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Unintentional Flight Into IMC.

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Unintentional Flight Into IMC.

Old 30th Nov 2020, 07:38
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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It’s not unlike sailing when the conditions can change incredibly quickly especially in the English Channel where I have experienced force 7 or 8 when force 3 was forecast or an unforecast bank of thick fog in the middle of the shipping lanes. Are you suggesting that we should all give up and watch discovery channel.
I flew off a cliff two days ago, it took me an hour and a half to launch as the wind was too strong in the “compression” zone but once airborne I had a very enjoyable half hour. I had delayed two hours until there was enough beach to land on - 50% of water landings are fatal. And if the wind had strengthened there is a park in the lee after the main railway line.
It is about calculated risk as is wave flying when the slots in the wave bars can close in minutes and it was less than 25 years ago that we had a navigation aid that could give us a reliable position to allow a relatively safer decent in the mountains.
In my opinion my greatest risk is being maimed by some idiot on a mobile phone whilst walking the streets where a simple fall could be catastrophic.
As for safety culture..since when has shouting or a flustered high pitch voice been indicative of continuous risk assessment?
They got caught out as did AF447 and that lot were supposedly professionals, luckily they got away with it but were honest enough to post an embarrassing video so that others could learn.
To be fair unless one has experienced one of the engineless disciplines it is difficult to understand the mindset. Power flying involves a flurry of challenges and learning skills which quickly reaches a plateau and then becomes trying to reach perfection. Gliding can be a continual challenge of exploration with few infallible gurus to learn from.
At one time I used to attend a instructors two week camp auto towing of the beaches in Kerry with poor forecasts whilst attempting to use thermal, dynamic and wave lift in a mountainous region with ever changing cloud conditions. The site record was around 23,000ft by an ex RAF spitfire pilot.

Last edited by blind pew; 30th Nov 2020 at 08:56. Reason: Added last paragraph
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 10:17
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
The part I found profoundly sad was the “just another day in a glider” low key and low energy conversation in the cockpit. Where this video starts was in an area where great care needs to be taken. Not dangerous per se but there should have been a steady dialogue about how the situation was developing and where the out was as well as some definite “no go” criteria spoken out loud.
I agree with that, especially in a “instructional” situation. I think neither pilot was planning far enough ahead, for whatever reason, as the end result shouldn’t have been surprising at all.

The huge one is never fly over a solid deck that is just below you and never ever ever be in a situation where up air is required to stay on top. This goes triple when flying over a ridge. Ridge cloud can develop and/or move very quickly with a change in wind and.has to be respected, as well as the absolute requirement to maintain positional awareness so that you don’t inadvertently cross over to the lee side and get into sink.
That is Ridge Soaring 1.01 - something we teach at our club to pre-solo pilots as there is a hill next to the airfield. How such a primal lesson got temporarily forgotten by experienced pilots in this case is interesting and it shows that distraction management is a necessary skill in any aircraft.

Frankly I wonder about the safety culture of this glider club. I find it hard to believe that given the relaxed atmosphere in the glider, that guys where not frequently pushing the ridge lift around and over clouds.

Google “Normalization of Deviance”
I suppose it was relaxed up to the point it wasn’t. Maybe neither pilot had had a “squeaky bum moment” in this environment, so although then knew “here be dragons”, they didn’t realise up to that point how large they were and how hot the fire was!
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 08:30
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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A couple of observations from the video. It was interesting how quickly the disorientation developed once they were fully in the cloud. I think they stalled because there appeared to be buffeting before it all went pear shaped. The other observation is that at no time did the instructor stop trying to fly the glider. There was certainly a high level of anxiety but there didn't seem to be uncontrolled panic. Going back to the start however there is no way the instructor should have allowed the situation to get that far. You are PIC at all times even if you are not manipulating the controls.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 11:09
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Cloud flying

Who flies into IMC in a glider with NO turn and slip?? That pair must have been be mad as well as very lucky. I have flown a glider in cloud very occasionally but NEVER without a T/S. My most alarming trip was in my own glider which was fitted with an artificial horizon. Full of confidence I switched on the horizon and entered a large Cu at 4000ft and started to climb. At 8000ft things got very turbulent, and it seemed to be raining upwards, as the vario went on to its stop at +20kts. It took quite a while and another 2000ft to level the wings and fly out of the side of what was clearly a massive cloud. I LAFFT (I learned about flying from that). Did a nice cross country over the North York moors though.

