Dream to fly

VFR flying is it right?

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I'm close to getting my plane back to flying status.  Almost all the issues have been addressed except the avionics, and that has been put on the back burner.  I am getting the Mooney bug bad and am wanting to go places and enjoy the ride but I only have 30+ hours in my M20F and I am still not IFR trained.  Do any of you cruise across the USA VFR?  I am looking to go to the east coast visit family on long island,  maybe Texas.  I'm not to sure about west coast yet.  I know I wouldn't even think these trips in my old plane.  But this one I have now can move and it does make it possible.   I realize the east coast is crazy busy and getting there from where I am I have to cross the great lakes.  Any of this good to do?  I know the plane can do it IFR but I am not sure cruising VFR at 8-10k without all the latest avionics is a good idea. 

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That was the shortest message in my history.

Many of us are VFR only.  

Many of us travel from the home drome, across the country to places like KOSH or SnF.

What is important is your ability to fly long cross countries.  Navigate, communicate, know the weather, don't run out of gas.

That kind of thing.  Start small close to home and expand on your skills.  One step at a time.

No sense in going beyond your skills.  How many hours do you have?  Long cross countries are just a collection of shorter cross countries.  The further you travel, the more crummy weather you will run into.

PP Thinking only. Not a cfii.

Best regards,

-a-

Edited by carusoam
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I live in west Texas and go to the east coast several times a year, all VFR. Do all the usual route planning and obviously keep an eye on the weather and it should be fine. I cruise between 9,500 and 11,500 regularly without issues. I do not have an IFR GPS. Pick up flight following for added safety. I would avoid flying directly over the Great Lakes and would prefer to skirt the coast in case of engine problems, but that's just me.

As for flying out west, you may want to look into hiring an instructor for a mountain orientation flight if you aren't familiar with flying in the mountains.

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2 minutes ago, carusoam said:

That was the shortest message in my history.

Many of us are VFR only.  

Many of us travel from the home drome, across the country to places like KOSH or SnF.

What is important is your ability to fly long cross countries.  Navigate, communicate, know the weather, don't run out of gas.

That kind of thing.  Start small close to home and expand on your skills.  One step at a time.

No sense in going beyond your skills.

PP Thinking only. Not a cfii.

Best regards,

-a-

Agreed.  I have traveled locally with my high wing but the Mooney can go and I am realizing I can cover serious ground fast.  Thank you

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I routinely fly VFR from KLCG to KOLV which is about 540 nm VFR only but got to canceling too many flights. Working on IFR now.


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This time of year you can go just about anywhere VFR. If you can't you get to explore new places and meet new people!

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Help me understand the title question you asked...

It sounds like you are thinking all mooney pilots are IR'd.

That it may take having an IR to fly across the country.

It is great to have an IR, but not required.

It is great to have the basic instrument skills to handle the inevitable VFR flight into IMC...

A well planned VFR flight can go very far until the weather gets in the way.  Stop or go around it.

Practice you Mooney interpersonal skills.  Say hello to as many people as you can...

Best regards,

-a-

 

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Wife is only good for a little over an hour which gets us lots of places in Texas.   I am airliner for bigger trips.  Get a tablet and stratux.   Foreflight for Apple Droidefb for Android and do some cruising.

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I have traveled TX = SoDak and back several times.  I just completed our second trip to FL  All VFR.  Having said that, the IR does add some flexibility to the trip.  But, definitely not required.  

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10 minutes ago, carusoam said:

Help me understand the title question you asked...

It sounds like you are thinking all mooney pilots are IR'd.

That it may take having an IR to fly across the country.

It is great to have an IR, but not required.

It is great to have the basic instrument skills to handle the inevitable VFR flight into IMC...

A well planned VFR flight can go very far until the weather gets in the way.  Stop or go around it.

Practice you Mooney interpersonal skills.  Say hello to as many people as you can...

Best regards,

-a-

 

My title was phrased because I know that weather is inevitable and I am still training and just starting IFR.  That being said I question if flying VFR is good practice.  I agree with proper planning it can be done, I just didn't know if that was a good idea.  This forum is awesome for feed back and the more I read the more I understand,  I don't want to be the guy everyone hears on the radio and asks why are you even in a plane.  I don't like taking chances when risking my life or others.  I want to be as professional as I can be and still be human.

