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I know this may draw flak, and may even be judged 'off the wall' by some but, in my only inadvertent IMC caper, several years back, I adhered to my long-held belief, founded in considerable practice during both simulated and real IFR flight, that I had the ability to ignore the sensory messages I was getting and respond, instead, to my mind's clear picture of exactly where I was in the clag in relation to the familiar ridge and valley complex and, thanks to my body of experience in that particular type, simply use the control actions and pressures required to fly the short decelerating 180, followed by a brief descent, that brought me out heading down the valley.

 

I know 'lady luck' was definitely a contributor, but I also know I experienced climbing and turning impulses that my self-discipline allowed me to ignore. I'm also sure the relatively brief exposure was in my favor, and don't fool myself that I could have gotten away with it for any protracted period.

 

Although my experienced passengers were understandably a little more shaken than I was, I still gained a healthy respect from the experience and have never been caught again.

 

Because my career began in the military, where I was fortunate enough to have had good IFR training and experience, I'm a strong believer in their benefits, and the current move among oil & gas clients to require annual inadvertent IMC training should reflect those. However, it's incumbent on us all to maintain a strong focus on avoidance at all costs. There is simply no earthly reason tragedies like Bailey's should be repeated.

 

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After reading this report, I have to completely agree with HV. Perhaps Instrument training will provide some help in flat terrain but to go from VFR to IFR with terrain higher than, and surrounding you is not a good idea. Something that I've found that I feel everyone should keep in mind in the mountains is that it is always easier to fly uphill in bad weather than downhill. If its crappy going uphill, its only going to be worse when you have to turn around and try and see through the dash in a nose high attitude while descending. This accident shows this but the report fails to mention it.

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99% of pilots have most likely put themselves into a bad situation at one point in their career. Until humans stop making bad decisions, accidents will happen. If there was any question as to the weather conditions, the flight should have been cancelled. It's not about IFR training and sim time, it's about PDM.

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99% of pilots have most likely put themselves into a bad situation at one point in their career. Until humans stop making bad decisions, accidents will happen. If there was any question as to the weather conditions, the flight should have been cancelled. It's not about IFR training and sim time, it's about PDM.

Any question as to the wx conditions.......thats typical in that area......almost always. I was around the corner (as an AME) at Alice Arm that day and the wx sucked but the client kept pushing (They were used to other companies flying in that soup). My Pilot flew and returned white faced ugly. As a CPL I personally can't/won't fly in that area anymore. Its hard to watch your buddy pick up and depart becuase you never know if He's going to return. PDM and assertiveness boys. You know your in a bad area when there is a heli-crash grave site with many names listed there.

 

RIP Pilots

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So here we are again - "But the other pilot always flew in this." So hire him back if he's so good. One of our major faults is trying too hard to please and not saying no.

Better support from management? All pilots have different limits, even on different days. We've never really succeeded at selling those ideas well or getting support if we tried.

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