I love flying IFR but am very rarely in a position to maintain any sort of proficiency. Fun stuff. Serious stuff, but fun.
14 Days to Alaska
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Looks like a typical VFR day gone bad on the North Slope. It is the unexpected transition to IMC from VFR conditions that gets a lot of pilots in trouble.
Of course plan B for VFR flying is usually to turnaround or land somewhere while you still can. Even with good instrument skills going inadvertent IMC and climbing away for a plan C might find you with no alternatives within range, or with ice in the clouds. Some instrument instructors will not teach the instrument takeoff under the hood. It may sound challenging but such a maneuver should involve a lot of chanting “positive rate of climb, positive rate of climb” as you obtain and maintain this critical condition. This maneuver may have limited practical application but it instills a set of skills that often prove lacking in the real world with fatal results. The instrument takeoff in a helicopter is even more challenging as the pressure instruments are not alive or reliable and the pitch down attitude can be inadvertently reversed to pitch up attitude resulting in a backwards departure. Sounds like you are enjoying the challenge. Good IFR skills are useful. Alaska is a crazy place sometimes where SVFR pilots out of Deadhorse might find themselves climbing to intercept the glide slope for that marginal special VFR arrival. The far North VFR in winter may on legal days have very very few visual clues. Have fun. Challenging yourself to always do better can save your life. It’s sort of like rifle shooting where aiming “small” or precise pays off.
Great post! That sentence - The unexpected transition from VFR conditions to IMC is spot on. Having instrument experience has saved my bacon in theses situations more than once. Of course the experience and wisdom really shows when you use it to avoid that situation at all.