The site I was flying from (Sutton Bank) had had a fatality earlier that year to a cloud flier whose plane disintegrated. I think that might have influenced my decision to leave while I was still ahead. I had some training in flying in cloud on the T/S alone in a two seater with an instructor, but it didn't really prepare me for that flight.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 21:58
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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I think that was what raised my eyebrows the most when watching the video. I’m guilty as charged in terms of IMC in gliders but at least I have the equipment and training that allow me to fly and navigate in those conditions. They appeared to have neither, which would make staying clear of cloud an absolute necessity which got overlooked somehow...
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Old 8th Dec 2020, 10:49
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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There's always the lack of instrumentation and all the other comments of what went wrong.

But a more practical question, since it's many many years ago I flew gliders (was 14 at the time).

In most small aircraft you can almost with certainty just let go of the controls and the wings should stay level and pitch would be according to trimming... so a hands off approach if in doubt should keep your head up.

The pilot in this film is kind of flying "gently", if it's not the pilot in the back controlling.... but would it have the same characteristics as a normal aircraft, or are they more unstable to begin with?
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Old 8th Dec 2020, 20:06
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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In a cloud a which is going up like a lift and bouncing you around, you would not expect releasing the controls to have a happy outcome. In clear non turbulent conditions I agree that you can let a well trimmed aeroplane fly itself, and when faced by a 'pudding stirring' pupil, it is often the only way to convince him/her that this plane can fly much better by itself. Having said that, it is a rare glider that is so well rigged that it does not enter a gentle banked turn after a short time. I suspect small single engined planes will do the same. But you are right, sometimes the best tactic is just to open the brakes,let go of everything and wait. Certainly the easiest way to recover from an 'unusual attitude'
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 02:19
  #28 (permalink)  
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I am not an experienced glider pilot, but I can say that few airplanes will find straight and level flight hands off in a useful way. I certainly would not think of letting go as a tool for when I upset the plane. Long period return to more level flight could involve an overspeed, or overshoot of the desired better attitude. It is simply the responsibility of the pilot to avoid flying into conditions for which the plane or their skills are not adequate.

This is the reason that some maneuvers are prohibited in some types, not that they cannot be flown, but the margin of recovery without exceeding a limitation is too small.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 21:31
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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It’s that time of year, when experience pilots familiar with the local area, forget all their training and fly into hills.

It might have happened to me 4 yrs ago, I was passenger, we took off from Staverton and turned East , well clear of cloud, overhead the racecourse at around 800ft.
I said J*** turn North, - why, - we can’t see the ridge!. - oh
So we flew up to the army depot turned right and in the clear.

Orographic I guess, it was a straightforward VFR flight easy landmarks no particular plan.
We could easily have become a statistic that day
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 23:32
  #30 (permalink)  
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More Detail.

A little more background here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npyq...ature=youtu.be
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 17:43
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nevillestyke View Post
And NOBODY so far (apart from me) noticed they did not have a turn and slip on the panel. What were they thinking about, going into cloud over a ridge on a turbulent day? You couldn't make it up!! If I was the CFI of the club concerned I would be standing that instructor down, and putting him in for a bit of training. What an example to a pupil! If they hadn't had a whole lot of luck they would have been another statistic.

What about the ANR's - you are supposed to keep clear of cloud and in sight of the ground at all times

Blimey!
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 12:56
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Turn and slip indicator or turn coordinator is definately usefull, though I prefer the turn coordinator. An attitude indicator even better.

And don't call me NOBODY (I did notice, and wrote it as well earlier)

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Old 17th Dec 2020, 16:41
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jmmoric View Post
Turn and slip indicator or turn coordinator is definately usefull, though I prefer the turn coordinator. An attitude indicator even better.

And don't call me NOBODY (I did notice, and wrote it as well earlier)
And so you did. I apologise. It was disconcerting however to see so how many experienced pilots on this thread who missed this vital clue as to how these clowns got into that mess. I have flown twenty three types of glider in my career (now over) and never encountered one, all the way from T31 to ASK21, that was not equipped with a turn and slip. I thought perhaps I had missed it in my first scan of the panel - but no it wasn't there. I have to tell you that I would not have taken off in any glider not so equipped. I therefore never faced a decision about whether to enter cloud if it was necessary.

