Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Flying And Not Flying - No Checkride Today

This morning I got up at 6 and got the weather brief.

I then also got a weather brief for my exercise planned IFR flight that will not actually be flown, but is required as part of the oral portion of the test.  

Did the wind correction and times by hand as required and got that done, which took quite some time.  Got the weight and balance done and printed out.  Filled out by hand an IFR ICAO flight plan, because again, ground portion.  All this took time and all could be done automatically by Foreflight and in real life you'd use Foreflight but for the checkride suffering is required.

Got to the airport.

Did the preflight, fired up the plane, did the run-up by the numbers and checklist.

Arranged for and got flight following to KADG.

Held short of Runway 27R and was told to head to Runway 27L for departure.  Slid along taxiway Hotel as it had a fair bit of ice between the runways and took off from 27L at Hotel, fair bit of ice on the runway which made it a tad interesting.

Plane performance is outstanding, density altitude is over -1000 feet, plane flies itself into the air like a homesick angel, all is great.

Headed southwest to KADG.

Almost immediately hit a fully overcast mist-ladden layer at 2,000 feet into the start of IFR conditions.

I'm not IFR certified yet, that's what this ride is for after all.

Duck under 2,000 immediately to get out of the start of IFR conditions and take a moment to assess the situation.  

Not legal for me to go IFR, nor particularly safe in this rather misty conditions with high icing potential.

Not smart to scud-run below 2,000 feet all the way to KADG, and if it comes down more, I will be truly screwed. Since you're supposed to be 500 feet below the clouds in Class E and D Airspace, I'd have to be at 1,500 with the ground at around 980 feet in order to be legal - that's not a lot of room and it's giving yourself a complete lack of options in an emergency.

Assessment - the flight is not within my personal safety limits so I'm cancelling.

Screw the Get-There-Itis and Want-To-Get-The-Checkride-Done impulses.  It's just not happening.

Cancelled with Detroit Approach and returned to Pontiac.

Of course, I did an absolutely perfect, and I mean absolutely perfect landing, because no one was watching.

Slid past taxiway Whiskey due to icing on 27R and got off on the next taxiway.

Back to DCT.

Now there's no chance for a checkride for another 2-3 months minimum and likely I will be out of flight review status as that expires at the end of March. 

So, I will have to take and pay for a flight review beforehand to be current - the IFR checkride would have counted as one but since that's not happening it doesn't.

I'll also have to take more lessons because the rules require three hours of instrument flight training within two calendar months before the check ride.

In short this cancellation just cost well over a couple grand easily.  FML.

.4 and 1 absolutely perfect landing.

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