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iaw4

IFR Training, Checkride, and Use

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Dear FD pilots---I plan to purchase a used (probably <2010) FD with dual Dynons in fall.

I would not mind getting an IFR certification, mostly for fun.  I already have a valid PPL and 3rd class medical.  I understand IFR in non-IMC is allowed.

It would be twice as nice if I could punch through a low cloud-layer on takeoff with this.  Never hard IFR for me.

Has someone converted the FD from LSA to ELSA for this purpose?  (yes, transponder and pitot check needed.)  I would always get it maintained by someone professional, so maintenance cost is not a concern.

Has anyone gotten their training *and* checkride in their FD?

If yes, the FD does not have an IFR GPS built in.  So, what approaches can one legally fly IFR, given ELSA, checks, etc?

/iaw

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I intend to do the same. I am now E LSA however my current and previous flight limitations allowed IMC if properly equipped. Some redundant equipment is required per FAR. E LSA allows me to have more flexibility on avionics. 

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Please please please be very careful about purposely flying into IMC in a CT. They are not designed for it. They will probably work fine (I know a couple people who have), but that's the big point, it's not tested in an engineering context to find potential problems. Rotax engines arc across the gears and thrust bearings when flown in IMC. We also don't know how well it handles static discharge.

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"be careful about purposefully flying into IMC" --- IFR flying would be very rarely my intent.  I am thinking "like 10 seconds through a low cloud layer: on takeoff.   the Canadians call it VFR-OTT.  but in the US, this is only allowed with a full IFR license, so this is what I would need to get.  and, then again, learning new skills is fun in itself, but this I can do in non-IMC, anyway.

on the Rotax engine, here is one quote I found: "An example of operating instructions is a SLSA equipped with a Rotax engine. Rotax's operating instructions prohibit the use of a Rotax engine at night or in IFR conditions unless it is the FAA type certificated engine (14 CFR part 33)." 

I am not too worried about redundancy in IMC.   the new Dynon glass equipment is far less dangerous than the old steam gauges (please try to figure out when you have a slow vacuum failure while trying to navigate at the sam time....ugggh...this is a lot harder than the instructor covering one steam instrument on purpose)  moreover, I know I can fly and navigate perfectly fine with just one [non-IFR] aviation GPS *and* find my way to an airport and around mountains.  I don't want to do this (it's not legal either), but if push-comes-to-shove, as a backup, this is not going to get me killed.

but, back to the original question---feasible?  anyone done it?

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VFR Over the Top exists in the USA too, not to be confused with VFR On Top, which is an IFR Clearance.

That said: my reply was specifically towards people converting to E-LSA and going into IMC.

Also, rotax's operating instructions are not legally backed. In S-LSA, everything is certificated as "the airplane". If operating a device on board is to have limitations, then the airplane manufacturer needs to make note of the restriction in the limitations section of the manual (Flight Design DOES have the "No flight into IMC" in the POH) as they are solely responsible for the aircraft, and its components, airworthiness, except where there are applicable ADs (and yes, ADs can apply to ANY aircraft, be it light sport, experimental, or standard airworthiness).

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IAW4,

I have >2,500 hours, most of which is with an instrument rating.  I think some of your assumptions are misplaced.

There's no such thing as knowingly flying for 10 seconds into IMC.  Once you get into it, even with lots of weather knowledge you have no idea how long you'll be in IMC.  I had countless instances in which I thought it would only be 10 seconds, and it was in fact much longer.

I love the Dynon's.  In some respects, they're much more advanced than the Avidyne equipment I flew for a long time, and certainly they're more advanced than what I had before that.  However, there are some key things that a plane certified for IMC needs.  Pitot heat, and lightning protection are two, just to name a few.

The CT can be flown with ATC providing instrument services, but it's still the pilot's responsibility to maintain cloud clearance.

Fly in IMC without an instrument rating, or in a plane that's not certified for IMC is deadly dangerous.  Please, think carefully about this.

