Flying in the clouds
Ok so we don’t actually practice flying in the clouds but we sure do simulate it with the use of “foggles” which are safety glasses with the top part all fogged up so we can’t see out the windows and have to rely on our instruments only!
In today’s flight as soon as we left the KIWA airspace, my instructor told me to put on my foggles because we just accidentally flew into the clouds and now we have to learn what to do. I then proceeded to fly for over an hour in what they call simulated instrument meteorological conditions (SMIC) performing banks, turns, climbs, descents, and learning to contact ATC for help. It was a pretty surreal experience and was certainly valuable to give the kind of exposure to cloud conditions that we would need should the need arise.
Although I was pleasantly surprised to find that my vestibular system handled it quite well I did get a bit shaken up when we proceeded into unusual attitudes when the instructor has me close my eyes while he maneuvers the plane into a series of awkward positions to disorient me and then tells me to open my eyes and recover using only the instruments. The first few times weren’t so bad but then after a half dozen my system was a bit queasy.
Overall was a great experience and introduction to instrument training to help prepare me for what “might happen”.