Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dusting Off the IR PTS

With a few of my fellow pilot friends knocking out their Instrument Rating (congrats to Bob and Jeff), I am really starting to get the itch to finish up. I feel comfortable flying 08Romeo and think I am ready to get back on the horse. I need to practice partial panel, unusual attitudes, timed turns and in general a good solid review.

By the numbers I have met or surpassed all of the IR criteria.

Pilot must have at least 50 hours cross-country time logged (at least 50 NM). (168hr)
A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time to include: (2 actual, 45 sim)
at least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an instructor (dual) (70 hr)
at least 3 hours in preparation for, and within 60 days of the practical test (completed)
at least one cross-country under IFR (simulated or actual) that consists of: (completed)
a distance of at least 250 NM
an instrument approach at each airport
three different kinds of approaches

The plan is to get in the air with a safety pilot to practice a bit then set up for a mock check ride. For now it's review the PTS. Here we go again.....

I went flying tonight in hope of shaking off the rust with my friend and safety pilot Mike. The original plan was to shoot some approaches, holds and in general load up and expand the multi tasking-ability. We started out with some practice area time with "role play" ATC and some basic Instrument flying. A good review of working my scan with primary and back up with some amended clearances, non-published hold and finally shooting the ILS into KMQS, Chester County.

It was good to work out the kinks, getting the flow back and flying safe. How was the approach you ask, it went ok right to about the decision height where I dipped below the glide slope then went two/three dots wide on the localizer. About that time I looked up and had the runway so I continued in for a landing. First night landing in some time and it
showed. I was high and dropped in, not used to that sight picture but got 08R on the ground. Mike and I had dinner and did some review on flight strategies (as I like to call it) working the flow, being consistent and safe.

We finished up and headed back out to the plane for more torture.....I mean practice. We started up 08R and taxied out for my run up and noticed my vacuum gauge not functioning and my low vac warning light was on. I positioned for my run up and everything else checked out ok. The vac came up once rpm's were above 1900. Once rpm's fell below 1900 no suction. A quick in cockpit review/discussion of FAR 91.205b follows.

VFR Day instruments required (A TOMATO FLAMES acronym)

A Airspeed
T Tach
O Oil pressure gauge
M Manifold pressure (n/a)
A Altimeter
T Temp gauge
O Oil pressure gauge
F Fuel gauge
L Landing gear indicator (n/a)
A Anti collision lights
M Magnetic compass
S Safety belts

VFR Night additional requirements

F Fuses (I have breakers)
L Landing Lights (if flying for hire)
A Anti collision lights
P Position lights
S Source of electricity (alternator)

We were good to go and the wx was on our side. It was a short hop back to Wilmington and we were soon off the ground and pointing south. I did bring up the Garmin 496 screen that has the "six pack" as a back up. Once cranking out higher RPMS in flight everything was fine. I contacted Wilmington and as instructed reported left down wind entry at mid field. Adding to the excitement was some carb ice (more on this later)on base to final and we now have a complete training session. A nice landing and roll out to Kilo 4 and we're home. I can't wait for the next flight!


Steve said...

Just wanted to say good luck in finishing up the IR this year, Gary!

Gary said...

Thanks!! I hope to be completed by May.