IFR Practice

I recently met up with my instructor, Jonathan, to get some great IMC practice in. It had been a while since I did any IFR stuff so training wheels had to go back on :) We shot approaches into KLGC, KOPN, and then KFFC. One item I crossed off my list that I was always a bit nervous about was requesting a pop-up IFR clearance. I hate the idea of bothering controllers on busy frequencies, but at the same time I wanted the experience of doing it at least once to know what to expect and it wasn't bad at all and the controller was very accommodating.

We picked up just a tiny bit of icing on the windscreen and leading edges and when we dropped out of the clouds it instantly melted away at 33 degrees F. I was surprised how quickly the +1 degree erased the build-up. 

I filed IFR back to KCZL and got to fly over the top of ATL, although I couldn't see any of it. Just as I was on the north side of Atlanta my autopilot started a 2,000 FPM descent. I took AP off and leveled the plane then switched it back on, scratching my head. I had just updated software on the Dynon and it did have some autopilot changes, so I was pondering that for about 2 seconds when suddenly it wanted to descend rapidly again! In complete IMC in ATL airspace I did not want to be porpoising like I was doing so I took over again and started swearing. I checked the wings for icing and that's when it dawned on me that I didn't have pitot heat on. I noticed low indicated airspeed and high GPS ground speed. Flipped on pitot heat and the world made sense again. Rookie mistake, but I'm glad to have the lesson of pitot heat reinforced.

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