Instrument Training Reality Check

Whoa. Patrick my instructor challenged me to take a practice instrument rating test to see how my proficiency was coming along. I was pretty astonished that I passed (a practice test). I have been reading through the books here and there but haven’t been really studying.  However, this was a great move on his part, because it definitely gave me the boost of motivation I needed to stop just reading the material and actually start studying for the exam.

What I also realized is that my log book is filling up pretty quick.  While we have been working on my required 10 hours of flight required to solo in my Cherokee 6 (insurance requirement) we have also been using that time to continue working on my IFR proficiency.  Last flight I was really feeling that things were starting to click. We flew a couple VOR approaches and a GPS approach.  The GPS approaches I got pretty quick because the Garmin 530 is usually in GPS mode. It took me a little while to get past going through the motions to really understanding setting up the VOR and LOC approaches. Which, I think, was working out pretty well for me during the last flight.

With the boost of encouragement from my practice test I did some hour totaling in my log book and found out I have the following to accomplish to wrap up my IFR training.

  • 2.2 left of flight time in the Cherokee
  • 250NM cross country flight flying 3 different approaches
  • 12.7 hour of simulated / actual instrument conditions time
  • 17.3 pilot in command / cross country time

I thought I had a lot of time left, but this actually isn’t that much since I am hoping to fly to Nashville and also Florida in the next couple of months.  Wow, this was a real dose of reality. I was thinking around April, but if I keep up some of this momentum I might be able to take my written in November and checkride in late December.

After I did the above numbers I shot Patrick a text to change our flight plan for tomorrow. Instead of just working on some local work and knocking out the remaining dual time required in the Cherokee I decided we should probably go ahead and do my 250NM flight and get that out of the way.  Based on my calculations that should be 2.2 – 2.5 PIC/XC and 2 of instrument.

Should take care of the last bit of my Cherokee requirement and my 250NM flight.