Almost 34 Hours So Far........


Right now I'm trying to figure out if I'm on the edge of catching a cold/flu, but other than that I'm keeping well <grin>.

Instrument instruction is moving right along. I currently have approximately 34 hours of instrument time (foggles) and a 'whopping' .9 hours of actual IMC. As far as the 'book work', I've been using multiple training aids which include the Sporty's Instrument Instruction DVDs, King Instrument written DVD's (9 DVD set), the govt. Instrument book (actually quite good), Rod Machado Instrument book, Kershner's instrument book and a few others. Of the DVD Instrument sets I have to say that I've gleaned a great deal more information (without being put to sleep) with the King set than with the Sporty's. I was actually a little disappointed with the Sporty's DVD instrument course, because their seemed to be (now that I'm comparing against the King Instrument course) not as 'complete' or comprehensive as the King DVD's are. I've been through the King DVD's once already and am going back through all of them again. If it sounds like I'm using lots of training sources/aids it is only because I am find I learn best if I expose myself to the same/similar information in a variety of different ways. The video instruction seems to complement and reinforce my book reading (and visa versa). Though I know it really isn't necessary, I've also recently purchased some software to train in Morse code. I'm not looking to be a ham operator <grin> but just thought it might be fun to be able to recognize the Morse identifiers by sound as opposed to having to match the dots 'n dashes that appear on the enroute chart and approach chart.

Last week's lesson, I did a short cross-country & instrument approach into Napa followed by an instrument approach into CCR. Today, we'll be doing another short cross-country flight to SAC doing two approaches; VOR and ILS, then on the way back we'll do an ILS approach into LVK (which I've done before, already). The 'long' cross-country we'll be going to San Luis Obispo and that won't be 'till next week.

In addition to all the other regular training, at some point we'll be practicing (looking at the syllabus that my instructor gave me when I started, back in May) night instrument approaches which will include a lights out landing and dark runway landing (something I've done,,, in a different vein of course,,, for my basic ticket ((of course, not as an instrument approach))).

I'm enjoying the challenge of all the learning. Its' funny how the instrument study has filled in some 'blanks' in my private pilot knowledge. For instance, while I 'understood' on a very cursory level what those Class E 'extensions' were around 'uncontrolled airports', it really wasn't until I began my instrument instruction that I truly understood what they were for.

I'm also becoming less apprehensive about talking to Norcal. Initially there were the normal butterflies which would disconnect my brain from my mouth when I was pressing the PTT switch when Norcal was on the other side. The recent short cross-country gave me LOTS of opportunity to deal with approach control.

My instructor has done a great job of gradually adding to my workload. Naturally, when I was initially doing approaches he took up the radio work so that I wouldn't be trying to assimilate several different new skills all at once; but now, I am doing it all,,,, and (more often than not) amazed at how much I can 'handle' multiple tasks that would have been/seemed impossible when I began my instrument work.

I certainly have a lot to develop and polish, but I am quite pleased with my progress from when I started back in May.


Good Flights!!!

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