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Just now, Dream to fly said:

My title was phrased because I know that weather is inevitable and I am still training and just starting IFR.  That being said I question if flying VFR is good practice.  I agree with proper planning it can be done, I just didn't know if that was a good idea.  This forum is awesome for feed back and the more I read the more I understand,  I don't want to be the guy everyone hears on the radio and asks why are you even in a plane.  I don't like taking chances when risking my life or others.  I want to be as professional as I can be and still be human.

One thing I can tell you is that I feel a heck of a lot more comfortable flying VFR while having he IFR skills, knowledge, and capability.

VFR without IR is basically clear blue skies or high ceilings weather.

VFR with IR allows flying to VFR minimums, over clouds, and peace of mind. I wouldn't dream of doing some of those things as a VFR only pilot and nor would I recommend it without the instrument capability.

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You have come to the right place.

we are all in this together.

Some of us have the pro-pilot background.

Some of us are just private pilots.

Get as much exercise as you can on the plane and pilot combination.

practice all of the nav skills you can locally.  When you have that right, expand the envelope.

Have you got all the fuel burn data figured out for your plane.  Gallons per hour under various conditions?

Have you developed a stick so you can stick the tanks?

These are things done by some Mooney pilots.

Studying what caused Mooney errors by Mooney pilots isn't very fun, but it does serve a purpose...

Set up a chart...

Best regards,

-a-

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I have made many short trips and while training for my private made many mistakes and have always had pilots that have seen or heard me act very professional and try to educate me.  It is awesome for feed back but I try to learn from that like any aspiring pilot and don't want to make the same mistakes twice.  Now that I have my PPL  I have to make more sound decisions and being between instructors this forum seems to be a good sound board for questions.  I mean no disrespect but there is a lot of IFR talk and I am very interested but can only go so fast.  Money is a factor:).  That said being that I am itching to just get into the air and go I just wanted to know if others would do that kind of flying cross country VFR.

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2 minutes ago, 201er said:

One thing I can tell you is that I feel a heck of a lot more comfortable flying VFR while having he IFR skills, knowledge, and capability.

VFR without IR is basically clear blue skies or high ceilings weather.

VFR with IR allows flying to VFR minimums, over clouds, and peace of mind. I wouldn't dream of doing some of those things as a VFR only pilot and nor would I recommend it without the instrument capability.

I respect that and can honestly say I am thinking that way just don't think after my repairs I can afford an upgrade right now till next year so I will definitely be cautious and fly blue skies  clear and high

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Hello from ND.  Just do it and plan on some flexiblity.  I made several trips from Fargo to Denver before completing my IFR.  Learned a lot.  Had to change schedule + and - a day 50% of the time.   Stranded in KRAP once, blizzard.  The kids loved the water park at the hotel.  Ended up just adding to the adventure.   

 The 50% changes to the schedule was motivation to complete the IR training.  

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5 minutes ago, carusoam said:

You have come to the right place.

we are all in this together.

Some of us have the pro-pilot background.

Some of us are just private pilots.

Get as much exercise as you can on the plane and pilot combination.

practice all of the nav skills you can locally.  When you have that right, expand the envelope.

Have you got all the fuel burn data figured out for your plane.  Gallons per hour under various conditions?

Have you developed a stick so you can stick the tanks?

These are things done by some Mooney pilots.

Studying what caused Mooney errors by Mooney pilots isn't very fun, but it does serve a purpose...

Set up a chart...

Best regards,

-a-

30 hours and I was finding problems and lots of them.  I hope once it is back together and it takes to the air I can start charting the performance and make myself comfortable in this plane. 

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Blue skies and high ceilings are nice, but not required. Flew to Phoenix a couple weeks ago. Waited for the ceiling to lift high enough for VFR flight before taking off under the overcast and heading east. However, I did know that along my path the ceilings got higher and higher until the clouds would give way to clear skies about 45 miles into the trip. For the flight back I watched the weather forecasts and took off planning to be over the Palm Springs area as it got dark because I knew I could fly the remainder after dark having flown those areas at night before.

