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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day One of Instrument Flight Training

After two lessons were cancelled due to weather (under Part 141 rules basic instrument skills must be practiced before flying more complex lessons in actual weather), finally there's a fair weather day for kicking off my instrument training. There are areas of low lying fog however they will not affect our flight.

The lesson starts with a bit of airplane familiarization as it will be my first time piloting a PA-28-161. The Piper Warrior III's engine started simply enough. With light winds and  Beaver County's preferred runway being 28 takeoff was westbound away from the rising sun in N266ND. At a safe altitude we began a right hand turn to the north. Let the hood work begin (a hood is a view limiting device to force ones gaze at the airplanes instruments).

This first lesson in the Part 141 syllabus consisted of straight and level, turns, climb and descents as well as combinations of the above. The exciting part was practicing slow-flight without outside visual reference. We returned to land at KBVI's runway 28. Jeremy is a great instructor, soft spoken but gets his thoughts across in a direct manner.

Finding an opening on the schedule when we landed and not excited about driving two hours for each one hour of flight time I opted to book that spot and take lesson two on the same day. After a short wait we'll be flying another airplane.

Lesson two introduced stalls, both power on and power off referencing only the flight instruments of N273ND. Quite the contrast this is from primary training where the drill was to "keep your eyes outside". The instruments will tell you everything you need to know, just be cautioned not to fixate on any one in particular lest you veer off course on another.

I'm getting used to landing this new-to-me model airplane and am looking forward to lesson three and the challenges it will bring, hopefully without any further weather delays.

N266ND on an IFR day not suitable for lesson one.