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DIGITAL PILOT

A G1000 IFR ner built a route taking us from


Concord down V39 to Gardner, MA
VOR, V229 right over JFK (very cool),

ODYSSEY
DIXIE, PANZE and into Atlantic
City.
Rosy weather forecasts often dete-
riorate as launch time nears. Low pres-
Its great to have big glass on a long trip. But there sure was reluctant to give way to high
pressure behind it. We scoured all the
are some downsides, too. weather tools.
At best we might escape the frozen
by Fred Simonds was unfamiliar, IFR is IFR anywhere, clutches of the northeast around noon

O ne benefit of being a pilot and


especially a flight instructor is
that your chances of adventure go
and its good to do new things.
The imponderable was weather. We
might have to wait out a deep freeze.
the next day. We consoled ourselves
with a nice dinner in town.

up. So it was when acquaintance Ron Thats life. The Adventure Begins
called and asked me to help fly his The tipping point was spousal Surprise! The next day dawned bright
new Cessna 182 from Concord, NH endorsement. With that last-but-cru- and sunny. After a preflight phone
to Lantana, FL. cial up check in hand, I happily called briefing, Ron filed IFR for 6,000 feet
Having just completed this 1300- Ron and agreed. since the winds were from the north-
mile, 11-hour IFR odyssey, let me west at the same speed at all lower
share some operational IFR and G1000 Gettting Ready altitudes. In the end we had great VFR
observations with you. En route from Florida to New and a slight quartering tailwind all the
Hampshire, I closed my eyes for a way to FL.
To Go or Not to Go bit and reviewed the G1000s many At Concord, Ron entered the flight
Ron had left a voice message, so I weather features. It looked as though plan into the G1000 deliberately and
mused over his request before calling we would need them when I stepped methodically. He verified the route
back. off the airliner in Manchester into a programmed as the one given.
What would it be like flying 10 cold, biting wind, gray skies and new We examined the map on the flight
hours cheek-by-jowl with someone I snow on the ground. Ron picked me planning page in narrow mode to assure
barely knew? I had spent a few hours up and, once home, showed me his that the routing was correct and sen-
with him in his 182 discussing its flight planning.
G1000 system. He held a recent pri- Preflight planning helps
vate pilot ticket and a new instrument you win a mental victory
rating. He was conscientious and con- before you set foot in the air-
siderate. Okay, an up check for Ron. plane and Ron was winning
And the airplane? A creampuff big. He had en route charts
late-model turbocharged Cessna 182 and approach plates for our
with a fully optioned Garmin G1000. entire route. He even had
I saw that he treated the airplane with VFR sectionals. These can
respect and care. Another up check, save your life if all else fails,
nay, two up checks. yet are seldom seen in IFR
How about me? I had been fly- cockpits. He was not putting
ing G1000 182s almost exclusively all our eggs in the G1000
for months, including at night. Since basket. We also agreed that he
part of the trip would be after dark, would be PIC.
I was comfortable with Ron landing Ron planned three seg-
by night. I was confident that I could ments: Concord, NH to
handle any awkward situation. (No Atlantic City, NJ, then on to
worries, Ron made a perfect night Charleston, SC to overnight.
landing in Charleston, SC.) The next day we would con-
Further, I knew the Northeast and tinue to Lantana, FL.
Florida airways well. While the rest AOPAs flight plan- Short final to Atlantic City on the ILS.
IFR Refresher February 2010 11
DIGITAL PILOT

to 6000. We tracked flight, the last half at night.


