Sunday, October 07, 2007

Instrument Training Continues

Yes, it's still going. They say this is the hardest rating to get, and I hope they're right because it's extremely difficult. I've been flying twice a week, pretty consistently except for the three-week hiatus when I was in Europe, for most of September. Since then I've gotten back into it, though we've mostly concentrated for the last couple of lessons on autopilot and GPS operations, with the foggles off. It's interesting; I'm so much more relaxed without the foggles on, that I've suggested to John that we slowly phase in the foggle-wearing -- put them on for 0.2 hours next time, 0.4 the following time, etc, so I can acclimate to them slowly.

The last lesson was on Friday; we flew to Stockton, did the VOR 29R approach, and did most of the LOC DME 28R at Hayward on the way back toward Palo Alto. It was a very interesting day in that it seemed to approximate a real-life want-to-fly-IFR-but-should-I experience. The freezing level was below 6000, there were clouds seemingly interspersed along our route, it was windy and bumpy, but with all that, we chose to go because it seemed that it would always be easy to get back to VFR conditions below us, with no mountains to hit. It was a beautiful flight -- there is no feeling like emerging from the clouds and finding yourself in a sunny cloud landscape, zooming just over the tops, so close it feels like you're doing something very unsafe and illegal, which it would be if it were Earth and not clouds.

So, hopefully I'll do my long IFR cross country flight in 2 weeks. In the meantime, I have paperwork to fill out, and books to review....

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