The first and most important element of aircraft control under instrument flight conditions is trusting the instruments. Pilots who rely upon their own sensations are on a quick ride to their deaths. The instruments are the only reliable means of determining pitch, bank and yaw. Non-instrument rated pilots are often killed in instrument conditions largely based on their failure to follow their instruments, rather than their instincts.
I’m nearing the end of my formal instrument training, with only a half a dozen or so lessons remaining before I’ll be prepared to take a checkride. Much of the training has been uneventful and focused on making it possible to handle routine instrument flights: attitude instrument flying, instrument approaches, radio communications, flight planning and the like. Recently I’ve been working on the last major piece of the puzzle: emergency procedures and, specifically, partial panel procedures.
From the very beginning of training pilots are taught the importance of the go/no-go decision. They’re taught it’s not a decision that’s ever completely made; instead it changes even in flight depending on the conditions. The decision is only final once the plane has landed at it’s destination.
Last week, I had absolutely perfect flying weather and I decided that I would take a trip to visit a coworker in Raleigh, NC. Since FAR 61.65 (d)(1) requires any pilot applying for an instrument rating to have 50 hours of cross country time as pilot in command, it’s important for pilots to find every opportunity they can to accumulate cross country time. A round trip to Raleigh is 4 hours, offering plenty of opportunity to rack up some hours.
On October 20th, my wife and I took a flight down to Charlottesville, Virginia to do a little leaf peeping and to visit one of her friends. It was the first time my wife had flown in N9295W, and only the second time she had come along with me.
Welcome to Open Skies! This blog is intended to chronicle my thoughts and adventures in aviation. The blog derives it’s name from my two passions: open source technology and aviation.