Back in the Aircraft Seat

by Berck

Zach and I flew up to Wiley Post today to drop someone off there. I filed my first IFR flight plan, and flew IFR up there.

It was quite turbulent today, so I was having a hard time of it. First time flying an airplane in a couple of weeks, and today wasn’t an easy day to do it.

I copied my IFR clearance down okay, but had a heck of a time reading it back. The controller reads you an endless string of things which until you get the hang of, is rather hard to elegantly write down and repeat all very quickly.

On the way over to Wiley Post, we filed at 4,000 which ended up being kinda nifty, as the cloud layer was right at 4,000 feet. It was only a broken layer, so we were in and out of clouds. It looked really cool, just flying through them.

I shot the VOR approach into Wiley post, actually did it twice for practice. The first time I was all over the place, busted my MDA and got a low altitude alert from the controller, which is considered bad. It’s hard enough flying a light plane straight and level when you can see outside. Flying the needles in turbulence is rough.

On the way to Wiley Post, Zach and the guy behind in the back were on a headset splitter, so the controller couldn’t really hear Zach very well at all, so I had to make all the radio calls. There’s a lot of talking in IFR flying, and it’s all new sorts of talking that I’m not used to, so that was an added stress.

After dropping the guy off, we flew back to Westheimer, and I shot the localizer approach coming in. Although I lost the needle once, I got back on it before the final approach fix and flew fairly decent approach back in. Zach made all the radio calls which helped out quite a bit.

Flying IFR makes me feel like a real pilot:)

It’s good to be back in a real plane, but I was so very exhausted. 2.1 hours IFR in turbulence is enough to make me sleep well tonight.

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