Snow does FSA diary


'Not a new member'
Well hello folkes and welcome to another intallment of the goings on here at FlightSafety Academy. I've been seeing quite a few instructor trainees getting around the flightline (single stripe-ers) or I guess more aproperately called instructors going through standardisation. Anyhow that means the waiting list to instruct here has gone down somewhat. Also the list of graduatuates and instructors hired has reached 20 or so people and it's only the end of Febuary. Things are looking up.

Anyhow, on to what I'm doing.

Day 1 - Friday, March 5th

Today I had my first lesson of step 4 which was a breif on instrument scans and such. We had covered most of it before so it was really more of a refresher and didn't take too long. Although I was introduced to the A & B patterns, which are practice manovers which are designed to help you improve your instrument scan.

Day 2 - Saturday, March 6th

Today's lesson was done using the microsoft lab. Which I haven't used since way back in private before I even stepped foot in an aircraft. It's fine with me though, your basicly just getting used to scanning and the proceedures of IFR flight, so a detailed simulator like the Frasca isn't really nessicary, plus besides the instructor fee, it's free!
Plus the graphics are actually better lol

After the lesson I went down to checkout the avation display down on the flightline. There was a B-24, B-26, various war birds, classic GA aircraft as well as a display by Piper and FlightSafety. Roughly 30-40 aircraft in total. Plus I got to see the bombers fly over my dorm room several times, what an awsome sight! One of the advantages of living at the airport

Finished up the day with a nice BBQ with fellow students.

Day 3 - Sunday, March 7th

Nothing on today, it's been unsualy warm here the past few days, was 86 yesterday and a low in the high 60s, although I think it's due to go back to the regular low 70s in a few days. It hasn't been humid thankfully though. I think I have a few more Microsofts to go before moving on, either to the Frasca or the Seminole I forget which, but I'll know soon enough.
Day 4 - Monday, March 8th

2nd lesson in the Microsoft lab today. We did practiced instrument patterns and manovers as well as tracking and intercepting VORs and NDBs. All of this getting you used to the manovers and helping you develop your instrument scan.

Day 5 - Tuesday, March 9th

3rd lesson in the Microsoft lab today, about the same as yesterday.

Day 6 - Wednesday, March 10th

Today we did our first instrument Frasca, we covered pretty much the same stuff as in the Microsoft lab but it's somewhat more realistic of course. Also my instructor was able to fail some instruments so we could practivce partial pannel flying and instrument turns in a IMC enviroment.

Also a nice treat for today was a Citation X was sitting on the ramp and the pilots were giving tours for FlightSafety students and personel. We got to sit in the cockpit, kick the tires and even view inside maintance hatches and engine cowlings. Afterwards we were able to attend a free seminar hosted by the Cheif pilot of the corporate flight department who owned the Citation X. He discussed how to get from here to flying corporate and also talked about the internship program (now renamed 'First Officer Program' ) If you don't know about it, it's basicly instructors here can work at one of Flightsafety's simulator training bases, working as instructors / flying right seat in the sims for clients reciving flight training. Pay isn't great but you get free axcess to the multi-million dollar simulators and loggable turbine SIC time. Sounds like a good deal to me!

Day 7 - Thursday, March 11th

Another Frasca today, expanded a little on what we did yesterday and with a little time left over we were able to shoot an IFR approach. So I got to log my first instrument approach, yay!

Day 8 - Friday, March 12th

Today was my first instrument lesson in an actual aircraft. After all the sim lessons you have a good idea of the scan and manovers by now, plus the aircraft is actually easier to fly than the Frasca not to mention more fun! It was a beautiful day, not that I got to see much of it with the foggles on above 400ft!
Did some pattern manovers, as well as tracking and intercepting. Also did some steep turns before it was time to return. My instructor 'vectored' me onto the approach path and just before the DH the foggles came off, it's still pretty cool to see that runway in frount of you when you go visual, even though we weren't really flying an instrument approach this time.

