What Would You Do, Part Deux

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Here's a real-life situation, related to PhotoPilot's post:
I'm on a long distance flight in a Piper Archer (returning to Michigan from Florida). Relatively low time instrument pilot (maybe 250TT and instrument ticket less than 1 year old).
Turn coordinator went inop. We were on an IFR flight plan, VMC above a solid cloud deck (bases around 600' - 800' AGL), and the DG hangs up while I'm adjusting for precession. The adjustment knob won't disengage from the DG, and the DG will no longer connect to the gyroscope portion of the instrument, therefore it is now inop.
That leaves us approximately 2 hours from the home field, lots of fuel, but now two instruments are out of order. What would you do?

<edited for "on the record" correctness, O.K.?>
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Are the bases still 600-800 ft. at your destination? If so, and you're on top right at the moment, then I would cover the inop. instruments, advise ATC of the situation and continue. In the scenario you gave, you're going to have to shoot an approach either way. Might as well do it at the destination if you're VMC the whole way there.

You've still got the mag. compass for headings. I would just try to minimize my time in IMC as much as possible, you know...just in case it was "my day" and the vacuum pump went kaput resulting in a loss of the attitude indicator, and therefore any reference to straight and level when in IMC.

If it were IMC en route, that might be a different story. If that were the case, I would probably land at a closer suitable airport.
 

Cosmo1999

Well-Known Member
The first thing I would do obviously would be control and fly the airplane. After that I would report the malfunction as it is one of the reports required operating under IFR. I would stay in VFR as long as I could and continue for home. I would scan my vaccum gage more diligently. As long as things looked good I would continue home but if the suction even looked like it was starting to go out I would divert to the nearest airport. Nothing would raise the hair on your back more than shooting an approach with only a mag compass.. Im assuming since home is two hours away you have about two hours and fourty five minutes of fuel on board. That leaves plenty of options in many directions. If there is a way to descend and land at an airport without going through the clouds I would do that. Im assuming its a solid layer all the way across.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
We're unsure of what the weather situation will be at our planned arrival point. It is currently similar to our current position, but with some frontal activity the conditions may become worse (or better) by our ETA.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Turn coordinator went inop on an earlier return leg and we elected to continue the trip home. We were on an IFR flight plan, VMC above a solid cloud deck (bases around 600' - 800' AGL), and the DG hangs up while I'm adjusting for precession. The adjustment knob won't disengage from the DG, and the DG will no longer connect to the gyroscope portion of the instrument, therefore it is now inop.That leaves us approximately 2 hours from the home field, lots of fuel, but now two instruments are out of order.

[/ QUOTE ]

I am currently halfway through my IFR training and the first question that comes to mind for me is... If the TC went inop on an earlier leg, how were you able to legally continue for the next leg ? If I recall, the TC is a required instrument for IFR flight. Don't get all crazy on me, I am not pointing fingers, I am just asking so I may get a better understanding.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
We're unsure of what the weather situation will be at our planned arrival point. It is currently similar to our current position, but with some frontal activity the conditions may become worse (or better) by our ETA.

[/ QUOTE ]

In that case my main goal would be to minimize my exposure to IMC as much as possible. If I were concerned about the frontal activity, I might continue on for a bit, and give a call to FSS to see how other locations at, and behind the front are doing. If it sounds like the wx might drop, then I'd play it safe and get down to a suitable airport in the vicinity of my present position. If it sounds like it may improve, then I would continue- again, keeping in mind that the goal is to stay out of IMC for as long as possible.
 

Cosmo1999

Well-Known Member
It is a required instrument which is why you have to report when it goes inop. At that point its up to the PIC what the best decision is. If you are safely able to do so I would say its best to get to home base. If you have to get stuck then its better than being a statistic. However if I could safely avoid it I would prefer to avoid potentially being stuck for hours waiting for someone to come get me or for the wx to clear up. However if I ever felt unsafe about it I would report it, land at the nearest and wait for VFR weather to fly it home since you dont need those two instruments to fly in VFR.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
It is a required instrument which is why you have to report when it goes inop.