In my latter days of gliding I flew an Olympia 463 which (unusually for the time) was fitted with an HSI (why not just call it a horizon?) and while it was jolly useful in a cloud , should the battery have given out I still had the trusty steam driven T/S to save my bacon. Even when it seemed to be raining upwards in a cloud, a quick glance at the horizon made this unlilkely. The only thing a T/S could not tell you.

Last edited by Olympia463; 17th Dec 2020 at 17:02.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 17:50
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia463 View Post
And NOBODY so far (apart from me) noticed they did not have a turn and slip on the panel. W
Not a glider pilot here, couple of questions.

- Do twin seater gliders have only one instrument panel?
- If they have two, can you confirm that this particular glider did not have a turn and slip in the aft panel?

Thanks
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 18:44
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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This type has a panel for the back seat. There's no way of knowing what was fitted in it but it's unlikely there were any blind flying instruments, judging by the results.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 19:01
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia463 View Post
It was disconcerting however to see so how many experienced pilots on this thread who missed this vital clue as to how these clowns got into that mess. I have flown twenty three types of glider in my career (now over) and never encountered one, all the way from T31 to ASK21, that was not equipped with a turn and slip. I thought perhaps I had missed it in my first scan of the panel - but no it wasn't there. I have to tell you that I would not have taken off in any glider not so equipped.
The vast majority of gliders that I have flown were not fitted with a T&S & if I flew with one that was I usually wouldn't turn it on. It's not a required instrument if you remain VMC. The reason these guys got themselves in to that mess was that they committed the gliding cardinal sin of not having a Plan B (& C,D,E . . .) A working T&S might have been a Plan B but they would need to know what track they were flying, not easy with just a compass.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 19:28
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
I am not an experienced glider pilot, but I can say that few airplanes will find straight and level flight hands off in a useful way. I certainly would not think of letting go as a tool for when I upset the plane. Long period return to more level flight could involve an overspeed, or overshoot of the desired better attitude. It is simply the responsibility of the pilot to avoid flying into conditions for which the plane or their skills are not adequate.
To be certified for cloud flying (which this type is) the manufacturer must show that the type is speed limiting with full airbrake in a 45 degree dive. Gliders don't have the room for the full range of redundancy a certified IFR capable powered aircraft does. If you lose the instruments, or just lose it, the standard recovery (assuming that the glider was properly trimmed in the first place) is to open full airbrake and let go of the stick. The glider will eventually settle down in a speed limited low-ish G spiral dive. Not something I would want to do with the cloudbase so close to the ground but perfectly OK if you know you have the room.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 20:27
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by arketip View Post
Not a glider pilot here, couple of questions.

- Do twin seater gliders have only one instrument panel?
- If they have two, can you confirm that this particular glider did not have a turn and slip in the aft panel?

Thanks
Side by side two seaters have one panel - T21 and T42. Tandem two seaters - T31, Blanik, Bocian, K7, K13, ASK21 series german gliders etc, have panels in both cockpits. How else would you be able to teach people to fly? The panels are usually identical as regards instruments. I have flown about ten varieties of two seater in the UK, and all the tandem ones had full panels in both cockpits. Other countries might differ, though I can't think why.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 21:53
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia463 View Post
Side by side two seaters have one panel - T21 and T42. Tandem two seaters - T31, Blanik, Bocian, K7, K13, ASK21 series german gliders etc, have panels in both cockpits. How else would you be able to teach people to fly? The panels are usually identical as regards instruments. I have flown about ten varieties of two seater in the UK, and all the tandem ones had full panels in both cockpits. Other countries might differ, though I can't think why.
The Bocian only has a panel in the front cockpit. The position of the rear seat might enable the instructor to see the panel in the front. Most 2 seaters I have flown in the UK have not had ‘full panels’. And the instruments in front and rear are rarely identical.
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Old 18th Dec 2020, 03:52
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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was fitted with an HSI (why not just call it a horizon?)
Have to be careful with terminology, HSI, a horizon it's not, i'm sure you mean AI (attitude indicator).



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