Day 9 - Saturday, March 13th

No flying today. I complain a little about not being able to fly on Saturday, but on the other hand now that my instructor has enough students he no longer works his part time day job on Mondays and Tuesdays so in reality I'm gaining 2 extra flying days for the one lost, so I can't really complain if my instructor wants the ocanisonal Saturday off. And besides I'd say only about 20% of the instructors actually fly on Saturdays anyhow. Plus I don't think I'm allowed to start 4B before finishing instrument ground school anyhow and I don't start that until next week. But I'll have to double check on that.

Day 10 - Sunday, March 14th

Not much happening today, just trying to finish my chapter reading for instrument before tommarow when the ground school actually starts. People have different study methods but I find if I read ahead, then when the actual lesson comes around it's a like a review and a good time to ask questions on anything your unsure about. Least that what works well for me.

Till next time folkes...
Be sure to work hard in instrument ground school. They are going to throw alot at you and there's alot to know. If you're going to be a professional pilot, you've got to be a solid instrument pilot. For me, that was my most challenging and personally rewarding rating. Have fun and dont fear the NDB hold at Satellite! The IFR XC is a blast as well....especially if you're headed to Key West.
>Be sure to work hard in instrument ground school.

Wilco and thanks for the comments, it's nice to know some people read this.

Crikey! I haven't posted in over a week and the masses are getting restless! :grin My roommate went away for a week so I've probably been doing a bit too much walking around nude and not enough posting! Well anyhow, here's what's been going on, enjoy!

Day 11 - Monday, March 15th

First day of instrument ground today, at a none too pleasant 8am, but what can you do... We started off by going over how to read IFR charts today.

Another flight in the Seminole this afternoon, more pattern b, VS1, tracking and intercepting VORs and NDBs, plus some partial panel flying.

Day 12 - Tuesday, March 16th

More on charts today, although more of a focus on approach and departure charts, plus learning how an ILS works.

Back in the Frasca this afternoon due to crummy weather (another advantage of the frasca, in there the cellings always low
) We did pattern A & B, tracking and intercepting as with a little time left, did the full VOR 11R approach into VRB. Although the Frasca isn't as fun as real flying, it does sharpen your instrument flying skills, as well as having the advantages of being able to slew and fail instruments, not to mention a lack of lengthy pre flight and run ups.

Day 13 - Wednesday, March 17th

More charts in ground school today, learnt about SIDs and STARs.

No flying today.

Day 14 - Thursday, March 18th

Learnt about instrument flying today, as in the flying by reference to instruments part. Scan techniques, things to do and not do etc, also touched a bit on partial panel flying.

Had a flight in the Seminole today, reviewed everything again, pattern work, tracking and intercepting etc Also had a 'stan' CFI gimini with us today. First time he's been back since he got hired on back in mid 2002, good to see the list is getting shorter.

Day 15 - Friday, March 19th

Today we started on FARs, some are review from previous classes and some new material, but you need to know them all anyhow, so the review is good.

Another Frasca today, did the usual manovers plus a NDB and a VOR DME arc approachs into Vero. Quite fun actually, and I'm getting used to not being able to see out the 'virtual windscreen'

Day 16 - Saturday, March 20th

No flying today, just some studying for the upcoming test on Monday, oh and some deserved R&R, the weekend is that so much sweeter after having a full week of studying, flying and ground school.

Day 17 - Sunday, March 21st

Another chill out day, didn't study a whole lot today as I felt I had a good grasp on things.

Day 18 - Monday, March 22nd

Well ground school has switched to 1pm this week so I did my flying in the morning, just another frasca, did all the usual stuff today but for approaches which is technically skipping ahead anyhow.

Test went ok, got a respectable 97. The test was mostly fill in the blank with a few multi-choice and short answer questions, I think I got the east west mag acceleration errors the wrong way around, woops. After the test and a short break, it was back into FARs.

Day 19 - Tuesday, March 23rd

This morning I had a breif with my instructor just to go over the instrument scan techniques and a run down on how the instrument work inside. I knew most of the material so it was more a review and made for a 'breif' breif

More on FARs in ground school today, learn't stuff like lost com proceedures, VFR on top (ah now I get it!) and how to file a IFR flight plan among other things.

