And so it begins...

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Ronnie Godfrey, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Ronnie Godfrey

    Ronnie Godfrey Pre-Flight

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    Today, I booked my first two IFR lessons for mid-January. I can't wait to get started! I wanted to see if you guys had any tips so that I could be better-prepared, whether it's things to buy, things to read, or things to practice before I begin my training.

    Here's some of the stuff I'm already doing or have already done:
    • Logged 50 hours of XC time
    • Logged 190 hours total time
    • Used flight following extensively
    • Currently studying for the written using Sheppard Air
    • I have Foreflight Pro Plus with a Stratus
    • I have a really nice PC with Prepar3d installed, the A2A Cherokee 180, and a flight yoke control system
    So, on top of that stuff, do you guys have any advice or general pointers for an instrument noob?
     
  2. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Study hard and get it done. No different than the private. Don't take long breaks between training flights, study ahead of time and after you get the check ride passed make sure you stay current. Most importantly have fun.

    As far as things to buy I think you have spent enough money. If you need anything else it will come out during the training.
     
  3. Ronnie Godfrey

    Ronnie Godfrey Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for the advice! To be fair, a lot of the stuff I have wasn't bought specifically for the instrument, but it sure helps! The only things I've bought for that sole purpose are the Pro Foreflight subscription and the Sheppard Air course (the Stratus was a gift, my PC is mostly for work, and my flight controls are from years ago when flying a real airplane was a far-away dream.)
     
  4. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    A good CFII will focus at the beginning on aircraft control and configuration, and morphing the "3-hour" VFR pilot emergency scan into something sustainable. That's your baseline and only 10-20% of IFR flight. The other 80-90% is about procedures. So it's more about your head than the stick and rudder skill set.

    Biggest problem to watch for (my personal rant on instrument training) - making simple things way too complicated.
     
  5. wayne

    wayne Cleared for Takeoff

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    Practice on the PC with the flight simulator. Learn what you see on the CDI/HSI for VOR and ILS. May not count towards your IFR flight hours, but it will will help you learn to read the instruments better. Low cost and low risk and easy to repeat.
     
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  6. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Schedule lessons at least 2 times per week. Nearing the end of my training, it's been great but a little humbling.
     
  7. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I used the king stuff to study for my IFR written and it worked well for me.

    Also by the time you're done with instruments, you'll probably have most of what you'll need for commercial. Adding the commercial afterward isn't too big of a deal (my instrument and commercial checkrides were 30 days apart) and definitely adds some new skills to your flying.
     
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  8. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Instrument flying is one of the areas where "chair flying" (ergo, mental rehearsal of the flight from chock-to-chock in as granular detail possible) and PC simulators have value.

    As said earlier, the majority of learning to be an instrument pilot is in the realm of procedures, most of which is best learned and practiced at zero knots and 1G (and costs substantially less than running the Hobbs).

    The benefit of chair flying an instrument profile or procedure is that you can pause whenever you're not sure of the correct action, then look up the correct answer, phone a friend, or whatever you need to answer the question. Then, you can re-enter the flight where you left off and continue with the correct path forward.

    IMHO, this is best done with an instrument rated friend or fellow instrument student, but beware of the traps of "blind leading the blind", and convincing yourself that a particular procedure, action, radio call, rule, etc, is correct when it isn't.

    Ideally, after a mentally-rehearsed flight, you can go fly it for real and reinforce what you learned as well as gaining the additional learning of factors that only exist with weight off wheels.
     
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  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    In addition to the practice with the questions, start memorizing the "Memory Aid" sheet they provide. Get to the point where you can start with a blank bit of paper and recreate the items on the Memory Aid sheet 100%.

    I did that for my IFR written years ago and just over 1/2 of the questions I was shown during could be answered from that sheet. That really eased some of the stress/pressure of taking the exam as it answered many of the more difficult questions.
     
  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I would also highly recommend subscribing to www.pilotworkshops.com and purchasing some of their IFR materials ("Real World IFR" for example) and their monthly subscription product "IFR Mastery"

    The quality of their materials is superb and I continue to learn valuable new things each month, and when I review the "Real World" scenarios.
     
