344.5h – Routine and Night Flying

Flying every day this month really got me in the routine of making decisions, and decisions is all flying is about. Especially interesting were the flights during night time. Night flying is so smooth – much smoother than driving a car – that it gives me a very comforting feeling in an environment that seems…

45h IR – Instrument Rating, done!

So there it was, finally in my hands, the temporary airman certificate. I am an instrument pilot now, it says. But as always, it is just a license to learn and I stand at the very beginning. This spring was quite eventful, as I tried to get the flight training done before I got married….

39.8h IR – I Follow Roads

“Cessna 43L, cleared into Class Bravo airspace at 7’500, follow interstate I-25 to Centennial”, Denver Center told me while flying in simulated instrument conditions. The sky was blue but I had to wear foggles, glasses which restrict the view outside. While trying to fly IFR, with vectors from my instructor, I had to follow a…

38.3h IR – Phase Check

My flight instructor scheduled the examiner for next Wednesday and I was on the final stretch. I arrived at the flight school for a phase check with a senior instructor. First thing I heard when I arrived was: There was a regulation change by the FAA. Regulation Change On December 3rd the FAA changed its…

34.2h IR – Written Exam and Long X-Country

“We don’t have an instrument test scheduled for today,”, the lady at the test center said, “but in that case we schedule one for 15 minutes from now.” At 10.0015 my written test began, thanks to the American can-do attitude, and I noticed there was a whole book with figures I had never seen before….

21.8h IR – Half Way Through

The 20 hour sim-time regulation came just in time and now I am half way through the training. I am looking forward to fly the airplane starting with the next lesson until I am at the 40 hours of simulated instrument time required for the test. I like it how the pieces come together –…

19.6h IR – Trust in Instruments

Can I trust an instrument that is filled with schnaps*? I admit, until now I believed the magnetic compass and turn coordinator were instruments that randomly tumbled around. The magnetic compass has so many errors, I rather only used it in cruise to reset the directional gyro every 15 minutes. During the last flights I…

16.4h IR – When Everything Fails

This double lesson showed clearly what I am capable of and of what I am not. The full panel approach into Aspen went smooth and precise but as soon as I lost my directional gyro on a simple approach I got into trouble. Today’s approaches into six airports were exhausting – on the last approach…

13.2h IR – Any Approach You’d Like

A change in the FAA’s rules affects my flight training. Since last week 20 hours of simulator time, instead of ten, count towards the instrument rating. As soon as I heard about it I contacted my flight school. They checked my links and were convinced. The students can now save a bit more money: In…

9.9h IR – Three Approaches

This time I flew an ILS, VOR and GPS approach – even without becoming airsick. My confidence is back and I am eager to finish this rating within the next two months. I scheduled about six flights now before Christmas and until then I also intend to get the written exam behind me. Today’s flight…

8.6h IR – Airsick Pilot

Motion sickness caught me on my last flight, although it has never been an issue to me before. The turbulent air over Denver, the hothouse effect under the goggles and my brain trying to make sense of the pitching and yawing moments of the aeroplane – it was too much. It happens fast but takes…

7.6h IR – Vacuum Pump Failure

After today’s flight it is all repetition until my oral and practical test. It is impressing how much one can learn in 8.1 hours and a bit of ground school. Now I need 31.9 hours simulated instrument time to meet all requirements for the test. Almost all of it can be done with another student…

224.9h – Advanced Decision-Making

Runways, weather, terrain, wake turbulence and many factors more affect a pilot’s decisions. Some decisions significantly effect the outcome of a flight, but other in-flight decisions go even beyond that. Let’s talk through the insignificant stuff first. Last week I had a wonderful navigation flight which went so well that I was finally confident enough…

211.2h – A Flight Review and an Americano, please

My FAA pilot’s license is current again, after flying three years on an EASA one. I thought it might take a few flights until my logbook would be signed by a flight instructor but it actually took only two hours of briefing and 1.6 hours of flight. Furthermore I have gotten a few job offers…

50hrs Floatplane Course Completed! =)

Wow, I flew 50 hours on floats. I am so happy my smile goes all around my head! I spent more time on floats than on wheels. My total time is 102.2 hours and in 150 hours I’m gonna have my first job! Yay! The only problem is now my lack of money. On my…

46.5h – You Can’t Beat Circuits *video

Tons of landings again. 3.5 hours nonstop up and down. During the last four flights I did more than one hundred landings. That’s totally crazy. My landings became pretty good now but I still didn’t like most of them. Tom’s trick is to fly a perfect arc until you are on the water. In order…

43.0h SES – Beaching And Landings

Some more pictures! I’m so tired after three hours of training… My instructor started now with emergency drills and he sets me a bit more under pressure. Or maybe I set myself more under pressure. Anyways here some pictures of a sandy beach at Pitt Lake: My landings got a lot better. Only one of…

39.8h SES – Hundreds Of Landings

After seven hours intensive training I am not sure how many landings I actually did today. I wrote 60 into my logbook for the last two flights. That’s crazy. There wasn’t much more to do in this weather today. Sometimes I had to avoid clouds at 500 feet (150m). I love playing with the clouds…

30.0h SES – Shooting Landings

The airplane is repaired, I am well rested and ready to shoot hundreds of landings. Tom’s plan is to give me some basic seaplane instruction. We’re going to fly about 6 hours tomorrow. The last days were great to learn some things about aircraft maintenance. At least I know now of which parts the alternator…

29.5h SES – Alternator Failure and Hangartalk

We hopped from wave to wave and I struggled to keep the planing attitude of the airplane. “Higher, lower, make small changes, higher, too high, there we go.”,┬áTom was permanently talking to me until we got airborne. The wind was strong and the takeoff somewhat bumpy. I had my clearance from the tower to follow…