IFR X-C coming up!

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by spiderweb, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Probably in two or three weeks. (I want to get it in before I go to Taiwan, but this may be wishful thinking.) I'm starting to sweat, even though this one is only 300 n.m. or so, and I did that 3,000 n.m. trip this past summer! My CFI has promised to be passive--oh, except for creating a few of the required "emergencies." He says I'll sweat, but that I should be prepared for it. Wow! Here I am at 300+ hours or so feeling like I did at 80 hours!

    Route is KBWI-KHGR-KCBE-KLNS-KBWI, with approaches at all of those airports. KHGR is towered, and we'll go for a nonprecision there; KCBE is nontowered, and we'll do the LOC-A there; KLNS is towered, and we'll request a VOR approach (maybe the ARC); and back at KBWI, class B, we'll take what they give us!

    The best part about this is that we're probably going to do the flight in the Zlin! I hope my CFII doesn't ask me to fly a nonprecision approach both partial panel AND inverted!
     
  2. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Ben,

    I've been following your training for a couple of years. I really don't understand why you worry so much. It sounds like you have been flying with an excellent CFII and are more prepared for the upcoming check ride that most pilots out there. Follow your advice to your cello students. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. You will do just fine. Good grief, learning out of BWI for crying out loud? :D
     
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  3. Greebo

    Greebo N9017H - C172M (1976)

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    Ben's just a self perfectionist. You remember - if he lands 1" off centerline he feels like he wrecked the plane. ;)

    And I *TOLD* you, Ben, that you were gonna beat me to getting it done. I am very envious - I have got to get my momentum going again with the IFR ticket!

    Looking forward to hearing all about the trip! With Envy! :p
     
  4. jdwatson

    jdwatson Line Up and Wait

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    Ben,
    See if one of the towered airport will give you a PAR approach (turn left, stop turn...). I did that on my long X-C, it was good fun and practice. Nice to know that someone out there can get you down if you're in a near-total instrument failure. And don't neglect your ILSes. ;-)
     
  5. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Thanks Ghery. I think it is "nervous" excitement!
     
  6. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Not so fast, Chuck! I only have three lessons left in March, and I'm hoping that one of them will be that X-C. In April I have a few concerts, and might not be able to fly more than twice. Before the checkride, I like one week of flying every day, to be on form. I might not get that until classes are over in early May. So the race might stil be on, LOL!
     
  7. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Thanks! My CFII has simulated PARs with me. You have to be very trusting!
    The things I have to keep up are the NDB approaches, NDB holds, and DME ARCs. I also have to review PP unusual attitude recoveries.
     
  8. grattonja

    grattonja Line Up and Wait

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    Sounds like a fun long XC. LNS is my primary training ground for practice approaches. The VOR-DME 8 is a nice long arc from the south, with lots of time to get set up. Hope your CFI doesn't lurk here ;) I would also recommend the VOR 31 with procedure turn. It looks like a simple approach but you drop altitude in a hurry and it can be hard to get established inbound. Plus, ATC always gives you the freq change at the wrong moment. If you take the ILS 8 you WILL get vectors, I have never seen anyone get assigned the approach as published.

    Have fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my long XC IFR. Maybe it will be warm enough for you to get some actual during it.

    Cheers. Jim G
     
  9. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    I wouldn't do a PAR as part of my long cross country. Note Part (C) of the quoted FAR below. I don't believe that a PAR satisfies the navigational system requirement.

    (iii) For an instrument—airplane rating, instrument training on cross- country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR, and consists of—

    (A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing;

    (B) An instrument approach at each airport; and

    (C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;
     
  10. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I won't be doing a PAR because I've already done a few simulated ones. As to LNS, it is the one airport where I've done most of the approaches. If I make it that far, I'll be really happy to do whatever I get. Don't tell anyone ( :( ) but I had to do an approach there with an actual instrument failure--the artificial horizon--in IMC! Luckily that day they were at about OVC at 1100 or so, so they were legal VFR.

    Fun, fun, fun! :zap!: :zap!: :zap!:
     
  11. tonyliotta

    tonyliotta Filing Flight Plan

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    Ben:

    Why didn't your 3000nm XC count for the Instrument XC requirement?

    Tony
     
  12. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    The short answer was that it was too early in my studies. But I have to say that the trip taught me a LOT about flying IFR, and cross-countries. I did log all of the time, as well. The last leg was coming back from Dallas to Baltimore, which we did in one day. We actually had headwinds (effect of a hurricane offshore), and it took eight hours! That was the one time in my life that I didn't feel like flying for a couple of days.

    But what a feeling of accomplishment!
     
  13. jdwatson

    jdwatson Line Up and Wait

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    Ben,
    Tell us more about your 3000nm odessey. What route ? Did you file IFR ? Details ! :)
     
  14. glpilot

    glpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good Show Watson! You beat me to the request. YES - I would be interested in hearing about this 3000 NM adventure with a bit more detail. It sounds like an awesome experience.

    I used to follow this person that flew his mooney to each state in the continental U.S. landing at only small airfields and taking pictures along the way. It was http://www.airportmainstreet.com. I think he is writing a book. His website still has many pictures along the way.

    Hearing of your 3000 NM trip just made me remember his website.
     
  15. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Long-@ss description of "the flight"

    Just remember, you asked for it.

