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…

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 –…

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…

222.5h – Confident Flying

Yesterday I did my first solo flight in the United States since 2011 and it all went great. Back then, just after my checkride, I did only one flight as a private pilot in this country. The flight to Ocean Shores, WA, was quite eventful. I had direct crosswind on landing, deer on the taxiway,…

5.2h IR – Non Precision GPS Approach

I am having a lot of fun flying on instruments. This time I flew my second ILS precision approach and two GPS non-precision approaches. My learning curve surprised me and I hope I won’t have a learning plateau as I had – and I think every student had – during the PPL course. Saturday night…

NOTAM: Airspace not Classified

The flyout from Switzerland to Greece taught me a lot, and not only flying-wise. I have seen Europe from a different point of view. Astonishing, how unique every country on our continent is. In this context I remember the flight from Croatia to Greece the most. We were cruising above the most beautiful islands of…