Dumb question

1900cpt

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Do birds fly IFR?? If so, how do they navigate and make the approach to landing?

I know, its a dumb question, but im curious.

1900cpt
 

Britpilot

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I've heard that most seagulls are now equipped for Cat II approaches, not sure if the Hawks have received certification for the same yet. Sparrows are VFR only, hope this helps.
 

SDdriver

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Have you ever wondered also how Geese fly so high for such long periods of time? I knew they had their high altitude sign off, but I didn't ever think they were O2 equipted...
 

ifly4food

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Britpilot said:
I've heard that most seagulls are now equipped for Cat II approaches, not sure if the Hawks have received certification for the same yet. Sparrows are VFR only, hope this helps.
ROTFL!! :D

I know at least geese are IFR equipped because I've seen a flock of them above a solid cloud deck. I've heard stories from pilots who had bird strikes in IMC too.

I have also always wondered about this. I suppose that whan you're flying yourself, you have more feeling which way is up. Just like you don't get vertigo while running through fog.
I saw a show on discovery once speculating that migratory birds can sense the Earths magnetic field for direction and that they can see polarized light from the sun to guide them.

All I do know is that they're a lot better at flying than we are.
 

1900cpt

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It is also amazing how they can migrate all that way and know where they are going. How about fish that migrate back to where they were born to spawn....pretty amazing.

I know this is not aviation related, but still pretty interesting. I have also heard about geese in the flight levels. I wonder how long it takes them to climb/fly up there.

HHMMMMM...what kind of TAS do they have?:p

1900cpt
 

bobbysamd

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I don't think birds fly IFR because I never see any flying when it's IMC. I have known a few birds who have instrument ratings who shouldn't, and I've known a couple of strange ducks who work for the FAA.
 

1900cpt

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Kinda like "drafting" in car racing or cycling?!?

1900cpt
 

alimaui

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FlyChicaga said:
About geese, this is kinda interesting. The reason they fly in the V-formations like they do is to provide a cushion of air for the goose behind. They fly huge distances by adjusting who is in the lead. The lead bird is flying on "full power" if you will, and the ones behind ride on it, and pass it down through the line.

It's an awesome flying analogy about teamwork. Everyone is a leader, and supports the weight of everyone else in the group.

There were actually some studies by NASA about this very phenomenon. They were exploring the opprotunity of flying airplanes in this same matter to to help reduce fuel and other operating costs. There was an excellent article about this. I will try to find it.

Ali
 

1900cpt

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Also saw Jack Hanna on larry king the other day, and he had a perigrin falcon with him. He said that they designed the stealth bomber wings based on the wings of the falcon....not sure if its true.

1900cpt
 

shamrock

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Way too much time on your hands!

Don't you have to go fly Britney around or something?

How 'bout getting me a job at EJA too? Any place where you can make decent money as an FO AND have nothing better to do than come up with a question like this has got to be cool!

(No flames please. He knows who this is)
 

1900cpt

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Hey.....I actually flew the other day...go figure. They pay me and want me to fly??? Isnt that asking alot of me?

I need more time to come up with dumb questions. Whats on tomorrows agenda:

Jenny Jones, Judge Joe brown, Maury, etc....


1900cpt
 

Dan CFI/CFII

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The NASA study alimaui is referring to was an interesting read indeed.

The gist of it was that they wanted to know if birds flew in IMC, and how... The answers they came up with were that yes, they did fly in IMC, but that they lost control just about as often as humans do.

There were a couple of pictures of de-feathered birds due to the extremely high speeds they got up to as they plummeted down in the clouds. And some of the eyewitness accounts from people who had seen birds out of control were pretty darn funny too.

It must have been great to be working on that project :)

Dan
 

Kaman

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Cat & Duck method of IFR flight

Hi Guys and Gals,
I'm sure some of you are familiar with the "Cat and Duck" method of flying in IMC... You use the cat for attitude control, because they seem to have a highly tuned ability to maintain spatial orientation with the Earth's surface. When you are ready to commence your letdown simply toss the duck out and fly form on her. The downside of this scenario is that you may breakout on short final to a lake or some other body of water. Another helpful hint is to get an old cat that has already used up 8 of it's 9 lives. This will ensure total concentration on the cat's part as he has just as much on the line as you do. Oh, if you happen to be flying a P-47, just toss out a cinder block and fly form on it, the "Jug" and the block have approximately the same glide ratio:)

Regards,

ex-Navy rotorhead
 

kilomike

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Birds also never forget to put the "gear" down when they land.
 

avbug

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Actually, that's not true. I've seen birds to gear-ups, and were it not so tragic,it would be rip-roaring funny. Have you ever seen a bird do a glassy water landing? They can misjudge height on the water, too, and have accidents just like us frail humans.

I've had bird strikes in instrument conditions, so assuming that they're in there is a good bed. (I've also had them at night).

The worst, however, is having to hold because a golden eagle took the missed and went lost com, and they had to shut down the airspace until they found him. Holding for a bald eagle is one thing, and the golden eagle was tolerable, but I would have been bent out of shape for a pelican or a seagull.

I haven't seen it in writing, but I understand that birds are legal to use the helicopter minimums, in lieu category A fixed wing.
 

flint4xx

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Having flown helicopters in pretty poor conditions, I would just add that if you are low and slow enough you can see and act accordingly, much like a bird flying at 20 knots or so.
 

Timebuilder

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Kaman's post is the condensed version of the cat and duck method I promised to post a while back. I f you want to read the whole thing, It's in Richard Taylor's book Instrument Flying. He says the original author is unknown.

Migratory birds (and sea turtles for that matter) use a small sensory organ in their brains which is sensitive to magnetic fields. I believe it was originally discovered in the brain of a carrier pidgeon.

I have yet to see my first goose in the flight levels. How high have you seen them?
 

eriknorth

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I wonder what would happen if NASA put a gyroscope in a bird's head...
 

Timebuilder

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The gyroscope would fail, the bird would crash, and the bird's family would sue for $20 mil.
 

eriknorth

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good answer...i guess the bird had too many squawks to stay in the air:D
 
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