DXB

IFR training tips in a C model - continuous thread

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After finishing the written, I recently started training for the IR in my '68 C.  This thread serves to address learning snags along the way, particularly those specific to my model.  As an initial step, I adapted the "IFR by the Numbers" table in the MAPA Proficiency Course  for the C model to my own format:

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I've found a good experienced instructor who has taught in the proficiency course before, so Mooney ignorance is not a barrier.  However the old J-bar birds may present some distinct challenges, and I want to refine my model-specific knowledge and modify procedures based on the real world experience of people here.  Two initial issues to address from my lesson yesterday:

(1) Configuring for a precision approach descent as in the MAPA guide (2300, 18", gear/flaps up) leaves me WAY faster than the 120mph on the chart to stay on glideslope - more like 140mph.  Then I had to chop power and level off to get to the 120mph  gear speed, which still put me irretrievably above glideslope.   What approach settings do others use, and how do they slow to gear speed around the FAF (assuming they need to keep speed up prior to that)?

(2) Going missed with the J-bar has its own issue - I have to get the speed down to <90mph or the gear retract is going to be physically undoable.  What procedures do folks use related to getting the gear up when going missed?  So far I've left the gear down when going around vfr to keep things simple, so I don't have any hardwired habits to help me.

Also any other tips and/or deviations from the above numbers that people find handy in the J-bar C model or similar birds?  

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Congratulations on working on your IR.    When I started working on it, I made a table like yours, but after a while came to the conclusion I was overthinking it.   Later on, after flying some real world approaches near gross weight, I quickly realized how very different all settings are compared to flying with just myself and someone in the right seat.   

I recommend keeping it as simple as possible.  This means no need to use flaps.  And you should not be flying down a glideslope unless your gear is already out.  Gear should be down before the FAF.   My CFI says the plane should be configured for landing with gear down 3-5miles before FAF, but i don’t think that is what most people do.   I drop my gear about 1/4-1/2 mile from FAF, so it is just simple pull power at the FAF.

I wont share light or heavy power settings for level or descent here sense I have an F model.    

In the real world, just remember to stay cognizant of your weight, which affects your ability to slow down, changes level flight power settings, and power curve.   

Lastly, although we want to go fast, especially on descent, don’t.    Anticipate ATC instructions to descent, so think about cooling off your engine get ready to slow down.   Don’t enter IMC fast.  It is much better to slow down before entering imc, especially if you may need to fly the whole approach.  An extra few minutes in the air is a small price to pay for a safe and stablized approach.   It’s just easier too.  I usually fly approaches in imc between about 120mph (gear speed) and then pass the FAF with gear down and 90kts until I see the runway.      

On a miss, you should pitch up, full take off power, establish positive climb, trim, then raise gear, trim.  Gear comes up easier when pitched up.  

Others will have other or different advice.   Find what works for you but keep weight in mind. ;)  good luck!

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2 hours ago, DXB said:

(1) Configuring for a precision approach descent as in the MAPA guide (2300, 18", gear/flaps up) leaves me WAY faster than the 120mph on the chart to stay on glideslope - more like 140mph.  Then I had to chop power and level off to get to the 120mph  gear speed, which still put me irretrievably above glideslope.   What approach settings do others use, and how do they slow to gear speed around the FAF (assuming they need to keep speed up prior to that)?

(2) Going missed with the J-bar has its own issue - I have to get the speed down to <90mph or the gear retract is going to be physically undoable.  What procedures do folks use related to getting the gear up when going missed?  So far I've left the gear down when going around vfr to keep things simple, so I don't have any hardwired habits to help me.

Also any other tips and/or deviations from the above numbers that people find handy in the J-bar C model or similar birds?  

1) I have found putting the gear down when I'm just above the glide slope intercept works well for staying on the GS. The trick for me is to slow down to gear speed before the FAF and I generally need to be in level flight to do it unless I'm going to chop power significantly. Sometimes I find myself a little behind and in the white arc to put 10 degrees of flaps down before I slow down to 120mph and then once I hit the FAF, get the gear down and I may already have 10 degrees of flaps. Don't be afraid to use your flaps to get that little extra 10mph slow down if necessary.

Power settings are largely dependent on headwind component, temperature and other factors so I just try to fly whatever power settings give me the speeds required and a 500-700fpm stabilized descent (of course, if large headwind then maybe only 300fpm, etc). Sometimes it's 18", sometimes it's 16", sometimes 15".

