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  • Airplane IFR certification

    I'm curious what makes an airplane IFR certified. I'm about to start my IR training and I'm disappointed to find that the Diamond Eclipse isn't certified.

  • #2
    And that only matters for a few flights, like for example the IFR XC that must be done under IFR. Remember you're going to be mostly flying in the VFR environment for the Instrument Rating. The Diamond Eclipse is not certified because it does not have lightning protection. There's really no practical reason you can't do the "majority" of the training in the DA-20, and then use a 172, or DA-40 for the segments you can do in the IFR environment.

    I used three different airplanes during my IFR (DA-40, 182, 172) and I just flew whichever one was available. We also used the simulator a fair bit for holds, and procedural stuff.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HIGHwing View Post
      And that only matters for a few flights, like for example the IFR XC that must be done under IFR.
      You can even do the cross country in the DA-20. The restriction is on entering the clouds, not on being on an IFR flight plan.

      Of course, being in the east and not taking advantage of lessons in actual is a little silly. Let's make that a =lot= silly.

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      • #4
        Exactly. We get enough goo to get it done.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by midlifeflyer View Post
          Of course, being in the east and not taking advantage of lessons in actual is a little silly. Let's make that a =lot= silly.
          I agree, but many CFI's look at me like I'm nuts when I go out solo shooting approaches in actual for the practice. I don't do it when the temps are too low (ice) or winds are too gusty.

          During IFR training it was OVC002 one morning. I thought the ATIS was nuts when I called it as it was CLR, or damn near it at my home. Two nearby airports were VFR, but the ground temps were 33F. The CFI lives even closer to the airport, so all he's seen is low clouds and he hasn't checked the weather, but I had. So I say, "ready for some low actual?" You'd have thought I said that LOP will rot your engine on the red board from his reaction. He had no intention of going up and argued that it looked even lower than 200'. Meanwhile planes are departing. I had no intention of launching due to the temps. I told him the two nearby airports were VFR, so we had an out. I finally told him I had no intention of going up due to the temps, but wanted to see his reaction to the low ceiling.

          It broke up quickly, the temp started rising and we went up to find ~55F above the clouds. A pretty nice inversion.

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          • #6
            Practicing approaches in real conditions is smart IMHO. Why be current on the same old approaches under the Foggles. That's exactly how I do it. I generally offer up a seat to an Instrument Candidate, or another pilot just to keep an eye on the proceedings, or take pictures.

            I've launched at OVC 002 before, more than a few times. I'm confident in my ability, but I'm starting to run out of excuses to rationalize it. It's really hard to justify not waiting know that you have no real practical options for a return to the airport.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KBCB_bound View Post
              I'm curious what makes an airplane IFR certified. I'm about to start my IR training and I'm disappointed to find that the Diamond Eclipse isn't certified.
              The DA20 has no lightning suppression/discharge capability so it can't go in the clouds. That doesn't mean you can't fly it IFR and get an instrument rating in it. You just can't fly it in IMC. That said, there is a real benefit to doing some flying in the clouds during your IR training. As much as safely possible, IMO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HIGHwing View Post
                Practicing approaches in real conditions is smart IMHO. Why be current on the same old approaches under the Foggles. That's exactly how I do it. I generally offer up a seat to an Instrument Candidate, or another pilot just to keep an eye on the proceedings, or take pictures.

                I've launched at OVC 002 before, more than a few times. I'm confident in my ability, but I'm starting to run out of excuses to rationalize it. It's really hard to justify not waiting know that you have no real practical options for a return to the airport.
                I actually did just that. I've NEVER shot an approach to minimums and HAD to go missed until just a few weeks ago (mind you I've got my II). So I did it. I had a CFI/CFII in the back who hasn't flown in a while and someone who never flew before in the front. I knew I wasn't getting in, I kept my passengers updated (and they found it a cool experience actually), and I felt confident that I could shoot the approach...so I did! I figured it was 1/4SM FG OVC002, shooting a GPS approach down to 460ft, and I'd get the experience. It was a good time. Everything looked great all the way in. I had the guy in the back looking for the airport (I don't even think he's done it either).

                On a different note, Mike if you're ever in (dare I say it) Daytona again, let me know and I wouldn't mind taking the right seat for you. I need to fly something faster than a Seminole for once!

                In regards to the original poster's message, I remember everything by the acronyms.

