Ned Gravel

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Ned Gravel last won the day on July 25 2016

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About Ned Gravel

  • Rank
    Ned Gravel
  • Birthday 01/18/1953

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  • Location
    CYRO (Rockcliffe) near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Flying, History, Shooting, Sailing
  • Reg #
  • Model
    1965 M20E

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  1. Ned Gravel

    See and Avoid

  2. Ned Gravel

    See and Avoid

    We lost one in Ottawa this past weekend for the same reason. I stopped flying VFR in the US because controllers were too busy with real traffic to help me avoid a near-collision (< 1/2 mile) over central Wisconsin in 2011. I only file IFR now for that reason. US has more aircraft, more airfields (where aircraft tend to congregate), and many more busy Class B and C areas. I need the extra set of eyes. Just me.
  3. Ned Gravel

    IPad / Foreflight Data Useage???

    The last time I did it this way was in Bridgeport, CT and Gaithersburg, MD. The long look at a route happens well before I do the walkaround (at home or in the FBO) because Wx is the most important consideration, but the last check is done in the cockpit. Then file electronically. For me, Wx is a strategic decision - not a tactical one. The decision to go (or not) is long before doing the walkaround, but now I can complete the walkaround and do a final check before filing on FF. But that is just me.
  4. Ned Gravel

    IPad / Foreflight Data Useage???

    To file, review, amend and brief on flight plans on the ramp. Tried it using the cell phone hotspot,but it is a pain. If the connectivity provided by the Stratus did that, I would not need the cell connection on the iPad. Current tools allow for one last look at the weather, confirm the route and file it. Five minutes later, sitting at the hold short point getting clearance from TRACON.
  5. Ned Gravel

    IPad / Foreflight Data Useage???

    Gotta disagree. Do not use the EFB for anything other than information on which frequencies I should plan on preparing to use (COM, VOR, NDB) and approach plates (for plate information, not geo synchronization).
  6. Ned Gravel

    IPad / Foreflight Data Useage???

    Nope. As many have already stated, no cell-enabled model = no GPS.
  7. Ned Gravel

    IPad / Foreflight Data Useage???

    Flying usage will never be a problem. You won't get a decent signal during flight anyway. Use WIFI to load up the charts and from there on out, its all about the GPS (or another WIFI connection to an ADHRS box like Stratus in flight). Practically zero cell usage. Problem is you need the one with cell enabled to get the GPS (at least it did when I bought the iPad Mini 4).
  8. Ned Gravel

    What is your icing strategy?

    Robert: No one will tell you that you are being too conservative. Be conservative and live to fly another day. Simple. People who face something they have not trained for or are not familiar with are just about guaranteed to make mistakes. Many of those folks, in an activity that has the risks associated with ours, do not live to do it again. Don't do that. Be risk adverse until you are confident that you can expand your own envelope. I use AIRMET info to show where icing is being forecast - in this case from 3,000' to 12,000'. I use Foreflight icing predictions (US). This one shows New England predictions for icing at 6,000' I use Skew-T charts, such as this one for Syracuse New York, 12 hours from now. It shows cloud bases at 3,200' and tops near 5,000'. Higher layers probable near 20,000'. There are now a couple of scenarios open to you. If you can get a VFR climb to tops and not enter a cloud under these conditions, you MAY (not guaranteed) be able to stay out of icing. That was my plan a couple of days ago and it almost backfired. I had outs the entire way until I crossed the border to Canada, but I was much lower in Canada than in the US, reducing the possibility of icing. In this chart, note that the 0 degree red diagonal line crosses the dew point temperature line (blue squiggle) at just over 5.000' and it crosses the actual temperature line (red squiggle) just under 10,000'. Anything higher and more to the left on this chart means icing where clouds are. Perhaps not where clouds are not - but not guaranteed. I would not do this flight under these conditions. Although icing is forecast on the AIRMET, and while Foreflight predicts none at 6,000' the whole way home, the Skew T charts tell me that there will be cloud to fly through. In the flight that I did, Ottawa was supposed to be clear below 9,000'. The forecast was wrong. It was not. So be conservative. If you are not comfortable with what your tools tell you now, trust your instincts. They will keep you alive.
  9. Ned Gravel

    How do you deal with ice?