    The trip was a trip I wanted to make, to visit family, and to help them, as well. I needed to do it last September. Even though this was a bit early for a long X-C, I thought it would be a learning experience. It was, and then some. My CFII had me do the X-C planning. It took me about half an hour just to figure out which plates and IFR and VFR charts I would need. Those alone took half of a bag!

    First I elicited some help from people on the old AOPA webboard. I got a lot of help in the form of personal emails with suggestions on fuel stops, eateries, etc. Then, I went online to research the same sort of stuff. From that, I found my initial routing with possible stops. It was at this point that I went over the rough plan with my CFII. After he made his comments, I finalized everything, put highlighting on the charts, and made a very long X-C planner.

    The aircraft we chose for the trip was a beautiful 1988 Piper Saratoga, with Mode S, HSI, 430, stormscope, etc. We also brought two handheld GPSs and a handheld radio. All of our planning was conservative: takeoff at least 100 lbs underweight, and land with at least two hours of fuel (which always more than satisfied IFR fuel requirements).

    The first leg was the "short" one. We flew KBWI - KDDH (Morse State, in Bennington, VT). We got just the slightest bit of light IMC in the form of little puffy CU. I had chosen a route around NYC, that my CFII recommended. We visited my mother in Vermont and had a nice little picnic lunch right on the property. I did the VOR approach there (I think it used to be a VOR-A). That was about 350 n.m., as I remember.

    From there, we took off for Dallas. Our route took us over a long, nearly great-circle line to Dallas. We knew we wouldn't get there in one day. We made a fuel stop in - - gosh, I can't remember! I think it was near XUB (Yellow Bud). I remember we did a hold and a localizer approach. After a quick turn, quick pee, and quick coke, we were back in business and on our way to KLHQ where we spent the night in a reasonably good hotel. I did the localizer approach there. The staff at the airport were very friendly, and lent us a car for the night! We had flown about 500 miles from Vermont, and about 800 miles for the day.

    The next morning, we were off to Dallas with a stop in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Watch out for that mountain!) True to its name, Hot Springs was hot as the devil! Climbing out, I got a strong dose of IMC with lots of bumps, showers--the works! I stayed in the clouds for about an hour. Finally, we popped out just before Texarkana. We got direct to KTKI, which we took with pleasure. I did the ILS there, and taxied to parking having flown another 600 miles, or so. My brother and his wife met us, and the family and my CFII had a fine dinner (and BEER!) together. We stayed in Dallas a few days, relaxing.

    Then came the big trip back home--about 1100 n.m. We filed and flew a DP, which was a blast to do. (Believe it or not, class B KBWI doesn't every assign us a DP.) If we didn't have that headwind, we might have been able to do the thing in one shot. But my CFII wanted me to do at least two approaches, anyway. The fun part about this leg was that we got direct to our intermediate stop from about 400 miles out! It was very clear, so my CFII had me fly as closely to the GPS-generated centerline as possible. I had fun trying to keep it within 100 FEET! We stopped at K20, Hazard, Kentucky, where I did the VOR approach. Mountains! Gotta be careful! Very nice folks there lent us a car to go into town for a bite to eat.

    The final leg home was to be the most challenging. The last hour and a half would see us flying in gusty, bumpy conditions, with plenty of rain, and in darkness. This was the real world, man, and it was time to see how I would do. We had filed a STAR, so we knew what to expect. With all those bumps, though, it was really wild at times. Try reading a DP (even Jepp!) with night cockpit lighting, with big bumps and loud rain tearing at the airframe! We were assigned the ILS 15R approach. This time my CFII was nice enough to let me accept VTF! We broke out under the clouds at around 1100' AGL, but we only had about 2 miles vis, with lots of scud. As we continued down the rails, we suddenly got very good visibility at about 600' AGL (don't know why). We landed back home in gusty conditions, but I was EXTREEMELY pumped and happy!

    My wife met us at Signature where we relaxed and chat for a bit. I had learnt so much, and was unspeakably thankful for my teacher's guidance and instruction. We drove my CFII to his house, and then went home for a good dinner. I slept like a baby that night.

    It was after this flight that I started to feel like a real IFR pilot.
     
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  16. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Awww. I got one star? Someone thinks the thread is terrible?
     
  17. Greebo

    Greebo N9017H - C172M (1976)

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    There, I balanced it out. Now the thread has 2 votes and you're average. :)
     
  18. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    LOL! I always knew I was average, and even terrible at a lot of things. But goshdarnit! People like me!
     
  19. Greebo

    Greebo N9017H - C172M (1976)

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    I dunno about that Ben - according to your reputation, You're still an "Unknown Quantity" :-D
     
  20. Keith Lane

    Keith Lane Pattern Altitude

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    I invoke the Holy Name of the Right Reverend Ron Levy!


    RELAX !!!!Enjoy the ride....
    and RELAX!!!:coaster:
     
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  21. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Good point. I wonder if Ron has any plans to visit this board. I'm off the AOPA board.
     
  22. jdwatson

    jdwatson Line Up and Wait

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    Wow Ben ! Nice of your CFII to go along with you. How long were you gone ?
     
  23. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    The whole thing was three days of flying, but we stayed in Dallas a couple of days, so the whole trip was five days.

    I may do it again in May!