2) I try to slow down to about 75 knots around the MDA -- if you're a little faster that should be fine too, just pitch up for the slower airspeed after adding power without being excessive to let yourself get the J bar up. Good J bar technique is helpful too with it being one solid motion, but sometimes it can be a struggle.

Not sure if this was helpful at all, but good luck on your instrument rating. It was definitely the most useful thing I did all year flying-wise.

Edited by AlexLev
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Dev,

Your going to love the training...

As you get near the end, the amount of detail you need to have at the ready, in your head, will be a reminder of your days in school... :)

You will handle it easily.

The stepwise guidance on Speed and configuration is interesting with respect to staying on the glide slope.  The whole go down v slow down really becomes challenging...

Lots of memorized details... expect to go missed.

 

+1 on the MAPA manual...

Best regards,

-a-

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I’ve been working on the flying portion of my IR for the past few months. Really need to buckle down and get the written out of the way in the next couple of weeks. 

For my flying lately I use lower power cruise (125-130 kts) for my enroute portion. As soon as I reach the IAF I reduce power to 2350/18.  When I’m about two miles from the FAF I reduce to 2350/15.  I make slight power changes to hold altitude and aim for 110mph to drop the gear when I’m about a half a dot high on the glide slope. I reduce the MP to 12 and pitch for 95mph and put in 1.5 pumps of flaps. 

At 200 feet above DA/MDA I put the prop full forward during my gump check and start the fuel pump. When missed full mixture and smoothly go to full power positive rate of climb while pitching for 100 mph. I open the cowl flaps and after 5-10 seconds I slowly pitch for 90-95 and bob the nose to bring up the gear and then quickly the flaps. Climb out at 120 mph. 

Important things for me to remember?  Get the power out before you know ATC is going to drop you down. Don’t try to use the gear or flaps to slow you down.  If something does not feel right do a gump check (landing or climb out stage). Get the radios dialed in before you need them. 

Above all have a good time!

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I'm about 30 hours in to my IR training in my '63c.  I too struggle a bit with going missed and getting the gear up.  It takes more muscle than I would like.  I haven't really figured out a good way to do other than go full power, raise the nose, unlock the gear, then push the yoke forward while pulling the gear handle back.  The slightly less than 1g helps get the gear up.  

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2 minutes ago, ragedracer1977 said:

I'm about 30 hours in to my IR training in my '63c.  I too struggle a bit with going missed and getting the gear up.  It takes more muscle than I would like.  I haven't really figured out a good way to do other than go full power, raise the nose, unlock the gear, then push the yoke forward while pulling the gear handle back.  The slightly less than 1g helps get the gear up.  

The Mooney dip. It's a classic that we've all used. If you'll make that push on the yoke a little sharper, the gear will just about stow its self.

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I gotta say a Mooney and Instrument rating go together like cookies and milk. It's just nice to have it in your bag of tricks. On the way back from my "personal record" breaking trip East, I was just as slow on the other side coming back to Texas. So slow in fact that an entire weather system built up in Mexico and moved in to blanket Texas before I could get there.

It was nice to call Houston Center and open an IFR flight plan enroute. "A Mooney M20 Tango slant Golf, rated and equipped."  I shot the ILS into Conroe, TX in easy 1800 and 3 miles conditions, but in driving rain... at 10pm. As I broke out I couldn't find the airport. The needles were centered and locked, but no runway. Then I saw the runway out the right side window. With a stiff cross wind we were in a left crab to the runway. I'd chosen Conroe for the long runway and the ILS. I'd stay the night in a hotel with N252AD in a hangar, while Austin was getting pounded with thunderstorms.

The next morning I took off into low fog, with the tower reporting 200 and 1/4. I broke out into the bright sunshine at 900 ft and flew the last 20 minutes home. Landing on an RNAV approach with 700 and a mile conditions.

It's the first time I've had to divert and not make it to my destination because of weather. But it was nice to be able to continue and get in as soon as the conditions were good enough for safe IFR flight. My Mooney really makes it enjoyable to fly IFR. 

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You're doing the right thing trying to get all these settings squared away before you get very far into the instrument training. My previous instructor felt I was too sloppy with my settings and that it complicated the training so he wanted me to switch to his Piper Warrior which is simpler.

In my approach I decided not to have a higher speed approach with gear up like you show in your table. I found that if I slowed down well into gear extension speed, straight and level, then dropping the gear gave me a nice decent rate close to 500 fpm. I want gear extension to be the start of ALL my different approaches in order to minimize the chance that I will forget it. Instrument flying is more complex than VFR and I can imagine, under a heavy workload, that the one item I want a perfect record on remembering could get forgotten.