    I was in that mess yesterday too. I held off two days because of the forecast ice. Yesterday was the first day that showed layers (that should be free of ice) and most tops below 9000'. Worked great until abeam of Elmira airport (about 90 minutes into a 3 hour flight). Tops came to me and I started picking up ice. Plan B = ask lower looking for warmer temperatures and continue on route. If Plan B fails, go to Plan C - ask lower again and direct Elmira (approach to the current runway in use was already loaded) Plan B worked. Down at 5000' (I picked a route where the MEA was mostly 3000' or 3500' feet, all below the forecast icing level) I was now in clag, but temps were +1 and melting of the little bit of ice accumulated thus far. Until Syracuse where you can see the "visible moisture" showing on the Flightaware graphic above. In talking to Wheeler Sack, asked for 3000', and they held me off until a Piedmont flight out of Watertown (north of Syracuse) had passed beneath and behind me. I was on my way down to higher temps when he told me that Montreal Centre (the FIC that controls Canadian airspace north of the New York - Ontario border) would not clear below 4000'. So I stayed at 4000' but the temps were as high as +1 and ice was continuing to dissipate off of the leading edge of the wing. 15 mins later, started collecting more and told Montreal, asking for lower. The switched me over to Ottawa Approach who indicated they understood the problem and let me down to 3000'. But now I had to steer way clear of Ottawa International before I could commence the very easy RNAV approach to Rockcliffe (CYRO = my home drome) that had at least 1200' clear below cloud (easy-peasy). Took a 25 mile detour because of the heavy iron heading into Ottawa (CYOW). Temps varied from -1 to +1 the whole of that part of the approach to the IAF. Ottawa approach had volunteered to allow me to conduct an ILS to one of their runways and then proceed VFR to Rockcliffe (about 8 miles apart) because the tower reported they could see over to Rockcliffe. Rejected. I have a 480 and a G5. Don't need to risk getting messed up in attempting to make it VFR. Set up for the approach - conduct the approach - if missed, go to the alternate already set up. Simple. Then Ottawa Approach suggested an approach to Gatineau (5 miles on the other side of Rockcliffe) because they had higher ceilings than Rockcliffe. Rejected. Same reason. Frankly, if I am unable to make an RNAV approach into 1000' overcast with the equipment I now have on board, I should turn in my license. At the altitude I was flying, icing was no longer an issue. Still had some on the wings, but there was no more accumulation. So they cleared me direct to the IAF, (meaning out of controlled airspace) and reiterated the missed approach procedure and confirmed the procedure to cancel the flight plan in the air or on the ground. By this time, there was at least one approach controller focussed on me as his primary responsibility. I could tell by his voice. Made it to the IAF with no more accumulation of ice and followed the procedure. Five minutes after stabilizing on the RNAV G/S and Loc, I came out of the clag and saw the runway (about 4 miles out). Cancelled the IFR at that point and heard the relief in the voice of the controller. When I got to the gas pumps to fill up, I looked at the ice on the wings and saw they had between 1/4" and 1/2" protruding forward of the leading edge. Apparently my Mooney flies OK with that accumulation. Lessons learned (aren't there always lessons to learn?): Don't do this again. Iffy is still iffy. This was not a dangerous flight, but it could very well have been. Real easy to go south at a lot of points. One degree adverse change in temperature and I would have collected a hockey sock full of ice. Keep options open. Had lots on the US side, and discussed them with Elmira, Syracuse and Wheeler Sack approach controllers - very useful. not so many on the Canadian side and they had a lot more heavy iron to consider than the ones in this part of New York.. The red fluorescent piece of tape on my inboard left wing allowed me to determine accumulation of ice without having to squint. I put that on 6 years ago. Keep the speed up. Icing freezes the stall warning tab in place and ice increases the stall speed of the aircraft. Turn on final at the IAF was done at 120 mph. Drop the gear only after the runway is in sight. OAT on my JPM 700 (put on two years ago) was my primary non-six-pack gauge from north of the PA-NY border. Don't do this again. Iffy is still iffy. (Repetition is a good learning tool) I knew yesterday was possible and I could have stayed one more day in Gaithersburg and flown home today. I also knew the forecasts for today provided a picture of much better flying conditions. Next to non-existent icing predicted for between 4000' and 9000' the whole route home. But I guess I needed to learn the lesson: Iffy is still iffy. I will not do this again.
  10. Ned Gravel

    Bad news for Garmin GNS480/CNX80 owners

    I just got my 480 this year and I really like it. I will want to keep it going for some time. More than one of us may try and find unused spares to keep around "in-case." This announcement may have dropped the bottom out of the price for boxes being offered for sale (although I really doubt that is true). I know two friends that have spares now for just such contingencies and I may join them.
  11. Ned Gravel

    How do you deal with ice?

    +1 for Skew-t Log Pro for the iPad.. Great app, sound investment. Confirms cloud tops and predictions for icing. This app and the Foreflight US icing predictive facility are what is keeping me here in Gaithersburg until at least tomorrow. The ipad app is dead stupid. Look for separation of the temp (red line) and the dew point (blue line). Good separation = no cloud at that altitude. Unless there is potential for clear air icing (which I have not yet figured out how to determine), when the lines are separated (even in the +5 to -20 deg range) there should be no cloud and no icing. For me, icing potential is defined as the two lines meeting in the blueish band that starts at 0 and goes to minus 20 (or so). No surprise that Buffalo may have been experiencing icing at 1500' to 2000' (as shown on the chart above). There is a real comprehensive course on how Skew-t Log charts are made and how to interpret them on I am 80% of the way through it now.
  12. Ned Gravel

    How do you deal with ice?

    How do you deal with ice? You stay in a hotel in Gaithersburg (for two or three days) until the Nor’easter passes far enough East and North that the icing level is high enough to allow you to clear the mountains between you and home!!! Or it clears enough to allow VFR climbs over the tops on an IFR flight plan. Sheesh!
  13. Ned Gravel

    Mooney number 6 hard to believe

    Robert: That puts you in BC. Welcome back to the "Fellowship of the Mooney." Have you ever considered flying the Mooney Caravan? Long haul, I know, from either the interior or the lower mainland, but our Caravan lead this year was from Okotoks.
  14. Ned Gravel

    64 or 65... That is the question

    Except maybe the airframe??