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 –…

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…

50nm Cross-Country

One of the easy-to-accomplish tasks toward my commercial pilot licence is the cross-country flight time as pilot in command. I need 50hrs and I think I almost got it. Since I work toward a licence the flights have to cover at least 50 nautical miles in a straight line. Funny thing though – Switzerland is…

Blue Skies

During the grey fall days it is hard to believe that there’s blue skies – anywhere above. One lucky Saturday the clouds opened up a bit to let us catch a bit of sunlight. Knowing there weren’t any clouds in the alps, we headed toward them for a $100 fondue. The alps holding back the…

A Wind Called Joran

“At times Joran south of Jura Mountains”, do you know what this means? I did not and that’s why I made a note on my weather briefing to find out after the flight. On descent into the aerodrome of Neuch√Ętel nature answered my question – by simply turning my stomach upside down. Flight Planning For…

Flying Like a Skylark

A letter from the Swiss aviation administration stated that I, a young pilot with 110h total time and 444 landings, indeed am a pilot. I told them before but they would not listen. What they were looking for were four solo circuits – done in Switzerland – and a bill in excess of 200$. The…