another milestone

This one was big. Today I passed my instrument airplane check ride. After nearly 4 months of working at it, taking a month off in the middle of it, it's finished. I wish I could feel like I can relax a little bit now, but it's on to work on my commercial license now.

We had about a two hour oral discussion before the flight. We talked about weather, my planned cross country, and en route procedures. There were a few times that I had to go into the FAR/AIM and the Jeppesen legend for answers, but I found what I was unsure about. There were a few things that I got stumped on, and I wasn't sure about a few others.

We went over all the weather charts, and arrival procedures, lost comms, the works. I felt that besides being stumped on a few things, that I did really well.

At this point we took a break, and I got ready for the flight. Got some new weather, filed our flight plan, and ran home to get a snack. My stomach was yelling at me, and I decided it best to feed the monster before the big ride.

We took off and headed towards our destination. First thing we did was a VOR hold. It was a fairly easy entry, and after getting the hold instructions, I ran through all the procedures. Double checked them in my head, read them aloud to myself, just to be sure. We entered the hold, I applied the wind correction and it pretty much worked our perfectly. It almost felt like I was just watching the plane fly itself. I got the timing down really good, everything was good. (good)

We started the approaches. First we did the ILS approach. After I got established inbound on the localizer, we simulated a failed engine. Completing the rest of the approach single engine, then going around for another. The second approach was a GPS approach to the same runway. We did this approach partial panel, which basically means I only have access to secondary instruments, and I have to use different instruments. This simulates a system failure in the aircraft. Instead of using fancy direction orienting instruments, I only have the magnetic compass, and the turn coordinator. There were some hiccups on this approach for me. I got a bad vector that made me over shoot the final approach course, and that put me behind the aircraft. I forgot to descend to a step down, which made my final segment a little tricky. Lucky for me the Seminole can fall out of the sky if you need it to. I missed some checklist items, but caught it, and cleaned it up.

After this we got our clearance back to Vero Beach. We then did the VOR/DME arc approach. This was probably the worst vectoring I've ever got from Miami center. We were sent around all of central Florida for this one. When we finally got vectored for the ARC, I think we spent a total of about 50 seconds on it. We both had a good laugh about it, and I turned inbound for the final approach. At this point I kind of let it get to me that I had been doing well. I almost screwed up the last approach because I was getting excited.

We did the circle to land approach, and after touching down on the runway, I felt a huge sigh of relief. I knew it was over, I knew I passed. I thought I would never get to this point. I was just glad I did as well as I always knew I could. I was having issues get over some certain things, and it was extremely frustrating. My first few flights had gone so well, and then later on I was screwing things up. Maybe it was beginners luck, whatever the case, I finished it.

Now I start my commercial multi rating. Hopefully I can be done with both my single and multi commercial ratings by the end of the month. After that, onto CFI.