This is a sim topic, but it applies to real life as well so I posted it here.
So, I was flying around in bad weather, and thought about how scary flying without seeing something outside (Instrument Meteorological Conditions, IMC) can be, especially if you fly around in VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) and suddenly enter IMC.
I have to say I really got a LOT better at that in 2019 and early 2020. I have been flying the Challenger 300 in X-Plane11 with realistic weather, and the DCS C-101 in all kinds of weather, training my “basic airmanship”, and got myself into really bad conditions on purpose.
I like to say that I can now fly (simulated) in IMC pretty safely, but I also have to admit that my heart rate and blood pressure still jumps up quite a bit when the VMC -> IMC change happens, especially when it happens especially quickly and/or unexpectedly. And yeah I know that a thing as “unexpected” shouldn’t happen when having proper situational awareness. It still does, for example if task saturation diminishes SA.
Then I read a bit about it and found out that apparently VFR pilots flying into IMC is not only stressful, but one of the most common causes for accidents in aviation, and a pretty deadly one to boot.
I found some videos and accident reports online and watched/read through them. Here is one from YT (and I made sure to check, this one ended well. I don’t want to share some of the others I found).
As a virtual pilot I am aware that this is quite a bit harder in real life. So I have a question to the RL pilots here:
How long does it take until that VMC -> IMC change becomes a non-event?
I suppose (well, and hope) that the IFR dudes like airline pilots have no problems with it.
What training methods are used to get used to it? (I hope that the answer is not “none, the autopilot flies the plane anyway”).
I guess a few hours under an IFR hood in some trainer plane are probably not enough to make you fly an airliner in IMC safely. So is it just done on the job maybe, with the more experienced pilot monitoring everything goes well in case of a disorientation?
And does every pilot in training have to spend time on that?
I mean: Even if you are training for VFR: You should expect that such things can happen. I wouldn’t feel safe in a plane that I cannot fly by instruments in a pinch. Who knows what can happen?!
Edit: huh. I just read some article that claimed that actually more experienced private pilots are more often involved in such accidents than students or pilots with less experience…