The Vancouver IMC Club is sponsored by Maxcraft Avionics and meets at their Pitt Meadows facility on the last Wednesday of each month. The IMC Club has become a flying club in its purest form in that all the discussion is about flying. At each meeting, pilots gather to discuss scenarios and engage in a group discussion as to what one might do if faced with the various scenarios in an aircraft. There is no membership fee, and anybody is welcome to attend. You don't even need an instrument rating. At least half of the pilots that attend the regular meetings do not hold in instrument rating and they are still active participants in the dialogue as many IFR concepts inevitably spill over into a discussion of general aircraft handling and airmanship.
It has also become somewhat of a tradition that once the meeting is finished, those that are so inclined migrate down the street to Foamers Folly Brew Pub and enjoy a few pints of their microbrew.
Here is a small sample of the topics that were discussed at the September 26th meeting. Keeping in mind that all this discussion stemmed from two simple scenarios which organically end up branching into other related subject matters.
This was the "official" EAA IMC Club scenario provided by EAA HQ. It involved a C182 that needed to reposition to an airport about 100nm away. It was on the ground at an airport on the coast that did not have any published IFR approaches or departure procedures. The visibility was limited. The reason for the flight was to get it to a maintenance facility to get a small oil leak taken care of.
This scenario lead to discussions that included:
- Go / No Go Decisions
- IFR Departures from non-assessed aerodromes
- Personal minimums
- How the oil leak might affect decision making
- IFR Departure Terrain Clearance responsibility
- How to asses a departure
- Spatial Disorientation
- Appropriate use of cockpit tools such as heading bugs
- Automation dependency
We discussed a scenario with a lot of grey area. It involves an IFR aircraft that has been cleared for a visual approach to a controlled airport. The approach controller instructs the aircraft to contact the tower. The pilot switches to the tower frequency but can’t get a word in edgewise and is nearing the airport. What should the pilot do in this case?
After a short break we were treated to IMC Club Member Jim Fairweather's account of an IFR cross country flight that he completed this summer. He very eloquently shared his thought process in the planning and execution phases of the trip and shared some lessons that he learned. One of the interesting lessons from Jim was the realization that a yoke mounted iPad is not balanced and can cause un wanted control forces that could lead to disorientation. Jim shared his solution to this problem with us.
As we embark on this new IMC club season we are looking forward to members taking part in sharing their experiences and lessons learned so that the entire group can benefit. One thing that makes the IMC Club special is that we treat the meeting as a safe space where pilots can share openly without fear of judgement or consequence. Stories that are shared at the IMC Club meeting stay at the IMC Club meeting.
After the meeting about a dozen members retreated to Foamers Folly and enjoyed some of their latest brews while continuing the discussion over pizza and wings. Some of the group even used pizza boxes to draw diagrams while debating what is meant when the tower says "report a 3-mile right base" but we'll leave that for next time.