That's it for now folkes, I should be having my step 4a stage check soon, so after that I'll be doing some real IFR flying, maybe even in the clouds!
I should be having my step 4a stage check soon, so after that I'll be doing some real IFR flying, maybe even in the clouds!

[/ QUOTE ]
Isn't it funny that now you're hoping for "bad" weather?? hehe. Glad to hear things are going well for you. Don't forget to take a little time of here and there to blow off some steam!

Yeah another good thing about bad weather, you have the training areas to yourself! Today it was 19kts gusting 27kts with rain showers and there was next to no body in the training areas, least not over the ocean.
Day 20 - Wednesday, March 24th

Well no flying today, just waiting for my stage check, seems there is a shortage of check pilots lately so I might have to wait a few days.

More FARs in ground school this afternoon, lost com procedures, vor checks etc

Day 21 - Thursday, March 25th

Today we learnt more FARs and plus learnt about the GPS, a little about GPS in general but more on how the Garmin 430 works, which is the equipment we have in the Seminoles. Actually having FS2004 is handy since the GPS they use (Garmin 400?) is simular. Although there is a purpose built training program for it available in the libary which you can play around with to get used to it.

Day 22 - Friday, March 26th

Did weather in ground school this afternoon, only did 2 hours since we already have 16 some hours of weather classes under our belt at this stage, there's only so much to talk about. We talked mainly about weather conditions 'unique' to IFR flying, such as embedded thunderstorms and icing.

Went bowling with fellow students tonight.

Day 23 - Saturday, March 27th

Nothing on today, just a relaxing Saturday.

Day 24 - Sunday, March 28th

Ditto, see Saturday...

Day 25 - Monday, March 29th - 4a Stage Check

Ah, finally got my stage check scheduled for this morning. I got there early to get weather and weight and ballance done. Oral went for about an hour, covered operation, errors and construction of various instruments. Discussed instrument scan techniques as well as required IFR equipment and related checks. Went out and preflighted the plane as it was begining to rain and once we got the engines started it really began to come down. Completed the pre-taxi checks and called tower for a wx advisory since the ATIS hadn't been updated yet, they said the field was IFR so we had to shut it down and go back inside and wait for it to clear up. Would have been ok if it was a 4b flight, but in 4a your still flying VFR, just under hood.

Anyhow, 30mins later it had cleared up enough for us to leave. Headed out, did some instrument pattern work, instructor having to ocasionally take the controls to keep us out of the clouds. Did partial panel, compass turns, unusall attitude recovery and it was time to come back home. Flew home without foggles and was uneventful except for a go around on final due to an aircraft in front of us 'taking it's sweet time' clearing the runway
Tower told us to do a 360 and land, which was interesting, I kinda felt like the skyjumping Caravan pilot up in Valkaria coming in to land. (any of your who've seen this guy's approaches will know what I mean) Did ok, excipt getting a little confused with a ADF tracking intercept (quickly resolved) all else was fine and I passed ok, not sure of the score as yet.

Well from one test to another, I had about 45mins for lunch and a quick review before my ground school test. It was around 70 questions and I only got 4 wrong, 2 being stupid mistakes but I still got 94%, not bad. After the test we had more ground school, on to our last topic of IFR flight planning, which thus far actually seems a bit easier than VFR flight planning because you just use predetrimed routes and there's no visual checkpoints to find. And by using airways the distances are already calculated for you, only thing you need to worry about now is if you need an alternate or not.

Well almost done with ground school and starting 4b tommarow, I'll let you know how it all goes next post...
Day 26 - Tuesday, March 30th

Well had a breif for my first lesson of 4b, just went over some things like clearances and general IFR proceedures, a good review for tommarow's final.

Day 27 - Wednesday, March 31st

Had another microsoft lap with my instructor this morning, first of 3 for this step. This time we did some approaches and practiced IFR radio terminology.

Had my final for instrument ground this afternoon, didn't go too bad, I got an 93. It was all based on multi-choice FAA questions, in a way a practice run for the actual FAA test on Friday.

