New Instrument Pilot

Mr. Cole

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Feb 17, 2003
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Well, it's already been posted in a few other places, but I wanted to share with the folks here at Flightinfo.

Dave
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[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Well, after one year, two instructors, 9 hours actual, and nearly 70 hours of training I passed the instrument checkride. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but if you read my other post you know that it was IMC followed by t'storms, so we did the oral. I didn't realize how well it went until yesterday when I decided to fly one last practice session before the big day. My instructor and a few other people that worked at the school told me that the DE, who is also the manager of the flight school and FBO, said something along the lines that I was one of the best prepared applicants he had ever seen. That was great to hear and I hoped it would have a halo effect today.

I made it to the airport around 12:15 and the DE arrived at 1:00, which was the scheduled time. After preflight we got underway after he gave me my clearance and I picked up the ATIS. As it was mid-day, it was fairly bumpy as I tracked to the Sparta VOR. But I was diligent with my heading and altitudes. We departed Sparta on the 022 radial and I contacted New York Departure to request two ILS 27 approaches at Stewart International (SWF). We received vectors and I briefed the approach. Other than receiving a bad vector the approach went fine, and at Decision Height I flew the missed as published to the Kingston VOR.

The entry was a parallel entry and I quickly established myself on the outbound course, flew out for a minute, then intercepted the inbound course. My instructor was up with another student in the same area and since I could hear him I knew he was following what I was doing. Back on the ground he admitted he was a little concerned when he heard us request the second ILS. After one trip in the hold the DE covered the AI and DG for a partial panel LOC approach. I placed the LOC frequency in the #2 radio as not to be distracted by the glideslope, and placed Kingston VOR in the #1 to ID the final approach fix, POPOW. Well, we received another bad vector and I also forgot that the LOC was in #2 so I flew through it, but soon realized the error of my ways and corrected. But between the bad vector to intercept the localizer and diverting attention somewhere else, I missed the final approach fix. So, four miles from the threshold I'm still at 2500 feet MSL. Although I'm not proud of it I had to make a dive and drive. Fortunately Stewart has a 10,000' runway, but my landing was as crappy as they come. I knew I was going to be busted, but I was prepared to go missed if necessary if I couldn't make the field.

After the touch and go and not hearing I had failed, we climbed out and did a few timed turns, followed by steep turns. I had done steep turns the previous day and was able to nail them with nearly zero altitude fluctuation. In fact they were my best steep turns to date, including private. Then we did unusual attitudes. I heard this DE was aggressive on unusual attitudes but his nose-up unusual attitudes ended with the plane veeeery close to stall. I'm usually pretty good with unusual attitudes, but on the first one I ended up pushing over too much, pulled a few negative G's and put us into a dive, from which I quickly recovered. He had me perform another nose high unusual attitude partial panel, and my recovery was far smoother the second time. We followed this by two nose low unusual attitudes, then flew direct to Sparta to fly the VOR 6 approach at Greenwood Lake. At Sparta I entered the hold/procedure turn and flew the approach with no problem. We descended to MDA and because Rwy 6 was in use and he wanted to see a circling approach, he had me overfly the field for a circling approach back to Rwy 6.

Once established on the downwind and descended to pattern altitude, he gave me a heading and an altitude to fly back to Caldwell. We flew back to Caldwell partial panel with the DE giving me vectors and descent instructions to simulate a no-gyro approach. He had me take the hood off on final and 130' AGL and again I made another crappy landing. I think this one was due to the relief of not hearing that I had failed up to that point. Overall, 2.4 hours on the Hobbs. I am totally beat, but it was certainly a fair checkride. As he prepared my temporary certificate he told me that based on Tuesday's and today's performance he had no doubt that I should receive an instrument rating, and that I had performed well on all the required tasks.

Thanks to all that have read this far and those on this board that provided encouragement. And best of luck to others working on your ratings, instrument or otherwise.

Dave
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F16TJ

Elated Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
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247
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Enough
Dave...

Congrats on the new rating. You're probably at the sharpest level you'll ever be for instrument flying. Your goal should be to not lose this proficiency level now that you have the rating. Tough to do without a paying flying job, though.

Good job and good luck.

TJ
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
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> enuf
Congratulations! That initial instrument ticket is probably the most difficult rating you'll ever earn - it just gets easier from here on.

May I recommend a couple of books for you to read now that you've got the rating? Get a hold of Weather Flying by Buck and Instrument Flying by Taylor (You can get them at almost any big bookstore or via mailorder.) and read them through, cover-to-cover, 2 or 3 times. These two books do a good job of explaining how to fly IFR and handle the weather in the real world. IMHO, you'd have to fly several hundred hours of actual IFR to gleen the experience and knowledge that those guys give you in those two books. They're enteresting and enjoyable reading as well.

Lead Sled
 

Mr. Cole

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Posts
129
Total Time
220
Thanks everyone.

Lead Sled,

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually have both of these books and read them before starting the rating. I agree with you that they're both great and that it's time to take a look at them through new eyes.

Dave
 
3

350DRIVER

Job well done..... Don't short change yourself due to a couple of bumpy landings, you were being tested on "instrument" skills not on your landing ability.


nice job,

3 5 0
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
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Total Time
4565
Instrument ride

Congratulations! I will confirm that a great oral does have a halo effect. I gave stage checks at ERAU and pre-stage checks at FSI. I would cut breaks for students who were well prepared for their orals but might have been less than perfect on their flights.

You have just been issued another license to learn. Use it wisely.
 

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