IFR Training

I've been thinking of getting my instrument rating for a long time and I even put in a dozen or so hours with an instructor a few years back, but busy life and a new baby in our life got in the way of completing the rating. In the last couple months I've knocked down all the barriers that were keeping me from doing it and I'm happy to report that I've flown 40 hours of practice IFR time in the past month or so and have just passed the written test with a 97%! I was so excited to get such a good score since the test is fairly formidable. Per recommendation from my instructor I studied for the written using https://sheppardair.com/ software and I thought it was really great and at $45 very economical.

One of the big challenges for me to undergo IFR training was not wanting to space out the training over the course of 6-12 months. I want to get in there and get it done and finding the right instructor for that was step 1. The other step 1 (1b then) was finishing all the squawk items on the plane to make it IFR ready, such as static/pitot test, fork out a chunk of money to update the Garmin 430, making sure my VOR/Glide Slope were functioning well, and etc. The VOR/GS issue has been nagging at me for a while because I thought I was going to have to install cat whiskers instead of utilizing my wingtip Bob Archer style nav antenna, but turns out I had just plugged the coax cables into the wrong places on the signal splitter that feeds into my 430! Wow, not sure how I goofed that up, but glad it was an easy fix. 

Training has turned out to be way more enjoyable than I imagined, just like building the plane was. I thought both would just be a necessary evil but it turns out both were an enjoyable challenge. I'm thankful for doing the training at this time of year because of all the great 70 degree days we've had over the last month. I'm also really glad to have found an instructor that I get along with so well. His name is Jonathan and I would highly recommend him if you need a laid back, but still thorough education. We have had a lot of fun and even cut up a little so the training isn't so serious and boring. One of my favorite stunts was after about a bazillion approaches over the previous several days we were headed back into KFFC again on the ILS 31 and as we approached the final approach fix I declared to my instructor 'oh no, we're a category C jet' and I pushed the throttle way forward to hit 150kts with a huge grin. He laughed and was like alright, let's see this. I NAILED the approach. In fact it may have been better than most of my other approaches for the day. Halfway down the glideslope as I'm concentrating I hear Danger Zone [Top Gun] come on as Jonathan had his phone pressed up against his mic just blasting the music into the cabin. It was the best. 

Several of the days that we were training we would put in 4 hours or more, so we would stop for a lunch/dinner break and enjoy the nice patio view at Falcon Field (KFFC). Nothing beats a good patio looking out over the runway on a beautiful day. I guess if I get my IFR rating I can appreciate a patio view with really crummy visibility out too!  

Nice night to stop for fuel at Thomaston after a ton of flying. 

When in Peachtree City, GA you HAVE to Chick-fil-a. 

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