Day 28 - Thursday, April 1st

Another microsoft lap this morning followed by a day of revision for tommarow's FAA test. Did more approaches in the lab.

Day 29 - Friday, April 2nd

Took the FAA final this morning, I was a little disapointed on my preformance having only gotten a 83, first time I've scored below 90 on anything. I didn't study the gliem questions a whole lot because I belive in knowing the content rather than memorising the answers, however some of the questions were worded strange and I was unsure in some instances exsactly what the question was asking. So in that respect it's not a bad idea to study the Gliem, not so much to memorise the answers but rather to get an idea just what the heck they're talking about and get a feel how the questions are worded. I plan to take the CFII and CGI tests next week (same question base just less questions) so I think I'll be doing a bit more revision of the gliem this time around and see if I can get my score back into the 90s

Day 30 - Saturday, April 3rd

Took today off, I needed a rest after this week's workload.

Day 31 - Sunday, April 4th

More studying the Gliem today, it's quite useful the explinations of the correct answers it gives and I'm begining to get a feel of what the questions are asking exsactly.
Day 32 - Monday, April 5th

Well out of one simulator and into another, got another Frasca this morning, just shot some approaches and practiced radio calls.

Day 33 - Tuesday, April 6th

Another EARLY Frasca this morning, 7:30am sheesh! Which seemed a little odd since I was the only lesson my instructor had for today, how they assign flight times has got me stumped.
Anyhow, more approaches, DME arc, ILS etc today, also more on radio calls so I'll be ready for tommarow's flight.

Day 34 - Wednesday, April 7th

Well took my CFII FAA exam this morning, and the studying seemed to help cause I got a 92 this time, not too bad. This doesn't mean I'm really qualified at anything, it just means it will save me from having to do it later.

Ah had my first REAL IFR flight today, as in we were actually flying on an IFR flight plan, although we didn't get to fly through any clouds
(well at least I don't think we did, I was under the hood most of the time anyhow
) First impressions, your really busy flying IFR! Especially on such a short flight from Vero Beach to Melbourne (about 10mins away) Your getting vectored around, then you breif your approach and then as soon as your done doing that your being vectored around again to the approach and then finally doing the approach all while talking to ATC, getting handed off and copying missed and holding instructions! Thew! Never a dull moment! I think I did fairly well but I had my instructor take a few of the radio calls for me, cause I was so focused on reading aproach charts and flying the aircraft by reference to instruments, setting timers etc that I completely missed whatever the controller was saying other than I heard our call sign in there somewhere!
No doubt I'll improve with practice and as I start to get a handle on things. Overall it was quite fun though, being able to fly from take-off to touchdown with no visual references above 400ft and do it sucessfully is really quite cool. Plus not to mention your not treated like a nobody by ATC if your flying IFR (see MIA CTR

Day 35 - Thursday, April 8th

Well today I took my IGI exam, pretty much like yesterday's exam excipt there's some helocopter questions thrown in there for good measure
I must have guessed correctly on those few helo questions because I got a 94, a personal best as far as FAA exams go. My instuctor's gone away for easter for about a week, so that and the holidays I probably won't be doing a great deal of flying until he get's back. I do have another instructor's number incase I get the urge, but right now I feel like I could do with a short break.
Day 36 - Friday, April 9th

Well my instructor has gone away for easter so I had a frasca with another instructor today. Did a few approaches, engine failure, partial panel approaches etc.

Day 37 - Saturday, April 10th

I WAS planning on flying today but due to unforseen circumstances I was stuck out on a pier 'fishing' until 3am or so, so I wisely decided to move it to another day and go back to bed!

Day 38 - Sunday, April 11th

Not much to report today, although got rather rainy tonight, unsure about the flying prospects for tommrow, even IFR pilots know not to mess with thunderstorms!

Day 39 - Monday, April 12th

A rather crummy, rainy, thundery day today, just as well my 'tempo' instructor couldn't fly today.

