Sunday, March 23, 2008

Studying less, flying more

After a week in which we studied ILS components, runway markings and ATC clearances, and flew together twice with mixed results, I took it upon myself to go out and practice approaches by myself today. I think there's nothing more educational than this; there's no safety net other than the fact that I'm visual the whole way so it's a considerably less disorienting. But still, it's up to me to make it through the system, to say the right words to the right people, which I think is part of what is so difficult about all this. I have another lesson tomorrow; let's see if my effort today helps tomorrow.

Earlier in the week, we flew to Tracy and Byron again, and this time with better results (still not great, but better). And the last flight, on Friday, was to Salinas and Watsonville. It also went OK, and got better as the flight progressed, but going into Salinas I found myself very much behind. I was in a mindset that day of not really wanting to work...but of course IFR flying is a LOT of work, so that wasn't such a happy combination. It bugs me when my friends tell me to have fun when I tell them I'm going out for a flying lesson. It's not fun, it's work and I'm going to be exhausted at the end of it.

Anyway, today I went and did the GPS and ILS at Stockton, which I haven't done much of -- usually we do the more challenging VOR 29R approach there. Luckily I had a very friendly controller who put up with my foibles. All of my foibles were communication related, and none were all that bad, so I'd say it was a pretty good day.

I'm still learning how to brief approaches, but I think taking the approach of simply walking through the approach in order seems to be working the best.

Alright..I'm barely coherent so I better stop now. More soon...


Dave Doler Jr said...

I happened onto your blog while doing a little IFR Googling. Glad to see your at it along with other new instrument students like me. Hard isn't it. I've been a PP since 1980 and this training is made tougher by being in my late 40's. Should have done it decades ago when I could multitask with the best of them. I'll keep looking at you blog. Have fun. Oh, and I miss the Merced Air Show. Went every year. Still wish that the Golden West was back at Castle. Times change...



rjb said...

I drop in to read your blogs every so often. Mostly to check on your progress and usually feel better about my own ridiculous foibles in flying. : )
I left you a comment a year ago or so and have since passed my checkride, with your old pal, Mike Shiflett. I did well and was really overprepared - my final flight instructor (I had 3!) was nervous about sending me up with Mike I think. He was new and I was his first student to go for a check ride.
The one area I struggled with were the darn log books. It started to look like Chinese after awhile. Mike kept silent and that freaked me out even more! The rest of the oral and flight portion went well, though. I took notes on your comments in your previous blog regarding Mike and your check-ride. Thanks!
I have REALLY been lazy about blogging and you inspire me to keep writing. Nice blog. -Russ