Respectfully,

Andy

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Oh by the way @iaw4: to answer your question:

The instrument test standards state what is required for an instrument check ride. If you have a nav radio, you can do an ILS and VOR approach. If you are capable of turning off the glideslope display, then you can do a localizer only approach, which that would satisfy the 1 precision and 2 non precision approaches.

We've trained and tested people for instrument in a CT.

If you do NOT have a nav radio: you're technically out of luck. Though I've seen examiners accept a non-tso GPS approach as well as emulated VOR and NDB.

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You might want to talk to Tim Busch at Iowa Flight Training. He has a CTLS that he uses for instrument flight training, or at least he used to, and he has flown it IFR. 

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thanks.

I will probably follow the advice---yes, to reasonable flight training in non-IMC; and no IFR flying in IMC.  I believe the GNC 255 provides the NAV radio, if installed.  presumably, it is coupled to the dynon.  but I would want to get away from VORs anyway, and learn good GPS approaches.  after all, it is 2018.

interestingly, tim busch's ct is listed on the website as having a GNS430.  does anyone have a photograph of the cockpit?  is it legal/easy to push one into the panel?  I am thinking buying a used 430 non-WAAS, because I will only be flying pretend-IFR, anyway.

then again, probably not worth it once installation cost is figured in, either.

PS: Don't the Canadians have something that allows punching through clouds on takeoff with an extra endorsement?  Or was I completely wrong here, too?

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Rotax 912 engines go IMC all the time. The only difference in certified 912 and non certified is paperwork and about $4000. Carbon fiber will dissapate static better than fiberglass because it is partially electrically conductive, many static wicks are made from carbon fiber. A lot of aircraft have geared engines . As for lightning, it's simple, stay away from it, regardless of aircraft type. The if the aircraft flies VFR it will fly IMC it doesn' know the difference unless you fly into thunderstorms or ice. You can fly a j3 cub IMC if properly equipped.

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Just because they are taken into IMC, doesn't mean Rotax agrees with it.

I restate, at my last training, an issue that was brought up was the rising use of rotax engines in IMC. We were shown photos of the arcing and damage to the gears. It was a training point about what happens when people do fly into IMC.

@Tom Baker you were taking the heavy class with me right? Do you remember that part?

Now funny enough, if you get the pre 2010 manuals for rotax engines, they ALL prohibited IMC. The 912s engine uses the 912 series manuals as well. But 2010 and later? They don't say anything about it. Right around then, is when the ASTM put the blanket ban on IMC flight. Makes you wonder right?

Anyways, as for dissipating static: you've got aluminum airplanes flying around as well. Some need static wicks. There's more factors than just conductivity.

For one example, the design structure can concentrate static charges at narrow and pointy places until they arc. This effect is called the Action of Points. It will arc to other parts of the airframe if it is not dissipated. Static wicks are designed to control where these points of concentration form by drawing the charges to safely dissipate into the atmosphere before a dangerous buildup begins. The funny thing about static wicks, is they have an EXTREMELY high resistance! We're talking tens to hundreds of megaohms! This controls the flow so it's more of a steady discharge rather than outright arcing.

We also have those bonding straps that are used between control surfaces. These are installed on all aircraft that I know of, approved for IMC. Serious arcing across bearings occurs without them. Now, CTs don't have metal bearings on the ailerons and flaps, but they do have them on the stabilator and rudder. There's nothing back there that bonds the two structures together in a guaranteed manner.

Static buildup LOVES antennas. Long, narrow pointy device...

Lastly, those discharges, if not controlled, can at best, cause radio interference. At worse, you get a spark in a really bad place and damages something electronic...

I understand there are some composite aircraft that don't have static wicks. They've been tested in terrible conditions and determined that they don't need them. I am certain a CT was not put through such a test.

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Best advice for you if you fly into rain or light snow you better land, your engine will be destroyed and your CT will dissolve in a flash of light 😅

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