The Cat & Duck Method

The "Cat and Duck" instrument system has received much publicity and is considered to have much merit by those who have not tried it. No reports have been received from those who did try it, and none are expected, Pilots are invited to assess it's merits objectively.

Basic rules for the Cat and Duck Method of flying under the hood are fairly well known and are, of course, extremely simple.

 Here's how:


There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist, a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you, your passengers and even an occasional tower operator:

Get a wide awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all. It may be necessary to carry  a large dog in the cockpit to keep the cat at attention.

Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will spend all their time washing. Try to follow a washing cat usually results in a tight snap roll followed by an inverted spin (flat).

Use old cats. Young cats have nine lives, but old, used up cats with only one life left have as much to loose as you and will be more dependable.

Beware of cowardly ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright, she will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are no better in instrument conditions than you are.

Be sure hat the duck has good eyesight. Nearsighted ducks sometimes fail to realize that they are on the gauges and will go flogging off into the nearest hill. Very nearsighted ducks will not realize that they have been thrown out and will descend to the ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is difficult to follow in an airplane.

Use a land-loving duck. It is very discouraging to break out and find yourself on final for a rice paddy, particularly if there are duck hunters around. Duck hunters suffer from temporary insanity while sitting in freezing weather in the blinds and will shoot at anything that flies.

Choose you duck carefully. It is very easy to confuse ducks with geese because may water birds look alike. While they are very competent instrument fliers, geese seldom want to go in the same direction as you. If your duck heads off for Canada or Mexico, you may be sure you have been given the goose.



Last updated: 16 February, 2003 20:03