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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

15 March 2009

IFR Training Update 2

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've been pretty busy at work, but have really tried to stay up with some sort of IFR training. Fortunately, the weather has cooperated, and I've been able to get a few lessons in. I've also passed the 250hr total time landmark, so that's something significant!

BFR/IFR Lesson #5
My biennial flight review was due the end of December 2008, but over the holidays and with all my traveling, it was just to difficult for me and my instructor to get together to do some flying. So, first chance that we got, I had to bust out a BFR first. It was really no problem, and we managed to squeeze in a couple of approaches at Newark to practice.

IFR Lesson #6 - Enter the Meatgrinder!
This was my first lesson flying into Class C airspace and doing multiple approaches to KOSU (Ohio State Don Scott Airport). Fortunately, this is a university airport, so I think that the tower and approach controllers are use to a bunch of slow operators on the radio and the zig-zag needle-chaser student pilots. It was a whole new level to focus on the approach and talk to approach controllers at the same time - YIKES! It was just sheer overload. I managed to execute 3 progressively better GPS-27 approaches into KOSU and didn't irritate the controllers too much, so that was good. My instructor said that I did pretty good, when I wasn't chasing the needle...which wasn't very often. Must. Do. Better.

IFR Lesson #7 - First File
This lesson was my first flight conducted solely under Instrument Flight Rules. It was a learning experience, and actually didn't go too bad. I had filed for a flight into Circleville, OH (KCYO), then an approach into Rickenbacker (KLCK), and finally to end up in Newark, OH (KVTA). It was a whole new level of pressure and intense focus to keep my heading, not chase the needle, and to hold that altitude. I did fairly well (at least my instructor said so!), and it really boosted my confidence level. Flying under instrument wasn't really that bad....

IFR Lesson #8 - VOR Tracking & Holding Patterns, DME Arcs
For this lesson, we were going to go through a couple of procedural items. Tracking and holding at VORs was first on the bill. Since the majority of my flying had been in the luxurious cockpit of a G1000-equipped aircraft, I really haven't used VORs for navigation very much. the training aircraft that I was using (N785SP) was a 172SP with two VORs and a Bendix/King KLN94 GPS, which is definitely NOT as cool as the Garmin product. So, it's been a real reverse learning curve as I've had to re-learn what the heck a VOR does, anyways?:) Add into that the fact that the DG on this particular Cessna has the tendency to precess about 20-30 degrees per hour, and it is a real challenge to make nice oval donuts in the sky. I also did a DME arc...honestly not too bad at all. You just have to know which direction the winds are coming from and you're go to go!

That's all for now - I hope to have a couple more lessons, and maybe a nice long IFR cross-country here soon. Stay tuned!


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