Day 40 - Tuesday, April 13th

Well had my 2nd IFR flight today, there were some promising low ceilings in the morning but they had unfortunatly lifted to 4000ft or so by the afternoon when we flew. There went my chances for some actual IMC although we did get to fly through A cloud while in a hold, maybe I can log .001 hrs ?
Flying was good despite the strong winds and airmet tango for the area, although the winds did result in a 30deg correction angle in the hold!
I managed to fly the aircraft and approaches well, although I'm still a little slow on the radio, but I guess there's a reason why it goes 'aviate, navagate then comunicate'
Also aparently I was scheduled for my last GAT today, but since I wasn't on the GAT schedule for this week I guess I wrongly assumed that I wouldn't be on this week. I hadn't checked the daily schedule since I knew I would be doing a non scheduled flight with my instructor today. A phone call would have been nice.

I got to catch up with 'CLR4ILS' this evening over some pizza and a little instrument study. He's back in vero and planning to interview. I'm glad he steered me in the right direction in my dicision to attend FlightSafety, who knows what I'd be doing now if he hadn't, most likely not under budget or ahead of schedule like I am here!

Day 41 - Wednesday, April 14th

Well my instructor got back late last night as wasn't able to fly with me today but we should be going up tommarow. Just as well I guess, it's been windy as heck today, last time I checked it was 20 gusting 29kts! and it's bringing the wind-chill into the 60's, god forbid I had to put on long pants today!
Hey gang, wow I hadn't realised I had gone over a week without posting, well here you go!

Day 42 - Thursday, April 15th

Had another IFR flight with my instructor today. Miami radar was down so we had to wait about 10 mins before getting a clearance. Once we did get to take off we were told to report everything, report 3000, 4000, 5000, report the VOR etc Plus it was one of the rare times we were actually told to fly to the VOR instread of getting vectors upto Melbourne. We had a close call too, as we were turning up V3 after crossing the VOR a red Cessna twin who obviously wasn't flying IFR just about ran into us from behind!
He must have been pretty fast because he took off behind us and we were climbing out around 1000fpm at 110kts. I actually didn't see him until he had flown over us cause I was under the foggles, we notified center and they simply said they couldn't see anything and he wasn't talking to them. *shrugs* Anyhow, once we got close to Melbounre we were back on the radar and all was normal again. We flew upto TIX because the winds were favoring the 36 ILS, afterwards we came back to shoot some approaches at Melbounre and then back at Vero. Despite calling tower on a 10nm final, there was some slow poke who turned final in front of us causing us to make a go around. We were flying as slow as possible and making s-turns but it was no use. I wonder how many Learjets they make go around? Not many methinks

Day 43 - Friday, April 16th

No flying today, my instructor being on a near all day cross country with another student.

Day 44 - Saturday, April 17th

No fly today.

Day 45 - Sunday, April 18th


Day 46 - Monday, April 19th

No flying today but I did have CRM for 6hrs today, watched videos, roleplayed, had discussions, was interesting. Makes you apreciate how much you need to really read your approach plates carefully and make sure to tune in the correct frequencies.

Day 47 - Tuesday, April 20th

Had a 2hr Frasca today, flew some approaches, single engine and partial pannel, practiced unusal attitude recoverys with both full and partial panel.

Day 48 - Wednesday, April 21st

Had my first IFR cross country today, flew upto Orlando Exec and then to Daytona before flying back home. Things seem to go much smoother in class B airspace when your on an IFR plan. Also got my first bit of actual, only 0.1 as we only flew through scattered clouds for a short while. Also the altitudes they assign is kinda funky, oppsite of normal east west altitides in the area daytona approach covers, we had gotten our filed altitude we might have gotten more actual, but oh well.

Day 49 - Thursday, April 22nd

Had another Frasca today, this wasn't a lesson but more a catch up as we still had an hour and a bit to make up from step 2, but it was much more benifical using it shooting approaches than flying VFR, in the frasca your view outside is about as good as a tank driver's!

Day 50 - Friday, April 23rd

My instructor is full up today again, he's been flying 9am to 11pm the past few days, money must be good but exhausting! It's almost hard to belive when I first got here he only had one student and a part time job to make ends meet, now he's working 14hr days and having trouble fitting everyone in! Plus a lot of the new instructors arn't MEI certified so the remaining instructors who are are really feeling the increased workload. They had been been transfering SE students to the non MEI instructors as well to help even it out a little.

