Chicken Wings Classic – Breaking out of the clouds

Behold another “Chicken Wings Classic”! This one came way from back in the day, from before the first book even, when we were very aviation specific. The joke plays on the tendency of certain pilots to “duck-under” the minimums on an IFR approach (descend below them) to take a peek to see if they can see the runway. It is based on a belief that there is always a built in “fudge factor” and also the unwillingness to go missed and shoot another approach.

This is obviously very dangerous. In this case it seemed to work out for everybody with them all claiming they broke through the clouds “right at” the minimums.

Did I explain that right?

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4 comments on “Chicken Wings Classic – Breaking out of the clouds
  1. Ricky says:

    And here I thought it was a jab at the pilots’ tendency to exaggerate their stories. 😉

  2. Fbs says:

    It also works on morning fog on take-off. Pilots have much better visibility on the runway than from the tower

  3. Bruce Bergman says:

    Non-pilot, but I think it’s because they don’t have a current IFR rating and if they can “Break out of the clouds at the minimums and come in Visual” (even if they’re lying through their teeth just how good the visibility was…) they don’t have to turn around and go back or find another nearby airport that isn’t having weather issues. And if they try using IFR they get in huge trouble.

    No doubt their convenient lie has them navigating by the streetlights and trimming the trees on final approach… But “That’s My Story And I’m Sticking With It!”

  4. jan olieslagers says:

    @Bruce: if not IFR-rated, one cannot fly through clouds anyway. “Break clouds” is, by definition, an IFR-only concept.

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