Three weeks, eh?

by Berck

My instrument instructor, Zack, is convinced that I’m going to get my instrument rating in three weeks, starting a couple of days ago. I think he’s probably off his rocker, but I’m willing to do my part in making that happen.

I think 4 weeks, best case scenario, but that it will be longer. But maybe not. We’ll see.

Which means I need to study. I left ground school a few minutes early today so I could fly around 10:30. I did pretty good today. Instrument flying is all about small corrections and scanning. Flying solely by reference to six instruments is tricky, because it’s impossible to watch all of them at once. It’s easy if everything is doing what it’s supposed to. But as soon as you notice that you’re 100 feet low, you try to correct, of course. But what you can’t do is keep looking at the altimeter to see how your correct is working. You have to glance at everything else, otherwise you’ll end up slowing down and turning without realizing it.

Mostly it’s a matter of getting the hang of it. I performed almost entirely within tolerances today which is pretty good for my third lesson.

After getting home, I spent the next six hours studying. I can now understand the approach plates I bought. Mostly. I’m supposed to know how to read an approach plate for all kinds of navigational systems I’ve never even heard of. And I thought I knew a lot about navigation. Take, for instance, the “Microwave Landing System,” which appears to be a bit more complex than TV dinners.

And I still can’t figure out what a compass locator co-located with a marker beacon is either.

After I finish learning all these things I don’t know, I’m going to prepare for the instrument written, and hopefully get that out of the way next week. And after that, I’ll probably spend my free time flying endless approaches in microsoft flight sim.

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