Finally!!!!!! Instrument rated/write up


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Well I say finally because the past couple months have been rough because of scheduling, work, moving, geting out of the military, aircraft Mx etc.

Well Sunday was suppose to be my oral/checkride but it didn't work out that way. Because I am doing a part 141 program my instructor didn't know that I had to do a final progress check prior to the checkride. The designated examiner cannot give the final prog check and conduct the checkride.

So here's the write up:

So the oral was scheduled for 8 am and I show up at the school at 7 am to check weather, last minute studying etc. Well the examiner doesn't show up until just after 9 so I was stressing out the whole time.

So he shows up at 9 and we realize that I cannot take the ride that day unless I complete the final prog check so we just decide to do the oral and then reschedule the ride for today (wednesday). He started out by asking me what I could do now with an instrument rating that I couldn't do with just a PPL. Then we went on to cover:

Preflight preperation-what did I use to check the Wx, different Wx charts and Wx patterns/charts in general

Inspections-what inspections must be current and within how long

VOR-what is a VOT and how to use it, if there isn't a VOT what are my other options for checking the VOR, limits, and how to conduct them

Instruments-what is required for IFR flight regarding instruments, how do they operate, what happens if my pitot-tube becomes clogged on the inlet/drainhole, how would it affect my airspeed indicated, what about the static system, what if the alternate becomes unusable, how can I tell, how will the different instruments act in different scenarios

Recency-what must I have to be current, what if the initial period lapses, what if the grace period lapses, who can be a safety pilot, must they have a medical, must they be instrument rated,

He then had me pull out the flight plan I had made from Honolulu to Kona. He asked me what altitude did I choose, why, do I need an alternate today, must my alternate have an approved IFR procedure, what are the standard mins for an alt, what about t/o requirements for part 91 what are the mins for t/o, what about 121/135 ops, tell me about VFR-on-top, if we are at an uncontrolled airport and call for IFR clearance on the ground and receive a hold for release what does that mean, can we t/o VFR and then receive our clearance once we're airborne, what are our fuel requirements, then the scenario weather questions..what would our alternate be, what about fuel requirements now, we THOROUGHLY covered lost-comms and played the what-if game regarding my flight plan, what if you lost comms here, what if you were cleared to a VORTAC near the airport you intended to land at and still had 20 minutes until your ETA, what would you do

We then started covering some symbols on the IFR en-route low altitude charts and their meanings, and then broke out the instrument approach plates, different types of approaches, symbols on the charts, basic things nothing too complicated

We covered A LOT of information but ALL of it was practical and the things you should know. The oral lasted 4 hours.

Today the checkride was set for 4 pm. I show up just prior to the time to double check Wx, NOTAMS, etc and meet up with him. I head out to do the preflight and he meets me. I call tower to request holding at ALANA which is a common point for the approaches into Honolulu

We do our run-up and I explain EVERYTHING as I go so there isn't any questions as to what I'm doing (it's how I learned in the military when I was crewing on UH-60's).

After holding short of RWY 4R for about 15 minutes because HNL was very busy at the time we finally get our takeoff clearance and t/o.

We get vectors to ALANA and immediately go into holding. Non-standard turns in the pattern which almost messed me up but I figured it out prior to the hold. Begin my hold do my 5 t's and my first inbound leg is exactly 1 min. We kinda laugh about it because he said it couldn't get much better than that. The winds were light which definately helped me out a lot. We then asked to hold for approx 20 mins and a block of altitude so we can do some unusual attitude recoveries full panel/partial panel, those went fine then he told me to request the approach when I was ready, shot the VOR DME or GPS-B with the 14 DME arc into Honolulu. Stayed exactly on 14 DME and then shot the approach fine, asked tower if we could circle to land RWY 8R with a touch and go, got the approval then went missed, proceeded by the RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 4R into HNL, followed by the, ILS RWY 4R.

I was extremely surprised by how well everything was coming together and how I was on course, comms, altitude, etc throughout the checkride. Finally he asks for a full stop and I know that I have passed. We then taxi to parking and shut down and he shakes my hand and says congrats. He said in all his years this was probably the smoothest instrument checkride he has given. He didn't have anything to critique me on and the only flaw I had was one time when I was turning in the pattern, talking to approach control, one hand on the yoke (I'm left handed so I have to cross my right hand over to key the mike, the examiner is too so he knows what it's like) and my assigned altitude was 3k and I went up to 3120 (20 above PTS) but I immediately corrected.

I think that's about everything, I'm happy it's finally over. I think the biggest thing that helped me out was trying to be confident. I think I usually try to learn from my instructors too much as opposed to proving what I know and what I can do so I second guess myself a lot. I tried my best to be as confident as possible today and not second guess what I've been taught and it worked out great. To all of you that have the ride coming up soon...relax, be confident, and PROVE you know how to do what you've been trained to do.

We also did a partial panel approach into HNL and the ride itself was 1.8 on the meter. I'm sure I missed a lot of stuff but I posted what I could remember.

Now, on to Commercial. :)


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Hey man let me be the first to say congrats!:nana2: All the hard studying has finally paid off, i'm sure it was alll worth it. I'm taking my Instrument ride at the end of this month, hope it turns out just like yours, NO it will turn out just like yours!;) Good job and enjoy the new rating!


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Thanks man. It took me a lot longer to get here than I planned on but it finally came together in the end. It just seemed that the aircraft I was flying was always down for maintenance, and not flying for 2 or 3 weeks while trying to complete the instrument course can really set you back.

Anyhow, good luck on your ride at the end of the month. Like I said in my post, relax, be confident, and use the skills you learned throughout the course. The oral was definately a lot harder and more nerve racking than the actual ride. I'm just grateful that the examiner is a really nice guy and it was a really relaxed setting for the oral exam and he didn't get too ridiculous with the material covered. The things he covered with me are the basic things you would expect to be on the exam.

Honestly reading through the ASA oral test prep guide, the guide went into way more detail than I had to on my oral. The examiner also taught me a lot during the oral, so it was also a great learning experience.

Good luck you'll do fine!!!!!


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Congrats! That was my favorite check ride of the two I've taken so far. I've got my commercial coming up soon :panic: < That's me trying to do eights on pylons. haha anyway Enjoy IFR it's great fun.


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congrats on passing...I take my written on Friday, and my checkride next week sometime...if I pass the written! haha...


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Thanks for the post! I'm preparing for an intense instrument rating course beginning next week. Four hours for an instrument oral is unusual, guess he just wanted to kill some time!


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Thanks, yeah 4 hours for an oral is a little much, but he explained a lot of things and did a lot of teaching as well. I was there for 6 hours but as I said he didn't show up until 2 hours after I arrived. Anyhow, good luck to all that have it coming up and thanks for the posts.


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Congrats Islandflyer. Reading your write up of the oral made me realize just how easily some of that stuff can mentally fade away...:eek:


been around forever
Congratulations :nana2::nana2: man, it must be real hard learning to fly on the Islands, I have yet to fly out there (ecept in a glider), but hope to eventually!:D


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Congratulations :nana2::nana2: man, it must be real hard learning to fly on the Islands, I have yet to fly out there (ecept in a glider), but hope to eventually!:D
Thanks, it was nice learning to fly in class B airspace but it had it's pros and cons. I'm afraid there's going to be a lot of change once I start flying on the mainland here at the end of the month.

Cross countries can be a little stressful because there aren't too many suitable landing areas between the islands :)

Views are amazing though!