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2 hours ago, pinerunner said:

You're doing the right thing trying to get all these settings squared away before you get very far into the instrument training. My previous instructor felt I was too sloppy with my settings and that it complicated the training so he wanted me to switch to his Piper Warrior which is simpler.

Great input from multiple folks - the community here is great for widening my presently infantile perspective on IFR. Hopefully it will prevent me from being forced to switch to a Piper Warrior! :lol:

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30 minutes ago, DXB said:

Great input from multiple folks - the community here is great for widening my presently infantile perspective on IFR. Hopefully it will prevent me from being forced to switch to a Piper Warrior! :lol:

If a CFI tells you to switch to a Warrior, that will be your first indication that it's time to switch CFI's.

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25 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

If a CFI tells you to switch to a Warrior, that will be your first indication that it's time to switch CFI's.

Precisely what I'm doing and I found a Mooney specific one too! John Napoli on Long Island.

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There is a huge advantage in earning your IR in your own plane...

A CFII that wants you to train in a different plane sends up more than one red flag...

Adjustments on approach are often small, timely, and really well known in advance...

 

There is an equivalent debate like the ROP/LOP, but specific to the IR crowd...

When following the ILS (or WAAS gps equivalent)... how to make fine adjustments/corrections in direction... they can be done in one or two different ways...

  • Coordinated rudder/aileron
  • rudder only 

There are advantages to both... take your pick.  :)

PP thoughts only, not a CFI ....

Best regards,

-a-

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One issue you brought up has been on my mind for a while; the missed approach with a J-bar, given that it's hard to get the gear up at higher speeds. I can see two solutions which I haven't tried out well enough to decide (my plane is in the shop while I work on my leaky right tank).

Solution 1 is don't bother to raise the gear at the start of the missed approach. Just give it full power and climb at 90 mph (I've got an older ASI). Keep it as simple as possible and worry about raising the gear when you have plenty of altitude and a stabilized climb.

Solution 2 is to give it the power in two steps, the first of which gives you positive rate of ascent at an airspeed that will allow easy retraction of the gear. The second step is full power of course. This solution may be too complicated at a point in time where you want to make things as simple as possible.

I guess I'll add in solution 3 where you give it full power and climb at such a high angle that you're at easy gear raising speed. I'm afraid you might be flirting with a power-on stall and all the attitude changes combined with reaching down for the handle might be disorienting. If it's done real slick the "Mooney Dip" you would probably do might end up in the perfect attitude for a maximum rate of climb.

I'm eager to see favorite missed approach procedures for J-bar Mooneys

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I agree with Pinerunner.  We seldom do missed approaches/go arounds except for practice so it is not a well memorized procedure, however, It is definitely not an EMERGENCY procedure..you just were not in a position to land so you are going for another option (hold,divert..etc)  don't panic. 

1.  Establish positive rate of climb and keep power under control (I don't even use full power in the 737).  Raise the gear when safe and YOU are ready;  the plane flies fine with the gear down!  That's the way I teach my instrument students from the start and by the way,  my m20c with the gear down/prop full RPM  is just a fast Warrior...why switch planes.  

2.  I seldom use flaps only gear on an ILS approach ...show me an ILS runway that is a short field!  On a non precision approach you are normally down to minimums (or should be) by VDP and you have plenty of time for flaps if required.  Frankly I land/practice the C no flap a lot and IF flown on speed see very little difference in landing roll, can't speak for newer models.  By the third ride my students understand what a stabilized, on speed approach is and landing is  not an issue.

3.  Just remember, there are techniques and there are procedures.  I use techniques to make the procedures work..but not all techniques work,  so find your own.

 

My 2c worth

 

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I found that 16 inches and gear down kept me in the glide slope very well during training. No flaps as it just required more power with rising CHTs. Knowing how long/far it takes to go from level cruise to 10 mph under gear speed is also good. 

On missed approach I go full throttle, positive rate and dip for the gear. With no autopilot I want the checklist items as few as possible. No flaps or second throttle position to worry about.

