Learning Experiences

May 2001 Issue

Look Out Below

‘I was uneasy ... but my instructor urged me to go ahead’

I learned some lessons recently about what it really means to be pilot-in-command, crew resource management, takeoff planning and personal minimums. I hold a commercial helicopter rating with private ASEL privileges and an instrument rating (obtained seven months ago). Total time is about 230 hours, with eight hours in actual IMC.

It was a typical winter day in the South, 48 degrees with a forecast of 1800 overcast, with temporary periods of 400-800 broken. It seemed like a good day to schedule some dual in actual IMC to maintain my IFR currency. Arriving at the airport, the “temporary” lower ceilings seemed a little more persistent than the forecast would indicate. On the non-precision...

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