Second Instrument Lesson

 

May 11, 2003
 
I had my second Instrument lesson last Thursday.  Mainly we did more of what we started the week before; climbing turns at a specific airspeed/climb rate and heading to a specific altitude.  Descending turns, descents at constant airspeed, descents at constant descent rate and climbs of the same nature.  I'll tell you that being under the hood and flying to more specific criterion sure is humbling.  I will tell ya that the thing I was most surprised by was experiencing slow flight under the hood.  When my instructor mentioned that we would be doing slow flight today, among other things, I remember thinking... "No big deal,,,, did 'em before with  VFR flying,,, no problem".  All I can tell you is that (at least for me) the experience was TOTALLY different.  In slow flight you don't realize how much information your peepers were giving you during your VFR instruction days.  Flying this maneuver under the hood feels like the plane is balancing on the head of a pin... while one certainly has a similiar sensation while VFR,, when you are IFR the sensations seem exaggerated/intensified.  The other 'odditiy' was looking at the attitude indicator showing straight and level and the turn coordinator showing no turn, BUT the heading indicator showing that I was turning to the left,,, but not really a 'turn', more of a 'yawing' to the left.  Now I know it was the result of P-factor (I was in a slight climb), but under the hood it took me awhile to catch the 'turn' since most of my instruments seemed to be saying things were 'fine'.  Doing this same manuever VFR, you instantly catch the 'turn', but while you are new to total instrument reference,,, it takes a moment to catch-on.  All-in-all the slow flight  under the hood was not the 'cake walk' that I was expecting.
 
I'll always remember my CFI (during my basic instruction days) telling me (in the most chilling manner he could muster) that in flying,,, "Your 'feelings/sensations' will kill you - this was after I made the remark while doing some basic hood practice that at some point I felt we were straight and level, but the instruments clearly showed a banked descending turn - all part of a memorable basic ticket lesson.  Doing nothing but IFR/hood I can tell the initiated that the information you will get (especially through some of the mild turbulence we had on today's lesson) from your vestibular system is absolutely worthless to you, while flying IFR.
 
Today's lesson wasn't quite 1.4 hours (the longest I'd had so far), but it felt (as I remembered my initial flight instruction for my basic private, was) as if I'd just run a race or some other intense physical activity.  Funny thing, didn't feel it in plane,,, but after the lesson while we were debriefing I remarked how I felt like I just had a good workout.  My CFII mentioned to me that the time we spent was probably all that I could handle for now and that most lessons would be closer to an hour with a maximum of what we did that day.  He told me that I would find (as I did with my basic ticket instruction) that I would gradually adapt to the workload and work in a more efficient and less-tiring manner as we went along.  Right now the thought of that dual IFR 250NM cross country in IMC/under the hood, would be more than daunting in terms of stamina,,,, but as my training progresses it will seem less daunting as we go along.
 
That's about all, for now!
 
P.S.  I assume that my hood time from and after getting my basic Private count - If so, then I have 6.5 hours simulated instrument and .5 actual IMC (all with a CFII, obviously)

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Good Flights!

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