Sunday, May 20, 2007


Looking for show notes? They're below. This is a regular blog entry.

Got 1.9 on Thursday. First time up since March 8 and the last time before that was in September of 2006. Hell of a way to train for an instrument rating, eh? FWIW, I got four landings on the March 8 flight and greased every one of them. Didn't hurt to have the wind at a dead calm, but I still greased four.

Thursday was ragged MVFR/IFR. New instructor is an older guy in semiretirement who flew air cav in Viet Nam. He's a lot more patient than you'd expect. Got shear of +10/-10 and 30 degrees of uncommanded bank at about 800 AGL on departure just into the wispy part of the bottoms. Still picking seat cusion out of my ass. Instructor just sat there copying clearance changes and keeping a semi-interested eye on the guages from the right seat. Cast iron SOB, that guy. I think we're going to get along just fine.

The March session was beautiful VFR and we got eight approaches in at KFNT. Not so this week. Didn't file until we actually went to go fly. Ceilings came down like a Bonanza full of doctors and then we had to wait for Lockheed to locate its head and extract it from its ass in order to file. I hope these guys get the FSS consolidation done soon. To Lockheed's credit, the guy to whom I actually did speak bent over backwards to be helpful. He was from Knoxville or wherever that was not southeast Michigan and he had to struggle a little with the local navaids (you must know where the hell SVM (Salem VORTAC - 114.3) is in order to be helpful to a pilot flying GA in southeast Michigan).

Got vectors to the KFNT VOR 36 ( with the published miss to KATTY, vectors to the ILS 9, then returned to KPTK and shot the ILS 9R. Got all of the approaches within PTS standards. F*CKING happy about that. Woo-hoo! I was afraid that I was going to be shedding rust all over the flight path, but I flew competently. Only genuine screw-up was finding the poutbound course to KATTY. I'm used to having overshot the threshold (and therefore, at FNT, overshot the VOR so I'm north of the 097 radial outbound course to KATTY), so I did my right turn, added some south, and started feeloing around for the 097 radial. Like an idoit, it failed to register that I had gone missed a half mile from the threshold and that the outbound 097 course was to my north. Instructor got it a moment before approach (very politely) inquired why I was heading for Selfridge. Got cleared direct to KATTY and all was well.

Howling NE winds at 30 up there, which made the hold ugly. Plus, you identify KATTY with an intersection off of PSI, which is something like 25+ miles away, making for some ambiguity about where the heck KATTY really is along the 097. I think the donut of the VOR is a half mile across at that distance. That should work in my favor for the checkride, but I suspect that I'll meed my biggest challenge on the checkride over KATTY (if I can f*cking find KATTY in the first place).
More later!

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