I built a stratux for about $125 with parts off Amazon and have ADS-B in and free weather on my tablet. For inexpensive ADS-B in and weather I highly recommend it. The ability to see the weather at airports along your route helps with decision making when in the air as the weather along your route or at your destination can/will be different than what it was when you took off hours ago, and different than what the forecast was.

I have a friend with a 1961 M20B that has been flying VFR for almost 30 years. He regularly flies between Southern California and Northern Utah/Idaho. He plans carefully, but still has made more than one unplanned overnight stay at various points along the route over the years and has cancelled or postponed trips as well. It can be done safely, just requires flexibility.

Plan carefully, start stretching your trips out, and just be ready to change your plans when necessary.

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let's do this.  It took me about 75 hours to get pretty good with the Mooney.   It takes me about 5 hours to get good with the plane after maintenance.

I have 3 rules for flying

1. No single engine piston in the colorado rockies.  Your rockies are lower.

2. No crossing of front lines.  Land and wait it out or fly around the tail.

3. Always land with 1 hour of fuel in the tanks.

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VFR, you don't have to talk to or deal with ATC, and you are free to deviate anywhere anytime you want or need to.

IFR, you don't have to worry about entering hot MOAs, TFRs, or someone's airspace. If you get flight following, you get these benefits, but you can be dropped if ATC gets busy.

If you are IFR, they can't drop you.

To me it is also consoling to know that if you get into trouble, it is easier to tell someone, and get help, or the search people have a head start looking for you.

I don't consider it a burden to file and deal with ATC. I almost always file unless I am just local or a short flight.

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If I'm going out of the local area I file a VFR flight plan, open it prior to take off and close it when I land. I also pick up flight following and while I know some enjoy not listening to the chatter I actually enjoy talking with ATC and listening to the radios. Some of the conversations are entertaining. I find that I can tune out a lot of it and pick up my tail number when I hear it.

If you register on 1800wxbrief.com they will send you a text with a link to open your flight plan I think about 30 minutes before your scheduled departure and before you land you will have another text with a link to close your plan. It's very easy to use.

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One thing I can tell you is that I feel a heck of a lot more comfortable flying VFR while having he IFR skills, knowledge, and capability.
VFR without IR is basically clear blue skies or high ceilings weather.
VFR with IR allows flying to VFR minimums, over clouds, and peace of mind. I wouldn't dream of doing some of those things as a VFR only pilot and nor would I recommend it without the instrument capability.

I have to completely disagree with this statement of vfr only pilots. Granted on my flight from Texas to Oregon I had a 15 day lay over in vegas due to weather in Oregon. But it was icing and marginal ifr for most of the time getting to my home airport. And we are still having snow storms. But on the days I flew home it was far from clear blue skies or high ceilings. I have lots of hours in the mountains and all spent vfr.


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My Father in law is an ATP; his airplane is a VFR only Decathalon. He's flown it from his base in Maryland to Boeing field in Seattle and back.  VFR flying is very useful as long as you set realistic expectations and weather minimums. Start very conservative and work your personal limits towards the FAAs. The old adage that what is legal isn't always safe and what is safe isn't always legal holds true in this situation. Best to remain North of both safe and legal.

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42 minutes ago, DonMuncy said:

VFR, you don't have to talk to or deal with ATC, and you are free to deviate anywhere anytime you want or need to.

IFR, you don't have to worry about entering hot MOAs, TFRs, or someone's airspace. If you get flight following, you get these benefits, but you can be dropped if ATC gets busy.

If you are IFR, they can't drop you.

To me it is also consoling to know that if you get into trouble, it is easier to tell someone, and get help, or the search people have a head start looking for you.

I don't consider it a burden to file and deal with ATC. I almost always file unless I am just local or a short flight.

To answer the OPs question, in my high wing I flew all over only VFR. Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, etc.

Regarding flight following... more times than not I've had controllers mess it up in the last year. Hand me off north when I'm headed south, forget I was on FF, etc. I don't (usually) bother any more

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I just finished re-reading "Flight of Passage" by Rinker Buck, where he tells the story of his and his brothers coast to coast VFR flight in 1966 in a Piper Cub.  They were 15 & 17.  Good read.  Rinker Buck also recently wrote "Oregon Trail" recounting a recent mule/wagon trip from MO to OR with a different brother.

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