Although I couldn't really fly today anyhow because I had the 2nd part of CRM today, more same kinda stuff as on Monday but today I got to FLY THE SAAB 2000 Lvl D SIM!
Since we only had 8 people the instructor had us go in there for a little 'glass cockpit' familarisation! It was totatly sweet!
We took turns in crews of 2 and each did a quick lap around the pattern at SFO. Even with the motion turned off there is a great feeling of actually moving just due to the wide wrap around visuals. The plane is fast, but the controls felt heavy and slugish, quite a bit different from a light twin! I had no problems reading the CRTs and the autopilot wasn't totatly foregn thanks to my hours of playing around with flight sims on the computer. My landing was a little hard but it wasn't really what you could have called an established approach. Overall, I think not bad for my first attempt at flying a large turboprop. I think once I get my instrument I get another 30min lesson in it, so I'll be looking forward to that!

After CRM and flying the Saab I went to a seminar hosted by an ASA CRJ FO who was in the first class to graduate from FlightSafety's ASA direct program 4 years ago. He went from 0 hours to flying a CRJ in a little over a year, as he put it, durring his first take-off roll, he had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming! He told us about the training he had to do, what it's like going from a light twin to a light jet and discussed schdules and life as a regional pilot. I was suprised there wasn't more people there as it was really informative to speak to a past FSA student who had 'made it' and is about to upgrade to Captain next month. Those of you who didn't go really missed out on a great opertunity!

Thew, TGIF!

Day 51 - Saturday, April 24th

No flying today, just relaxing a bit, plus sleeping in was nice for a change.

Day 52 - Sunday, April 25th

More relaxing today, looks like I won't be on for tommarow either but hopefully on Tuesday as this is my last flight before my checkrides. I was hopeing to get into the CFI ground school next month but it looks like it will have to wait till June. I'll still be able to get my comerical single add next month none the less, plus it will be another new aircraft to learn, the Arrow! Assuming I don't get too many delays as far as waiting for a checkride and finishing my step 5 I should have my multi comerical in a few weeks.
No flying today but I did have CRM for 6hrs today, watched videos, roleplayed, had discussions, was interesting. Makes you apreciate how much you need to really read your approach plates carefully and make sure to tune in the correct frequencies.

[/ QUOTE ]

Did you do the moon excercise yet?

-A former "Moon Boy"
Ah yeah, did that one too! For those of you who don't know your given a list of 15 items and have to list them from most to least importaint for a 200 mile space walk from your crashed space craft to the moon base. Here's a hint, a compass and matches are pretty useless on the moon!
Day 53 - Monday, April 26th

No flying today, just as well, not the best weather anyhow.

Day 54 - Tuesday, April 27th

Had my last lesson for instrument this evening. It wa a 4hr cross country, I had planned to go down to Miami but there was a large line of thunderstorms going all down the coast so we decided to goto Ft Myres and Tampa instead.

Oh, and I also had my last GAT today. Did some spins in IMC among other things, quite instresting, and having a real live thunderstorm going on outside just added to the realism

The thunderstorms had passed by the time we decided to leave, however everyone else seemed content to stay on the ground, I could only see 3 or 4 other parking spaces vacant on the ramp and there was no traffic in the pattern whatsoever. There was a convective sigmet (warning area for thunderstorms) that just cliped our path to Ft Myres, but after reviewing the radar we decided it would most likely have moved on by the time we got there. We were hopeing to actually get some IMC but apart from a bit of rain here and there we were several thousand feet below the ceiling and vis was around 20sm! Darn that good weather! aggh
Anyhow, stopped for gas in Ft Myres, got a 'tub' of microwave soup and a drink for the vending machine for dinner, filed a flight plan to Tampa and back to Vero and then headed off under the dark of night. We got to fly a true loc approach into tampa which was kinda cool not having done one before, not a lot different for a back course really. After a touch and go it was back to Vero, which was uncontroeld at this hour 11pm. A good flight all in all, I really need to remember to start the timer on those approaches however!

