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Thread: IFR & Night Flight

  1. #1
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    Default IFR & Night Flight

    Hello everyone -

    I have red/green color blindness and I have yet to try and complete the FAA light gun test. As of right now, I am restricted from night flight or a situation where I would require a light gun landing from the tower.

    How much IFR and night flight work do the bush pilots do in AK? I'll be moving up there soon and I'm kicking around the idea of finishing up my private pilot's license. Up in AK I'd get the tailwheel endorsement and take a bush pilot course as well.

    Are most of the bush planes that the charter outfits fly IFR equipped?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Depends

    It all depends on what type of plane you want to fly. If you want to fly a twin engine that you had better know your instruments. If you just want to fly a super cub than VFR will get you by.

    Most of the "Bush Pilots" operate under daytime VFR. Most of the small airports in alaska dont have IFR approaches and daylight in the summer is around 18-20 hours so not much for darkness.

    I would say that you should be comfortable with using instruments just to get you out of the clouds. I know a couple of pilots that tried to navigate mountain passes with instruments and ended up parking the plane on the side of the hill.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Default

    What makes you think the use of light guns is limited to night? Light guns are used at towered airports when you don't have radio communication. It has nothing to do with night or day.

  4. #4
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    Default Grizzly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    What makes you think the use of light guns is limited to night? Light guns are used at towered airports when you don't have radio communication. It has nothing to do with night or day.
    Mr. Pid is exactly right! The light gun wasn't designed for nighttime use, but for use in a non-radio environment. Back in the day, that's about all most of us had around Merrill Field in Anchorage.

    The FARs are there for your safety and mine. You should carefully consider the reasons behind them . . . . .

    As for "bush flying instruction," I know that there is a small handful of folks giving taildragger instruction and off-airport instruction. I can tell you that that doesn't even touch "bush" flying! I'd suggest you master - - - REALLY master - - - slow flight and spot landings. The rest will come to you one landing and one takeoff at a time.

    Best of luck with it all,

    Mort

  5. #5
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    Default grizzly 1 is right ON

    ditto for the above post.

  6. #6
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    Default flying Alaska

    You may be able to find a high time experienced instructor. Expect to pay for the knowledge. A few hours and he may be able to show you some things they just do not think of in the 48. However as the previous posts mentioned. It comes from practice, any airport can be a bush strip. It's about you becoming part of that airplane and learning to make it do what it can do, and what your experience level allows. Practice, practice practice. Please remember because some guy on the radio just said he had no problem getting in, or through a pass, does not make it safe for you. You can always land and do it tomorrow.

    Be very careful where you rent planes, make sure you go over the logs and ask around on who has some good ones and who has paper maintenance.
    Have fun and be safe and enjoy Alaska.
    Geoff

  7. #7
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    If you are thinking about lodge or outfitter flying one day... Get a float rating.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  8. #8
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    Default IFR

    IFR in Alaska means Icing Flight Rules.

    Terry

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