Flight Training - May 2021 - 45

ADVANCED PILOT PRACTICAL INSTRUMENT

WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
BRINGING YOUR INSTRUMENT TRAINING TO LIFE
BY IAN J. TWOMBLY

MIKE FIZER

BACK IN THE BAD OLD DAYS BEFORE

every airplane had an IFR-certified
panel-mounted GPS I remember filing
a cross-country IFR flight plan along
VOR-defined airways, following along on
a paper chart, shooting an approach, and
watching the runway appear like magic.
For me the first solo instrument flight
was a bigger accomplishment than my
first solo flight. Trusting the airplane, the
ground-based navigation system, and my
training felt like a giant leap.
For me and I'm sure many others, the
euphoria of passing a checkride often
turns to nervousness. It can feel like
you've gotten away with something and
aren't truly prepared to take on the challenge of flying in the real world. Looking
back on that first solo instrument flight
I realized that success after the check-

ride comes down to trusting that you are
ready, and having a plan to get better.
With a plan to increase proficiency that
begins soon after the checkride, you can
continue to build on your training, and
more importantly, build confidence in
the process.
The biggest mistake people make
when they earn an instrument rating is
immediately letting the skills become
stale. It's understandable. The training is
difficult, and you just want to look outside
the windscreen after months of feeling
like a caged mouse under foggles. You
must force yourself to continue growing
as an instrument pilot because unlike after
the private pilot certificate, that growth
doesn't happen automatically when you
get in the airplane. You need to plan for it.
A three-tiered approach can help.

START SLOW
The basis of everything you need to do
to be a good instrument pilot is broken
down into three skills-the ability to
effectively work in the IFR system, basic
attitude instrument flying, and weather
interpretation.
Athletes drill basic skills so they
become second-nature when they move to
more advanced techniques and gameplay.
You can do the same. As soon as you get
your rating, plan some trips. They don't
have to be long. In fact, the best mix
includes some short 50-mile jaunts; a few
longer, 100- to 200-mile flights; and one or
two that take you somewhere a bit longer.
Here's the kicker. File and execute an IFR
flight plan for each, but plan for VFR days.
Reverting back to your previous comfort
level with the weather will enable you to
AOPA.ORG/FT  45


http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - May 2021

Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - May 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - 2
Flight Training - May 2021 - 3
Flight Training - May 2021 - 4
Flight Training - May 2021 - 5
Flight Training - May 2021 - 6
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Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover4
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