Why you want an instrument rating

added 10/22/2012

This weekend I had a planned flight across the state and although the weather forecast for the weekend was good, we woke up to totally grey skies.  A quick peek at Foreflight on the iPad showed that most of the clouds and fog were breaking up not far from us, but that the takeoff and destination were the real weather pinch points.  The local weather was reporting "1/4M FG OVC001" and the destination was "10SM OVC008" with forecasts for things to lift over time. 
My biggest concern was the local temp was 2C, and that could make things tough if the tops were 6,000' with temps below 32F.
I decided to call the briefer as there were no good pireps for cloud tops which was my real concern, and he just gave the same basic synopsis as I already knew...if I took off and made it 5 minutes, it would be an easy flight until near time to land.  No icing forecast, although temps were definitely close to it being a possibility.  In short, this was the kind of day you just couldn't take off VFR and get out of there, even if you could easily do the flight 20 miles later.  With no tops available it took a little consideration.

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Driving to the airport it was questionable as to how thick these clouds were.  At times it seemed to be brighter daylight, and then it would dim again. At one point I stared directly towards the sun and could make out a defined circle, so that made the decision easy...if you can see the circle, you'll be through it in no time....especially with the RV-10's magnificent performance specs!  So we launched on the flight, and it was only a matter of a minute and we had a beautiful sky above.  By the time we were landing, the ceilings had lifted to 1000' also, so the approach was an easy one, and I opted to fly the approach to the opposite end of the runway and then circle-to-land, as that would save me a lot of time flying the straight in RNAV/GPS-13 at KETB.  It made for a really fun, and really "easy IFR" flight.  It's days like this that having an instrument rating can really pay off.  The biggest worry on this flight would be a departure emergency, as making it back to the departure airport could be very challenging...so you have to make your own decisions as to what your personal takeoff minimums are.  For me, my landing minimums are whatever is published (Of course, you always have to be prepared to fly to minimums, which I would happily have done) ...but takeoff, I have to consider a lot of factors.  On this particular day it was an easy choice.  Check out the video below!

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Here's a short video of the flight. The takeoff was the most fun!

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