Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Flying IFR Lesson # 3: A Flight Plan So Cunning It Graduated From Embry-Riddle With an Advanced Degree In Aeronautical Cunning

Verily, a cunning plan was hatched.

All DCT flights filed VFR flight plans to get out of the TFR, do the maneuvers that needed to be done, and then contacted Detroit approach to come back in.  In this way we complied with the TFR and still were able to get out and do the scheduled training.

Ground/Tower basically said they were good with that but for everyone not to call in at once so they could get it setup and ready for us, this was rather nice of them.  We really do have an awesome bunch of controllers at KPTK.

So after the preflight of N6288J, another old flying friend,  I called ground and activated the VFR flight plan that my instructor had already filed.  The flight plan was filed to fly to D95/Lapeer which is north and outside the TFR. We got a squawk code and then called Detroit approach to check in, and then were handed off to Great Lakes Approach and as we reached Lapeer we cancelled the flight plan and were then told to squawk VFR.

Then the fun began.  I already had my foggles on after takeoff so we started working on holds and hold entries.  Basically its about flying certain courses for a certain amount of time.  In practice it wasn't bad and I could do it rather well while maintaining heading, altitude and, doing timed turns.  The holding pattern tracks ended up looking rather nice in Foreflight.  Conceptually I'm still a little hazy on "where" the hold is exactly, but we'll work on that.

Then we did holds with partial panel without the heading indicator, and then holds without the attitude indicate and just had to rely on the altimeter, turn indicator and compass. Add in some really nice thermals banging us around and it was even more fun. Did I mention the added in  really nice thermals banging us around?

Yes, I got to see all the various compass errors occur in real time. In short, navigating a turn via a compass kinda sucks due to those errors. The compass - she lies, at least she does until you are in straight, level, and unaccelerated flight. 

Did I mention those really nice thermals banging us around? Yep, as you might guess, that made it even more fun when you get a sudden uncommanded 1,000 feet per minute climb out of nowhere and you were flying straight and level or in the middle of a timed turn.

Then back to Pontiac, first I got their ATIS and while still north of Lapeer contacting Great Lakes Approach and getting a squawk code. Then we headed for Pontiac using GPS direct with the foggles still on.  

We got cleared for 9R as 27R/9L is currently closed so we got the big runway and were told to report a 2 mile downwind entry.  Flying in and still 6nm away, they then cancelled the request to report and gave us #1 to land.

Still in foggles I got on the downwind, and flew the pattern by headings as given by my instructor and only got to take the foggles off when we were at the DA on final representing a breakout at minimums.  Then I landed with a nice gusty wind out of 130 degrees.  Lots of fun, though quite a task loaded lesson.

Apparently I did it all well, which is good.   Kevin is happy with how I did and he tends to be a very positive and thorough kind of instructor, which I like.  I think I'm developing a good instrument scan now I've got standard rate turns down which is a good foundation.

All good, no busting of the TFR occurred, and a very solid lesson completed.

That's 2.0 with 1.8 simulated instrument time, and 1 excellent landing.


Old NFO said...

Well done sir! And welcome to the 'reality' of holding in 'weather'... :-)

B said...

Learn to check your DG often.
They precess and as they age (and the bearings wear) they precess more.

Aaron said...

Old NFO: Thanks, it's definitely a new experience with a lot to learn and work on.

B: No more vacuum system for me for a DG happily. We're on G5s now which is happy making. Still need to know about procession though for the tests.