[/ QUOTE ]

I understand that part, but the question for me is if the TC went inop on an earlier leg, how is one able to legally proceed for another leg under IFR?
 

FLpilot

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Turn coordinator went inop on an earlier return leg and we elected to continue the trip home

[/ QUOTE ]

As someone else pointed out, your TC is a required instrument for IFR flight.

Probably safer to ask for vectors to VFR conditions, than press on and attempt an approach through the cloud layer.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
It is a required instrument which is why you have to report when it goes inop.

[/ QUOTE ]

I understand that part, but the question for me is if the TC went inop on an earlier leg, how is one able to legally proceed for another leg under IFR?

[/ QUOTE ]

fly4free is asking about the legality of beginning a new leg of flight; ie- a new takeoff after a previous landing, such as a refueling stop/RON, etc; not about whether a TC is a required instrument or not.

Legally, you can't begin a new leg if a TC fails on a previous leg. 14 CFR 91.205d.3/4 outlines the minimum instruments required for IFR flight. Further 14 CFR 91.213d.2.iii states that if the mimimum equipment requirements of the appropriate section(s) of 14 CFR 91.205 can not be met, a takeoff may not be made in that aircraft.
 

Cosmo1999

Well-Known Member
perhaps it was on a different portion of the enroute flight. I didnt pay much attention to that part of the post however. If it fails once you land you cant continue until its fixed. I thought he meant a leg of the route such as one vor to another or something. There are a lot of different ways to interpret these scenarios unfortunately
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
That's the answer I'm looking for. I was pretty sure, but I am at work and did not have my FAR/AIM with me. The key issue was earlier leg. So reading that, the flight should not have departed.

p.s. MikeD..Dou you guys a live feed on the NFL games? The AFC game is about to start and we have the radio tuned in. I work in a room full of computers so no TV reception.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Original post has been edited to reduce the side issue.

Now, do you continue the flight, or take the ILS to a nearby airport? What do the regs say? What is the best "real world" answer in your opinion?
 

RiddlePilot

New Member
Dunno 'bout you, but a partial panel ILS doesn't sit too well with me, even if I do still have my AI. If the weather is 600-800', I'd see if I couldn't get a VOR or GPS, and just keep the needle "in the zone" the whole way down. Much easier chasin' one needle than two with inop instruments don't ya think?
 

PhotoPilot

New Member
I would find a nearby alternate and get on the ground. Maybe it's the caution of rookieness, but continuing sounds like a good way to paint yourself into a corner if something else were to fail. You've already lost two significant strands of your safety net; all you've got left to keep your wings level is the AI and the mag compass. Ask ATC for a nearby airport in VMC. If one isn't available, pick a close approach that you are comfortable shooting and that doesn't have terrain or obstructions in case you get off track. And, of course, fly the plane, fly the plane, fly the plane!
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Depends. Is your destination your home airport? I'd much rather fly a familiar approach.

Other considerations would be weather and fuel of course; if it's signifigantly better where I am I'd just land the thing. Also I wouldn't want to be IMC enroute, especially for 2 hours since you no longer can backup the AI in anything but smooth air.
 

Tired

New Member
Does the aircraft have a GPS or AP? What are the conditions? If it's smooth you can shoot an approach using the compass and AI. If you have a GPS you can use it as a pretty decent DG. An AP is a real help in this situation, it can fly the aircraft for you while you work on navigating using a compass or GPS.
 

SUSPilot

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
An AP is a real help in this situation, it can fly the aircraft for you while you work on navigating using a compass or GPS.

[/ QUOTE ]

Remember in GA aircraft the autopilot may run off of the turn coordinator (such as a STEC autopilot). In that case the AP will not work.
 
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