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Thread: So if I flew up into a cloud...

  1. #136
    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by choppergirl View Post
    You've just flown into a cloud and are experiencing whiteout and there is no turning back. You brilliant aeronauts have 30 seconds to improvise some other oh **** device to save yourself. What are you going to do?




    I'm holding the altitude steady with the elevator, and the compass steady with the rudder...
    Pilot training includes the maxim that one stay out of cloud. It's not difficult, even at night, and at night on a cross-country one needs enough instruments to stay out of trouble anyway, and the PPL gets a certain amount of instrument instruction. Still, the stay-out-of-cloud thing is emphasized, and there's no lack of fatal examples to reinforce the assertion.

    Holding steady with the wet compass doesn't work too well. These things have lead-lag errors and northerly turning errors that make them do stupid stuff, especially in turns. They will lie to you in almost any turn, either telling you you're turning when you're not, turning more than you are, or even turning in a direction opposite to what you're actually turning. They're no good except in straight-ahead, unaccelerated flight. A plumb bob works well in that situation, too.

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    Registered User don january's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by choppergirl View Post
    You've just flown into a cloud and are experiencing whiteout and there is no turning back. You brilliant aeronauts have 30 seconds to improvise some other oh **** device to save yourself. What are you going to do?

    BJC just threw my plumb bob out the window to figure out which was was down... so I'm pulling out my yo-yo, since I don't generally carry a gyroscope around in my pocket...

    Well, BJC just threw my yo-yo out the window as well.. followed by a steady stream of "stuff" he is chucking over board. There goes the emergency transponder.

    If only I could see the stuff once it left the airplane, it might help.... because, well, we're in a thick cloud. I can't see **** outside.

    Looks like BJC just ran out of stuff to throw overboard. Now he is chanting "Brace brace brace! Heads down, stay down!"

    I'm holding the altitude steady with the elevator, and the compass steady with the rudder...

    Think, Choppergirl, you've got 5 seconds left...
    Well CG if ya had a inclosed cockpit and a trusty old CAT you will be fine in a bit of cloud's after dark even tho you shouldn't be in them in the first place.
    KR-2, Taylor Mono,

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    So, you flew into cloud, you're now in a spiral dive. Is the compass spinning the opposite way that you are? I know fluid damping will destroy any accuracy, but it will try to follow N?

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    The compass is too slow to react and the magnetic field is too small for it to stay on course. IFR instruments would have been different if the compass could be rigidly locked on north. Just a snow globe being shaken.

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Have to maintain at least 1 mile horizontally from clouds in class G so pilot of ultralight sees a cloud and it's 1 mile away, at ultralight speed it will take > 1 min to reach it which is plenty of time to formulate an alternate plan, even a 180. Certainly no one in an ultralight would purposely fly into a cloud as that would mean their name is MUD.
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

    “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$hi+.” ― W.C. Fields

  6. #141
    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by pictsidhe View Post
    So, you flew into cloud, you're now in a spiral dive. Is the compass spinning the opposite way that you are? I know fluid damping will destroy any accuracy, but it will try to follow N?
    Not in any useful way, it won't. And the farther north you are, the worse it gets. The earth's magnetic field lines are parallel to the surface at the equator and dive downward into the surface as you approach the poles, and a turn, which tilts the compass card, starts the compass trying to point downward, which also makes it turn in goofy ways. Accelerating or decelerating also tilts the card, making more trouble.

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson View Post
    Have to maintain at least 1 mile horizontally from clouds in class G ...
    Per 103.23, it's "clear of clouds" when below 1200 ft. AGL and 2K ft. horizontal when over 1200 AGL and below 10K MSL. It's only 1 mile if above 10K MSL and above 1200 AGL.

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    Per 103.23, it's "clear of clouds" when below 1200 ft. AGL and 2K ft. horizontal when over 1200 AGL and below 10K MSL. It's only 1 mile if above 10K MSL and above 1200 AGL.
    You are correct of course, 1 mileclearofclouds apparently got muddied between brain and fingers. At any rate, flying at 45-50 mph, getting behind the plane is highly improbable. I can't imagine an inadvertent encounter with a cloud; entering a cloud on purpose just doesn't make any sense.
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

    “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$hi+.” ― W.C. Fields

  9. #144
    Registered User D Hillberg's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    I can hear it now "I was flying minding my own business when a cloud reached right out and bit me!" and "The last thing I saw was a stupid goat laughing at me"

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by D Hillberg View Post
    I can hear it now "I was flying minding my own business when a cloud reached right out and bit me!" and "The last thing I saw was a stupid goat laughing at me"
    LOL... I've flown some planes that would have trouble outrunning a cloud.

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    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    LOL... I've flown some planes that would have trouble outrunning a cloud.
    You can get caught in it in just the right conditions. It can form out of thin air if the air temp is decreasing and the dewpoint is very close to the air temp. That's one reason temp and dewpoint are mentioned in the METARs: so you can determine whether you're likely to encounter cloud (or carb ice). In mountain valleys here it can happen and one needs to be careful. A precautionary landing on a road or field is preferable to getting caught in cloud in mountain valleys.

    Still, almost all VFR-into-IMC crashes are due to poor pilot decision-making, not predatory clouds. The weakest point of any airplane is its pilot.

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  14. #147
    Registered User don january's Avatar
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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    I reckon if you fly into a cloud you best hope you seen what else went in there and what way it was heading. slim chance tho
    KR-2, Taylor Mono,

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Assuming enough height to recover, a deliberate spin is a way to get down below a cloud while blind. But you need to enter a spin before you first lose control in a spiral dive.

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    Re: So if I flew up into a cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    LOL... I've flown some planes that would have trouble outrunning a cloud.
    So true. Getting sucked into one is just as bad. ( see rambling post from July 21st, 2016, 07:12 PM )

    And at least one ballistic chute deployment I know about was when a pilot flew into clouds as they closed on him in a mountain pass.

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