our way to Atlantic Washington Center called us as
City with many fre- traffic to fighters being vectored to
quency changes. land at Langley AFB. Then he called
En route, Ron us advising a pair of F-22 Raptors at
and I went over some our nine oclock at 5,000 feet. He cau-
lesser-known G1000 tioned us to stay at 6,000 as if to say we
features while main- were not being intercepted.
taining situational Looking down, I could clearly see
awareness, monitor- the gray, twin-tailed planforms go by.
ing ATC and look- The traffic map showed one diamond
ing for traffic. and no altitude. I think Raptors use
At Atlantic City, a passive reflector when they want to
Ron executed a nice be seen on radar. Reflectors dont do
ILS to runway 31. Mode C, but could we say our G1000
He wisely asked for found a Raptor?
a progressive taxi West of Myrtle Beach, we were
clearance to and later vectored around the hot Gamecock
from the FBO while B MOA controlled by Jacksonville
we monitored our Center. (See chart.) Center turned us
progress with a paper to 140 to join V1. Being near the
airport diagram and MOA, it was impossible to go direct
the G1000s Safe PLANN without clipping the MOAs
Taxi feature. corner. How then to join V1?
Just for fun My first thought was VOR: join
we filed direct the 234 radial from Myrtle Beach,
After vectors around the hot Gamecock Charleston. What we got was radar vec- then load V1 starting at PLANN. It
B MOA the question faced was how to tors to Waterloo, then V1 to Salisbury, was the only time we considered using
rejoin V1. Md. VOR, direct Norfolk, VA, direct VOR. The entire trip was via GPS.
Charleston. There is logic in filing We could have set PLANN direct,
sible. Egregious errors stick out like direct and just letting ATC give you then used OBS mode to fly south to
sore thumbs. If unhappy with ATCs whatever theyre going to give you. PLANN once clear of the MOA. A
routing, we would say so before leaving cruder way would have been to keep
the ground. Paper Sometimes Trumps Glass hitting the Direct button until clear.
We preflighted his G1000 (See my We were confused as we sought to Being vectored, we could have
Preflight Your G1000 article in IFR figure out what a Waterloo is. Yes, a set the G1000 to start V1 at Myrtle
Refresher, July, 2009) to be sure the VOR, but the identifier? Its in the
system was feeling its best. Key items G1000 Nearest page group, but (continued on page 16)
included verifying that both GPS the paper en route
receivers work with enough satellites (3 chart proved much
for 2-dimensional navigation and 4 for faster. Throughout
3-d nav), and ensuring that all G1000 the trip we found
components function on the System paper charts and
Status page. approach plates
On long trips small things matter invaluable.
more. We reset the trip odometers. Our second leg
Ron set our fuel level before departure was the longest at
to validate the navigation range ring. 507 nm. We settled
It proved reassuring in flight to see us in for the 4.2 hr
always well inside the inner ring, espe-
cially in unknown territory. On to Charleston
After departure, Ron engaged the after being cleared
GFC700 autopilot and we climbed direct..
12 IFR Refresher February 2010
(Continued from page 12)

Beach and get off at Charleston, our


destination. Then we could fly east to
join it. In the end, the controller reis-
sued direct Charleston once we were
east of the MOA.

Not Quite Omnipotent G1000


If you enter an approach after the
airport, the G1000 will do as told but
perhaps not what you want, by taking
you first to the airport and then to the
approach. Cleared direct Charleston,
we then sought the GPS 33 approach
beginning at MAVNE. Once cleared
to MAVNE, we deleted Charleston.
Ron did the LPV GPS 33 approach
into Charleston. Flown by hand, he
followed it with his best landing. We
parked, dined and retired. So far, 830
nm in 7.4 hr of Hobbs time.

Day Two On to Florida


After takeoff we had an immediate
glitch. Somehow our departure air-
port, Charleston got set as our first
waypoint. Following the magenta bar,
Ron began a left turn, not realizing
it would take us backwards and con-
(Continued from page 3) minimums. trary to the controllers runway head-
Part 91 operators can shoot an ing clearance.
you hit the gear switch when the approach no matter what the weather; Ron recovered so quickly that there
glideslope needle is still one dot high. they just cant land unless the weather was no hint of it on fltplan.coms radar
That gives the gear time to extend, is at or above minimums when they plot yet his initial turn in the wrong
lock and indicate before you start arrive the missed approach point. direction was pronounced enough that
down on the glideslope. If the gear Is it any wonder that Part 91 opera- I encouraged him to file an ASRS
hangs up you are still flying level at a tors have a far higher rate of accidents report.
safe altitude and can sort out the prob- on the approach? Herein lies a clear example of
lem with minimal fuss. Why, then, would anyone enter the GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
There is probably a holding fix red zone without the weather being at The G1000 mindlessly led Ron astray.
near the airspace you were flying as or above minimums? He learned the hard way not to trust
you approached the FAF or glideslope The real red zone, the one IFR avia- the magenta HSI alone.
intercept fix, providing a safe place tors face, is a zone that has seen more From Savannah we were cleared
to take care of whatever problem has than enough mayhem. We need to via the Brunswick, GA-Jacksonville,
arisen with the airplane without enter- recognize its existence and treat it with FL-Ormond Beach, FL and Vero
ing the red zone. the respect it deserves by staying out of Beach, FL VORs, then direct Lantana,
it until we have the airplane collected, Florida.
Weather Above Minimums the gear is down and indicating and We landed right on time with no
Finally, Part 135 and 121 operators the weather is at or above minimums. lost bags. Now, how many airlines can
generally cant pass the final approach pull that off?
fix inbound on an approach unless the Rick Durden is a CFII and is the editor
weather is reported to be at or above of IFR Refresher. Fred Simonds is a Gold Seal CFII.
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