  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Some points to make sure the instructor provides thorough coverage on. A few relate to the checkride, but all relate to what you need to know in the heat of the battle.

    In no particular order....
    • Clearances... How to file, how to obtain.
      • Researching what you might be given via FltPlan.com and ForeFlight
      • How to obtain when at an tower controlled airport that provides clearance delivery (and practice this multiple times during training)
      • How to obtain when at an uncontrolled airport (and practice this multiple times during training)
    • Early on, make sure your instructor helps you develop your configuration chart, similar to this one from Peter Dogan and PIC.
    • This is the table I developed during my training for a 1975 C182P
    upload_2018-12-10_9-38-45.png

    • How to properly interpret an instrument approach plate (IAP).
      • Done right, everything you need is on that page. Done sloppily, there are many pilot induced landmines that will cause a world of hurt
    • How to use the GPS Navigator, and how it will try to kill you when programmed incorrectly
      • Learn the correct way to employ Vectors to Final (one or two ways work, others will cause the until erase all the waypoints leaving you in a bad spot when you're super busy.
      • How to suspend waypoint to waypoint progression. Why would you do this, and how do you unsuspend
      • If you have a Garmin 430 or 530, what do you do when your clearance includes a Victor Airway.
      • How do you load an approach
    • Lost Comms
    • How GPS works. When does the unit know to switch between Enroute, Terminal, and Approach modes. What do these different modes mean
      • If you are expecting and RNAV approach and you see a RAIM error or GPS LOI message. What do you do?
    • The different types of VOR checks and how to do them. Then during the flight training, go out and do them.
    • Ice and the different types.
      • What weather products do you use to determine if ice will be encountered during your flight?
    • To learn more about weather (and the items you will be tested on, both written and oral), add the following Advisory Circulars to your reading list
    • AC 00-06B - Aviaiton Weather
    • AC 00-45H - Aviation Weather Services - Change 1
    • Alternate destinations
      • Not only when and why per the rules, but which airport so you don't get snookered because it's covered by the same system keeping you from your primary
    • Cockpit resource management.
      • What items are "must haves"; what items are "nice to have"
      • Where should you put them in the cockpit? It's no good to have the right item in the airplane, but you are unable to find it during the busy time of an approach in nasty weather

    Finally, encourage your instructor that you want to go fly and train in IMC conditions that are safe whenever they occur. Getting some "actual" during training is a valuable thing. So take advantage of it whenever possible.

    In addition to all the supplies, toys, gadgets you listed, add to the list a duck and a cat. Link to the reason why

    Consider adding these books to your library (those with an asterisk are near mandatory)

    1. FAA's Instrument Flying Handbook*
    2. FAA's Instrument Procedures Handbook*
    3. ROD MACHADO'S INSTRUMENT PILOT'S HANDBOOK
    4. Robert Buck's Weather Flying Link: http://a.co/d/4gvzGIK
    5. Bob Gardner's The Complete Advanced https://www.asa2fly.com/The-Complete-Advanced-Pilot-P1978C12.aspx
    6. Bill Kershner's The Instrument Flight Manual: The Instrument Rating & Beyond Link: http://a.co/d/98uScoa
     
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  12. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    subscribed
     
  13. Ronnie Godfrey

    Ronnie Godfrey Pre-Flight

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    Dude, thank you! This is the kind of dirt I'm looking for. Also looking for things to put on the Christmas list--anyone who ever said a pilot is hard to buy for just wasn't trying! Great post and I greatly appreciate the advice.
     
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  14. sonopoa

    sonopoa Pre-Flight

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    get a home pc capable of running xplane 11, and join pilotedge, complete the free training programme and do all their i-ratings.
     
  15. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    Two things that I did with my excellent instructor that you should consider:

    Establish appropriate "numbers" for your aircraft attitude, airspeed, and power settings for various phases of flight: IFR climb, IFR descent, level flight at approach speed, etc. These will make flight transition tasks easy and serve you well in partial panel conditions.

    Insist on flying in actual IFR conditions whenever appropriate and possible.

    Cheers, and good luck with your training. The written is harder than the flight training. You should be overqualified for the checkride by the time your 40 hours is in.
     
  16. hawk25u

    hawk25u Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You are still sane after listening to Martha?