On Saturday I passed my instrument checkride and am now a instrument rated private pilot.
What a relief it is to have that done and over with. I am one more step closer to my goal and can now fly in the clouds!
The checkride was both easy and hard. The DPE didnt take it easy on this professional pilot to be. And for whatever reason.... I had never seen a lead radial on an IPC before?!?!? I talked my way through it and eventually found it in the index of the NOS charts. But damn did I feel stupid.
I also stumbled on the SDF (simplified directional facility) I forgot why it was different that an LDA and other non precision approaches. The added 6 degrees of horizontal guidance almost got me. This was something else I got to look up in the NOS chart index.
After stumbling on two items during the oral exam, and chatting about playing music. (DPE and myself are both musicians) we hopped in the plane. This is where I shine and was happy to be airborne to show the examiner I do know a little bit about Instrument flying.
We did a "0 visibility" take off under the hood to start off. No problem. We then followed the flight plan we talked about with no surprises. IT started out flying direct to the SOGCO intersection to shoot the RNAV14 into Quincy. On the missed we flew to the Seminole VORTAC and did two turns in holding. This also happens to be the IAF for VOR A approach into Quincy. On completion of the first turn in holding the examiner slapped some suction cups over my attitude indicator and my DG simulating a vacuum failure. Again, no problem. With turns to the east and west, which is what I was doing in the hold, there is limited error on the mag compass to worry about.
After the two holding patterns I called procedure turn inbound and was cleared for the VOR A approach at Quincy. On the missed I was given instructions for fly 180 into controlled airspace and to climb to 2000ft. After leaving the pattern at Quinicy I was flying south climbing to 2000 and asked for radar vectors for the ILS 36 at Tallahassee. This was to be the last phase of the checkride. I advanced the throttle a bit and we cruised as fast as we could down to the FAF for the ILS 36. I was eventually given a 45 degree intercept for the ILS and turned in to join the localizer. I never got to use the intercept angle as the controller had brought me in too close. At this point the DPE moved his chair back up from its reclined position and removed the suction cups on my "failed gauges". I realigned the DG, ran through the decent checklist and waited for the glide slope to come in. At around 260 feet the DPE said, "visual on the runway. You can remove your foggles." I had the needles pegged and was right where I wanted to be. I chopped the power to idle, waited a second to drop below 85kts where I then dumped the flaps. 200 feet later, and 1000 feet down the runway the mains touched one at a time (perfect crosswind landing) followed by the nose wheel.
I was now an instrument rated pilot. But after the ride was done, I didn't feel any different. It was nothing like how I felt after my private pilot checkride. Nothing will replace the feeling of earning my wings. Oh well.... it doesn't really matter. I am one more step closer to my goal of being a professional pilot.
And hey, now I can fly with my head in the clouds!
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