I just earned my FAA instrument rating and a considerable amount of time was spent training partial panel. This meant flying with no vacuum gyro instruments - attitude indicator and directional gyro. After my check ride the examiner said "you fly better without those instruments" which I considered a nice compliment to both myself and my instructor.
In reflecting upon this, I started thinking, what if I had an additional failure of something - how would I handle it? I launched X-Plane and set up an LNAV+V GPS approach on a windy, bumpy low IMC day and gave it a shot. Unsurprisingly, this was HARD.
I used the instruments as follows:
- Altimeter / VSI and on the final approach the VNAV glide slope for altitude control. Not too bad.
- GPS track and a bit of magnetic compass checking, along with the CDI needle. This is a very poor way to navigate. The magnetic compass obviously has lagging/leading errors and the GPS track is what I'd call a rate instrument - it lags a little.
The main problems I faced were that you can't time turns with no turn coordinator and the bumpy/windy air made constant corrections required. There appears to be no way to identify wings level. You can tell when you're no longer turning but you might be starting a turn the other way.
My strategy as I worked through this was to slow the plane (C172) down with 10 degrees of flaps throughout the procedure to make heading changes have the least effect. In the end, I tried to keep the track as close to the DTK and the CDI as centered as possible - effectively chasing two needles. This resulted in a sinusoidal course when I looked back at it on the X-Plane instructor console.
(By the way, I did land the plane safely but I'm not sure I'd be able to do this in the real world - the workload I experienced in my comfy chair was EXTREME.)
I know the scenario is unlikely but it's certainly possible. There appears to be no guidance that I can find on the Internet about it.
My question: is there a better way to do this? If so, what's the procedure?