Trapped on Top

Trapped on topIt’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