Day 55 - Wednesday, April 28th

Well I'm just waiting for my mock checkride now, did a little study and planned my IFR route.

Day 56 - Thursday, April 29th

Still waiting...

Day 57 - Friday, April 30th

Ok, I was sure I wouldn;'t have my mock until next week because they are backed up somewhat but I got in after all. Makes me wish I had done more study as I was planning on doing a fair bit this weekend. Anyhow, it went ok excipt I forgot about needing to file an alternate when flying to an airport without an instrument approach, that and a few other small things like forgeting to bring my PTS, doh! Anyhow I went over that stuff quickly with my instructor today and I'm signed up for the flight part of the mock for next week sometime and we'll cover the small bit I missed then. It worked out well because I was only scheduled for the oral part today anyhow. Methinks I'll go do some studying with CLR4ILS this weekend, will do us both good!
Day 58 - Saturday, May 1st

Little study here, little tv here

Day 59 - Sunday, May 2nd

Waiting for mock checkride...

Day 60 - Monday, May 3rd

Waiting for mock checkride...

Day 61 - Tueday, May 4th

Ah finally I get my mock checkride for instrument, although this is the flying portion as I had already done the mock oral. Well, where do begin? The flight was totally crazy! Things started off well but it all began with having to burn off the mags durring the run up twice, we took off and did steep turns, unusal attitudes recovery and tracking and intercepting all under VFR, then we went to pick up our IFR clearance in the air and were told we would have to wait 15mins or so to pick it up, so we circled around until getting clearance, then we got vectored around in the clouds for another 10-15mins before we could be granted an approach into Ft Perice, shot a ILS and then a NDB without much problem although I didn't know I could get DME info on the ILS from the GPS, no biggie however. Then went back to Vero and did a hold, but only got the holding clearance as I was almost over the VOR so in my hase I almost did the wrong entry.Then we where vectored to do the VOR approach, got vectored around for 10mins and then got the approach, did that ok then got vectored around for the GPS approach, more waiting, finally get the approach and about 5miles out they make us abort it so a jet can get in agh! Anyhow finally did our circle to land (11R is closed) and came in to the ramp. Turns out I went down to the streight in MDA and not the circleing MDA (from habbit I guess I've never done a circle to land approach at vero before.) 440ft vs 580ft and anytime you go below the MDA that a fail
Oh and this whole flight took a total of 2.7hrs! an hour of that was actual. My brain was fried by the time we got out of the airplane, it was non stop vectoring in IMC, very busy controlers and crouded airspace that did it. I must admit I was kinda disapointed in myself as I've always gotten in the 90s in the past but then again I guess that's why there's a mock checkride. Also I don't know why we went to St Lucie instead of Melbounre, there's much less traffic and Daytona approach is far more helpful and accommodating.

However there is one thing that is kinda annoying and both I and my instructor agree on. The mock checkride is still 'technically' a lesson, however very little learning or teaching occurs. Decending to the wrong MDA is a big boo boo but easly corrected, it's not like I was unable to do it, I just forgot. So I already had learned my lesson so to say, but I still had to go shoot another approach with my instructor, decending to the circling mins this time which really seemed like a waste of time since we both knew I was able to do it. And then on top of that I have to do that part of the mock again, so that's another 2hrs of flying or so or in money terms an extra $500 to 'solve' a problem which in my opinion could have been solved with perhaps an extra 10-15mins flying durring the mock. That also means waiting possibly another week while I sit around idle, there's only so many times you can study the same materal. Hopefully my actual checkride will follow shortly after my mock as they seem to be good at doing.

Day 62 - Wednesday, May 5th

Had a make up flight with my instructor, went flawlessly as predicted.

Day 63 - Thursday, May 6th

Waiting for mock again...

Day 64 - Friday, May 7th

Waiting for mock...

Day 65 - Saturday, May 8th

Waiting for mock...

