Cessna Caravan had suddenly disappeared from Radar, and the last one that disappeared somewhere underneath us.

We called and of course there was no answer. Both were fatal. The last one splashed down in a large lake invisible to us.



We had two janitol heaters, one broke down, and not long after, the other broke down, in -40C, and while we were dressed very well, it was still a bit chilly in the cockpit.

You learn all sorts of tricks, like putting a bunch of pepper on your feet covering it in a thin cloth or tissue paper, sock, plastic sock etc, that creates a chemical reaction that keeps your toes toasty in your snow boots.



As we approached Halifax, our alternate went down as did any other possible alternative within reasonable fuel.

We were "cold soaked" and knew we would pick up a hell of load of ice as we descended into warm-er air just packed with moisture, while we were well and truly cold-soaked.



We went for the ILS, and kept upping the approach speed as we saw the windshield turn into a massive ice block.

That's when the electric heater on the windshield failed.



One long final, we left the flaps up, and the tower was accustomed to our call out of numbers to adjust the intensity so that it did not blind us but helped confirm the localizer.



We knew it was down so we planned a blind landing on the ILS.
That cloud was down to around 50ft, with heavy snow, and with a windshield full of ice.

The landing was first class, needles centered all the way.

We came to a grinding halt as if we were doing a Carrier landing in an F16.



We had to sit there for about two hours for a snow plow to make its way to us, and then clear the taxi-way back to the hanger.

It's the Inter-provincial airlines hanger, incredibly famous, and friendly.

We did the usual Freight Pilot stunt, as our huge block of ice was towed into the hanger to melt, we hit the sleeping bags in the loft.

It took several hours or more for that ice to melt.

We both learned from that experience and changed our own rules of how we would decide on the weather in the future.


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