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Thread: Would you prefer?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Would you prefer?

    Would you prefer a plane that is IFR capable for alaska. I'm sure that many may say that it depends on what you what if for. I really can't answer that right now but due to age and finances i will be buying one plane and sticking with it. So, I would say that yes. But I need any and all input and food for thought on the matter.

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    Can't help you there because I am trying to figure the same thing out. I think a PA 22/20 would be the ticket for me. just getting started though. I'm looking forward to the responses.

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Would you prefer a plane that is IFR capable for alaska. I'm sure that many may say that it depends on what you what if for. I really can't answer that right now but due to age and finances i will be buying one plane and sticking with it. So, I would say that yes. But I need any and all input and food for thought on the matter.
    I assume it is going to be single engine. If so, you first have to settle in your mind if you are willing to use it IFR. For instance would you use it IFR over water? Over the mountains? In forecast icing? If you are not going to use it IFR then I would spend the money to get some instruments that will get you out of trouble any time. GPS/Moving map and a decent radio. Get some mods that will allow you to land on a sand bar or beach - such as bigger tires/nose fork. Buy a SAT phone and keep it in a pelican case under the seat. Other than those, I would go with basic VFR instruments.

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    Default IFR

    IFR in Alaska is not for small single engine aircraft in my limited opinion. Flying in the clouds means icing a great deal of the time. It's nice to have the equipment, but I think IFR is best used when your in the air and dont have another choice. Just another tool in the box. I perfer to have big tires, a tent, sleeping bag, food and land on a bar like beaver driver suggests, then call my wife and let her know on my sat phone.

    Terry

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    Are you planning to stay IFR current? Have you considered how much it will cost to maintain the gyros and vacuum system? Have you considered how much extra weight you will have to carry around to have an IFR capable aircraft? If your going to buy a 185 or something that is already IFR equiped have you considered that the radios will be 30 years or so old? The FAA is establishing GPS approaches to small airports all over Alaska, how many thousands of dollars will it cost to install an IFR GPS in your plane? I've given instrument instruction in Alaska and have flown in the clouds in 172's and 182's. I didn't do it very often. I only did it when I knew I had clear weather below me so I could get down if the ice got too bad. If your really going to try to go somewhere IMC in a small plane in Alaska your going to have the Grim Reaper as a Co-Pilot!

  6. #6
    RMK
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    Default I have to agree with the last few guys....

    I agree with the other guys. I never saw the payback in trying to turn my plane in to an IFR platform.

    True IMC is not where you want to be in a light single anyway. Start with something basic. If you hit the lottery, you can always upgrade later.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default like the input

    The responses are much appreciated. I guess that I'm also trying to determine if it's worth the money to get my IFR rating and if that should translate into getting an IFR single engine for living in alaska. Everyone has really provided some food for thought. Please keep it comming.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I stay IFR current, but usually not in my own plane. I mostly use the CAP planes and simulators for that .

    Most of my summer float flying is in my old 1946 Cub with NO electrical and very limited instruments. Two battery powered radios and a battery powered GPS.

    That being said, Being IFR qualified and staying IFR current has made me a much better pilot. And I do fly in semi IFR weather and/or IFR during the winter months.

    While I may not have much need for a glide slope indicator during crappy winter weather, I have run into snow squalls and mist that made having an artificial horizon of some sort, super valuable. Particularly during night flights.

    My next Cub will have an EFIS unit display so I can maintain attitude and direction during the occasional (Oh Crap) moments.

    Or when I have to let down through a 400 ft thick solid layer... Which actually happens pretty often along the coast.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default IFR is a good thing

    You can use IFR to get out of places like Homer or ANC in the summer when things are better at the other end and its a local condition like a marine layer sitting there.

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    Not me - not in a single. Most of the issues you are going to encounter IFR are on departure. Out over the water in a single engine airplane, IFR, with an engine problem is not my idea of a good place to be no matter how well trained one is.

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    Default IFR training is good

    getting your Insrument ticket WILL make you a better pilot. But I am with beaver driver, No thanks.single engine IFR, you can keep it.

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    I would not discourage anyone from getting an instrument rating. No question that it will make you a better pilot. With or without an instrument rating you should be able to make a level 180 degree turn using a turn and bank or turn coordinator to maintain bank angle and airspeed indicator to maintain pitch. If you have never tried it get with an instructor and learn how. If your current with your stick and rudder skills talk to your instructor about learning how to get out of IMC during your next flight review. Nothing beats setting personal minimums and using good judgment to stay out of IMC.

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    I would recommend you have at least an electric turn coordinator and preferably backed up by a vacuum artificial horizon. The difference between good pilots and excellent pilots are their knowledge and ability to fly by the numbers. This is done at home using your math skills and practiced over and over in the plane. To do some of this you need your bank angle, an example would be a 180 in a tight spot. They also make your life a lot easier in the weather as long as you know what you are doing.

  14. #14
    RMK
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    Default IMC can prove deadly...with our without the training

    I also believe instrument training makes any pilot better. The same could be said for a commercial rating. You learn to fly with greater precision since the standards are tougher.

    Just the same, I doubt I would rely on a single engine aircraft for IMC. It's bad enough flying VFR at night up here in the fall. It's possible to get away from city lights, and darn near be IMC if you lose the horizon.

    The last couple fatal accidents in the Lake Hood/ANC area both involved VRF flight with rapidly deteriorating weather.

    In 2004, a super cub departed Lake Hood, and flew in to a fog bank over Cook Inlet. It appears that spatial disorientation caused the pilot to fly in to the water.

    A few years prior to that, former AST helicopter pilot Bob Larson, flew a helicopter in to Cook Inlet between Fire Island and the airport. Bob was a very high time pilot, and he still got caught by sudden IMC on a 3 mile flight.

    My pride no longer gets in the way. I've turned around at Rainy pass despite a pilot passenger who thought it looked "ok." I once sat on the ground for three days in Whitehorse. I am no longer a fan of getting a "special VRF" clearance just to legally take off.

    Years ago, I took a freshly printed private license, departed Anchorage for Seldovia, and flew VFR on top over most of the Kenai Peninsula. It was forecast clear in Homer, so I figured why not. You won't catch me doing that any more. An engine failure or a weather change over Kachemak Bay and I would have been in a tight spot.

    There has been a lot of good advice from a lot of experience pilots on here. Take that new license, and safely gain experience. The most important skill to hone, is probably good judgement.

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