Day 66 - Sunday, May 9th

Well looking like I'm on for tommarow, shouldn't be more than an approach or two and then it's on to the real checkride. I was hoping to get my comerical single add done this month but with this setback I'm not sure if I'll have time before next month's CFI class. We'll see...
Day 67 - Monday, May 10th

Well I had my mock today, we just went up and did two approachs into Vero and it went ok so I passed, so it's on to the real deal next!

Day 68 - Tuesday, May 11th

Well nothing on today, mainly because it was too late to sign me up for today by the time I finished my mock yesterday but I found out I'm on for tommarow, did some studying tonight and tried to catch anything I may have missed.

Day 69 - Wednesday, May 12th - Final Checkride

Well today's the big day, I must admit I had a hard time sleeping last night, I haven't been this worried about a checkride since my pre-solo stagecheck. I don't know if it's me or just that instrument is quite challenging but I haven't been living up to my high standards I have acomplised in the past. I think it's partialy flying to and from two airports so close together that you really don't have any time to spair and really have to be on the ball, unlike a cross country where you have at very least 15mins or so from getting the ATIS to get yourself ready. I've been flying the airplane ok and I have good knowledge of instrument flying and proceedures, but in the heat of the moment between getting vectored around, breifing approaches, talking to ATC and tuning radios etc I've been missing out on small, but importaint things, like starting timers etc Anyhow on to how it went.

Well the oral part went for about 2hrs, and it used to be the oral that was covered in 4a wouldn't be asked again in 4b but aparely that changed recently and I had to answer things like instrument construction and aircraft systems that I hadn't prepared for. I came out fairly well but not as well as if I had know I needed to study for it. The last minute study I did last night with a friend certianly helped however. I got a 90 for the oral.

On to the flight, the flight started off well, although when it came to doing steep turns, the aircraft was close to max weight (we had a gemini) and the usual power settings just wouldn't work, but 3rd times the charm and i nailed it. That was followed by some unusal attititude recovery manovers. I then got an NDB hold, which took me a few rounds to get properly extablised as I was fine tuning the wind correction angles. We then did the NDB approach and long and behold i forgot the timer, fortunatly however I cought my mistake and went around and hence avoiding what could have turned out to be a fail. We then did an ILS approach which was also single engine, again having such a heavy aircraft was kinding messing with the usual power settings and such and there was a bit of deviation going on in the first half of the approach but it settled down as we got closer to the runway. We then headed back to Vero for the final VOR approach. Was going ok but admist doing the final check and reporting the VOR I had forgotten to switch to the final approach course, fortunatly I realised my mistake and corrected the situation. Admist the last min corrections I also went below the MDA slightly but again quickly corrected (it was the turbulance, I sware!
hey it was 15G22kts!) Anyhow after all that I was sure I had blown it and was feeling pretty ticked off at myself but to my suprise technically I was still within PTS on everything because I realised and corrected my mistakes which was my saving grace although I'm sure my otherwise good flying and strong oral preformance helped to influance the decision somewhat. I didn't get a great score but I passed which was such a relief I thought I was about to turn into a pile of jello as the stress just flowed out!

Well there you have it folkes, I got my instrument ticket! But I'll definatly be looking forward to getting some more instrument practice in step 5 with my instructor cause as they say, practice makes perfect!

I'll post my step 5 adventures in another post, but feel free to leave any comments or questions for me here. (or PM me!)
Wait until you see how hard it is to make yourself look outside now! It's been so long during the instrument that you just want to stare at the guages....instead of looking outside
CONGRATULATIONS on your instrument ride. Do not worry, the instrument ride is notorious for being the lowest score. It usually has to do with STRESS/NERVES. After my instrument ride I rented a plane and flew some approaches solo. Didn't forget a thing or miss a call. I recommend it. No one there to rely on but yourself. When the crutch of the CFII sitting next to you is gone, it is amazing how your knowledge and training take over.

Anyhoooo, congrats...ILS
A gemini on a checkride?

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That's what I wondered. When I was there my instructor wouldn't allow a gemini for my first lesson of a stage, or the mock checkride. I never found them distracting, but she said that I didn't need any distractions. I haven't ever heard of anyone ever riding along for a checkride.

But, that was two years ago.