                ATOMATOFLAMES - Day VFR

                FLAPS - Night VFR

                GRABCARD - IFR
                Generator/Alternator, Required Radio/Nav Equipment, Sensitive Altimeter, Ball/Inclinometer, Clock, Attitude Indicator, Rate of Turn Indicator, Directional Gyro

                AAVIATES - Inspections
                ADs, Annual, VOR (30days), I=100hr (for hire), Altimeter (24 calendar months..IFR only!), Transponder (24 calendar months), ELT (1/2 use or one CUMULATIVE hour), pitot-Static (24 calendar months - IFR only!)

                You may see something to the effect of an "IFR Certification" but that is just a combination of the AAVIATES inspections that cover IFR also (noted above).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by roundout View Post
                  The DA20 has no lightning suppression/discharge capability so it can't go in the clouds. That doesn't mean you can't fly it IFR and get an instrument rating in it. You just can't fly it in IMC. That said, there is a real benefit to doing some flying in the clouds during your IR training. As much as safely possible, IMO.

                  You can't fly the plane IFR. You can practice IFR procedures, you can do approaches, you can even get the rating in it, if you remain VFR.

                  Why do I say this? One of the placards in the plane says something like "VFR Only" (I don't have my handbook here in St. Louis, so I can't refer to section two). With that, you can't file IFR, since the plane is limited to "Visual Flight Rules" only.

                  As someone on this board's tagline says "IMC is the conditions; IFR is the rules."

                  I will agree with everyone here (and Dick Collins, among others) that flying in actual while getting the rating is worth it's weight in gold (or maybe more like plutonium): I've flown actual with "blue sky" IFR pilots, and it's always been an interesting "OK, settle down, you know how to do this"-type situation.

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                  • #10
                    I appreciate all the replies.

                    Starting out on my rating, I don't know what I don't know and its overwhelming -- very much like when I started out on my private. I was confused as all hell, but determined to muscle through it and get my ticket. Now, starting on my Instrument, I'm faced with a similar uphill battle. But, I find myself lacking the fire that I had to get my private ticket. Every flight I scrub due to low ceilings and visibility cranks up that fire just a bit more.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KBCB_bound View Post
                      I appreciate all the replies.

                      Starting out on my rating, I don't know what I don't know and its overwhelming -- very much like when I started out on my private. I was confused as all hell, but determined to muscle through it and get my ticket. Now, starting on my Instrument, I'm faced with a similar uphill battle. But, I find myself lacking the fire that I had to get my private ticket. Every flight I scrub due to low ceilings and visibility cranks up that fire just a bit more.
                      Once you get the hang of things, those are the PERFECT days to go up on (as long as everything's above minimums of course).

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                      • #12
                        I really can't suggest muscling through the IR, you really need to get a CFII who has a plan, if that includes you going to ground school for concepts, then fine. Just try to prevent confusion, because any lack of knowledge you possess costs you money to ask a CFII. Not that you shouldn't as CFII stuff, but if the lesson is "Approaches" and you don't know what the options are upon reaching the DH, then you should have done a little more preparation.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks. At this point, I haven't officially chosen a CFII (although I have my list going and I have a very strong candidate at the top of the list). I'm easing into my training through self-study on a few books I've picked up. One thing is for certain, I wish I had paid more attention to Wx and my E6B during my primary training!

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                          • #14
                            FWIW, Nate, my plan for the IR is to break it out into chunks and try to work it into my basic flying. I'm going to do a first pass with the King ground knowledge DVDs. Flying, I'm going to work on basic attitude flying with a safety pilot. Maybe do some sim time to get up to speed on procedures. Then I'll tackle things more formally with a CFII or what have you. As for a CFII, Roger at AvAd is very good from what I hear.

                            My main drive for getting the IR is to fine-tune my control of the aircraft, and lessen the work in the cockpit. The fact that the ticket will allow me to do more trips in the long run is nice, but not the primary motivating factor. I simply want to be able to operate the aircraft more smoothly and more efficiently.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by soulie13 View Post
                              My main drive for getting the IR is to fine-tune my control of the aircraft, and lessen the work in the cockpit...I simply want to be able to operate the aircraft more smoothly and more efficiently.
                              That's actually interesting, less work in the cockpit when flying IFR. Damn, I must make it look easy. I figure that there is probably as much work, or perhaps more when flying IFR because, joke's on me, I'm the only one who doesn't know the route before the engines are warming up!

                              I would say that with IFR flight isn't not so much about workload as it is getting things done efficiently. I'll be interested to see other's take on less work. Basically, ATC is spoon feeding you what you need to know, and assuming a visual approach, it's all pretty much the same stuff.
                              Last edited by HIGHwing; 01-04-2009, 12:04.

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