56 Hours so far!!!

Wow!  I just realized that it has been awhile since I made an entry.  As you can probably glean from the title I have 56 hours total instrument time.  Last week we were unable to fly and had to opt for a ground session since President Bush was visiting the area so the TFR's (i.e. Temporary Flight Restrictions), blanketed the airspace of my home airport throughout the time for my instrument lesson.  So we did some practice for the oral exam portion of the 'upcoming' checkride.  My instructor also told me last week that I should make a list of available/unavailable dates so that we could schedule time for the checkride.  He said we'd settle on a date sometime within the next couple of lessons.

By the way, I took my Instrument Written exam, a week or so ago, and scored 90% !!!  I was pretty happy.  My instructor pointed out to me that it might also be in my interest to take the CFI Instrument Written exam since the test material came from the same bank of questions I already studied for.  Even though I can't imagine wanting to go for my CFI-Instrument Rating,,, ya never know,,, so I went ahead and took the exam and got another 90%.

My work is cut out for me... I have to polish up for the Instrument Checkride and after passing that, I'll immediately begin my Commercial Certificate training (will be considerably less time to complete that the Instrument Rating).  Basically, the Commercial Certificate will involve 10 hours of flying in a 'complex' airplane (i.e., one with retractable landing gear and constant speed prop) and then learning to perform a handful of, so-called, high-performance maneuvers; Chandelle, Turns on pylons, turns around pylons, steep spirals, lazy eights, etc..  It will also involve more in-depth study of systems.  The interesting part is that during the Commercial Checkride, the applicant is required to verbally describe the maneuver as it is being performed.  

Immediately after passing my Commercial checkride, I'll then begin my training for CFI (Certified Flight Instructor).  During my CFI training I'll learn and practice spin recovery and get an endorsement for spins.  Understandably the ground study for the CFI focuses on training methods and 'psychology' of providing flight training in an effective manner to flight students.

Of course,,, I digress.... I still have to finish my Instrument rating.... but that should be coming in the next few months.  I feel rather confident (as is my CFI) about the oral portion of the checkride.  I'll feel better about the practical part of the checkride (the actual flying part) once I have some more polish on some of my approaches - though I should say that my CFII seems quite confident in my performance thus far.  I do have a 'bad' (?) habit of underestimating my abilities,,, so who knows, I suspect I'm better than I think (just like my CFII tells me from time to time.


On a different note:  The oldest of my two dogs (a 14 1/2 year old Keeshond, female, named 'Bear') was diagnosed last week with an impossibly large cancerous tumor of the spleen, which appeared to have metastasized to the liver.  The diagnosis is terminal, at her age.  So, I am doing my best to keep her comfortable,, she is in no pain,,, though she is more lethargic than  usual.  I've raised her from a puppy and it is really going to be hard when I lose her... :-(  One day at a time,,, though...... she is with me for now :-/

Good Flights!

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