It’s a private nightmare of mine – getting stuck above cloud, with no holes to get down, even assuming the cloud doesn’t go right to the ground. I do not have an instrument flying rating, nor would I trust myself to fly in cloud using an artificial horizon and other instruments. I therefore avoid flying in any situations which could lead to me being ‘trapped on top’.
However, things don’t always go as you expect… Here’s a video dramatisation of an actual event, where the IFR-expired lone pilot of a Mooney aircraft set out on a benign, clear day and became stuck over cloud. Just to spice things up a bit, having diverted from his original destination to his first alternate, then another, he also runs out of fuel.
There are some good lessons here, so watch the video to the end – it’s engrossing.
Click on the video to view the YouTube original