35.5h IR – Getting back on Course

The last weeks have thrown me a bit off my plans. I had in mind to finish up my instrument training as soon as I could and then my car broke down and my new roommate’s new used car wasn’t driveable as well. We ended up having no car at all, instead of two. Now I finally made it back to the air. I flew with Mathew, a flight instructor I never met before, because Josh had to cancel. I was nervous as I wasn’t very well prepared. Simply put, my focus was on cars and bills lately. I just hoped to get back on track with this flight lesson.

We flew to Front Range and did the usual session of ILS, Localizer and GPS approaches. All were well within limits, improving on accuracy with every try. Mathew asked me if he should handle the radio communications. I often tend to give away this task, but somehow I always end up saying that I would like to do all the work.

LOC ILS KFTG Mathew
ILS and LOC approach for runway 26 at Front Range, KFTG.

Talking to ATC became more and more natural during my training. I can ask for specific clearances without thinking about it too much. This time I asked Denver Approach for a RNAV (GPS) RWY 28 approach and Centennial Tower for a circling to runway 17L. I had a 20 knot easterly tailwind on the approach and rather landed with that as a crosswind. Fascinating was that the wind at Front Range blew exactly in opposite direction. We were surprised there was no windshear on the way in between. The Cessna 172 is with WAAS equipped so we could fly the LPV, Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance.

GPS 28 KAPA MathewAfter this flight my pilot smile finally returned and I am confident to get the IR done within the next two or three weeks. That would leave me 1 1/2 months time for my CPL before my wedding. Not sure if I can make that, but at least the thought keeps me under pressure. The studying for the oral exam is tough, though. I work through the oral exam guide, there is a lot to know and way too many acronyms to keep in mind. But I will make it – my positive attitude is back. 🙂

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