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Find your comfort power settings that make the plane do what you want it to do. Do not get wrapped up in exact settings, you will do more harm to yourself than good. Ball park works better

Edited by Mooney1

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Since you are most likely going to descend at cruise speed, as stated above it is good to know how much time and how many miles it takes to get to your gear speed,  but for me it's not so much of an issue. I like to be at 120kts for turns and vectoring on the approach, and then reduce to 14/2400 to slow down for glideslope intercept and drop the gear no flaps at the GS intercept. I typically continue my gradual reduction in speed as I descend down the glideslope down to 90kts, and yes I do consider my gradual reduction in speed a stabilized approach. She just flies better if a little faster than the usual 90kts. My usual is flaps as required only if runway in sight and committed to land. 

14 to 16 and 2,400 clean gets me in the ballpark and adjust as needed. 

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On 12/18/2017 at 1:12 PM, DXB said:

....,(2) Going missed with the J-bar has its own issue - I have to get the speed down to <90mph or the gear retract is going to be physically undoable.  What procedures do folks use related to getting the gear up when going missed?  .....

If you’re at DA / MDA and going missed — focus on power, pitch  and getting a positive rate. Leave the gear down.  Fly Vx of 80 mph in the C. Follow the MAP.  At a safe altitude pull up the gear.  

At 200’ above the ground a destabilizing action  (levering the J bar)  is not smart, and is not necessary:  The C climbs ok at 80 mph gear down or up.  

That’s what I did in my two J bar Mooneys:  P-P-P.    Power, Pitch, Positive rate.  

 

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@mooneygirl finished her IR recently. Most of her training in busy SoCal was in her '65E which has a Johnson Bar Gear and no autopilot nor a certified GPS. (She had to do part of her work in a fixed gear C182 but I'd bet she much preferred the Mooney as an instrument platform JBGear and all. 

If swinging the gear is much of an issue I suppose you need more practice or your plane needs adjustment.  

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If your trimmed for let's say 90KTS gear down, and power set at 14-15 inches and your on the glide slope. When you go missed leave the trim alone , just power up ( don't slam it, firmly forward To take off power) the airplane will magically stay at 90KTS( you may get some minor fluctuation until airplane stabilizes) but you will be climbing(I.E. Positive rate) retract the gear, now in this new configuration, trim for desired airspeed in climb let's say 105KTS, when you get to disired missed altitude reduce power to the 105KTS level flight power setting, maybe 18 inches. Navigate your missed, keep your speed slow 105KTS  (fuel savings, and keeps you at gear speed) in the missed hold or return for approach, if leaving the area power up!!

IFR approaches are all about constant airspeeds and power settings ( mine were just make believe) with very small adjustments (1/2 inch at a time) for wind(ground speed)to control descent and climb rates  Know your airplane, do no let anyone rush you until you are comfortable,  keep your work load down, keep your work load down, keep your work load down. I could say it more so you remember.

 

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There's nothing quite like an Instrument rating to take the training wheels off the Mooney. This was a landing in KOKC on Wednesday. It was a non-event. The 252 was on rails all the way to the ground and rolled it on a smoothly as I ever have. 

If you own a Mooney, the IA rating is the best upgrade you can buy.

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12 hours ago, Shiny moose said:

If your trimmed for let's say 90KTS gear down, and power set at 14-15 inches and your on the glide slope. When you go missed leave the trim alone , just power up ( don't slam it, firmly forward To take off power) the airplane will magically stay at 90KTS( you may get some minor fluctuation until airplane stabilizes) but you will be climbing(I.E. Positive rate) retract the gear, now in this new configuration, trim for desired airspeed in climb let's say 105KTS, when you get to disired missed altitude reduce power to the 105KTS level flight power setting, maybe 18 inches. Navigate your missed, keep your speed slow 105KTS  (fuel savings, and keeps you at gear speed) in the missed hold or return for approach, if leaving the area power up!!

IFR approaches are all about constant airspeeds and power settings ( mine were just make believe) with very small adjustments (1/2 inch at a time) for wind(ground speed)to control descent and climb rates  Know your airplane, do no let anyone rush you until you are comfortable,  keep your work load down, keep your work load down, keep your work load down. I could say it more so you remember.

 

This is true for my F also.   Going down the GS, take off trim is about right and makes a go around easy.  

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11 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

There's nothing quite like an Instrument rating to take the training wheels off the Mooney. This was a landing in KOKC on Wednesday. It was a non-event. The 252 was on rails all the way to the ground and rolled it on a smoothly as I ever have. 

If you own a Mooney, the IR rating is the best upgrade you can buy.

Yep, 200-1/2. The only thing missing is dark night and driving rain/spitting snow. :)

Safely down and on the ramp is a relief but the feeling of accomplishment/competence is very satisfying.  

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