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ridethisbike
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I get to look outside again! Just had my Instrument check ride today and everything went flawlessly. Other than the pit stop. The DPE REALLY had to go to the bathroom! haha

 

Totally freaked my instructor out, as well as everyone else, because they had never seen this particular examiner (1) come back so early, and (2) just get out of the helicopter and walk away. It was pretty funny. When he told me to make it a full stop after the first approach, he didn't even think how everyone on the ground was going to take it. He got a pretty big kick out of it when I mentioned it.

 

One thing I noticed. I wasn't nervous at all going into this check ride. I don't know if it was the way he handled it all (promoted a conversational type ride rather than "I'm going to find any hole I can"), or if it was the fact that I had already done the private ride and worked all the butterflies out then. Either way, I'm pretty proud of my performance today and am glad that I FINALLY GET TO LOOK OUTSIDE AGAIN! Really good feeling!

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Lee,

 

Congrats on a job well done. That is the way to "own your training" and continue moving forward on the career learning path.

 

Sorry for not spending more time with you one on one at Heli Success. You saw they kept me busy!

 

Mike

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Make sure you use it, practice it, review it, and train for it often, and regularly. Instrument skills are the most perishable you'll learn.

 

Instrument skills are applicable during night flight, or flight over featureless terrain, as well as diminished visibility, and many other conditions from flying over snow or water to simple transitions from a light area to a dark one and back again.

 

Don't think for a minute that the experience you gained in the tutelage of your instructor reflects what it's like to fly in instrument conditions. When you actually go for a flight in IMC, take your instructor or an experienced instrument pilot along, because flying in actual instrument conditions is not the same as the training environment...and there's no way to remove your view limiting device and restore yourself to a safe environment.

 

See completion of the instrument rating as step one, as always.

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Thanks everyone!

 

Mike: Indeed they did. No worries. There's always next year!

 

Nightsta1ker: You're right, it wasn't easy. It was pretty challenging. I don't know how many times I had to tell myself to keep my scan going throughout the training. It is easy to get distracted and let things get out of whack.

 

avbug: If I ever fly actual IMC, I definitely won't be doing it alone. And truth be told, I probably wouldn't ask any of my instructors to take me up into it either. None of them have any actual IMC experience. I'd probably ask one of my CP's or even the DPE's.

 

I agree with you though, that this is one of the most perishable skills. I might be able to retain currency through the future, but proficiency will be another story, for sure.

 

 

Thanks again guys. Now to start making my II book over the xmas break.

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avbug: If I ever fly actual IMC, I definitely won't be doing it alone. And truth be told, I probably wouldn't ask any of my instructors to take me up into it either. None of them have any actual IMC experience. I'd probably ask one of my CP's or even the DPE's.

 

Good choice, and good observation.

 

Many instructors teach emergencies, but have no actual emergency experience. At least in that respect, they have procedure to follow, even if it's just rote memory.

 

Instrument flying is another animal entirely, and it really is something that ought to be taught by those with instrument experience. The instructors are really in the same boat as the student, if they haven't experience in instrument conditions, and in the national airspace system, or operating under IFR.

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To me, instrument flying is some of the most satisfying flying I've ever done. I really like it. But not everyone does. I've known experienced PICs who were truly terrified of flying in the clouds. I've also had SICs who were CFIIs, and proud of it, but who had a very hard time actually flying IMC. As Avbug said, it's a very perishable skill, and you have to practice regularly to become and stay proficient. Fly an instrument approach every chance you get, even if you don't use a hood or go into the clouds. Concentrate on maintaining an instrument scan, and fly precise altitudes and airspeeds, even when flying VFR. You have to work at it constantly.

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Your achievement is to be lavished with approbation, and high praise. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but for my money getting my rotary instrument was the most difficult and challenging hurdle in my aviation career as of yet. I include the training leading up to the examination, the oral, and practical. I somehow had myself talked into the idea it would be a breeze as a long time fixed wing instrument rated pilot with tons of actual and simulated instrument time in just about every phase of instrument flight imaginable. But it was as if from the start I was a zero experience instrument flyer.

The level of concentration it took just to display acceptable basic airwork was almost humiliating. The amount of tunnel vision and tunnel thought I had as a result left little room for seeing or thinking peripherally. It was like crawling on broken glass against bare knees, palms and elbows.

So based on that I say well done, and your accomplishment is well deserved.

Now carry on smartly !

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My training so far has been with an instructor with no actual instrument experience. In fact, I doubt there are many (if any) CFII's in my area that have actual instrument experience. None of the IFR training helicopters I have flown in are certified for actual instrument flight, so I don't see how it would be possible to get any real experience anyway, and I was under the impression that actual flight in instrument conditions in a helicopter is usually done dual pilot in an aircraft with SAS or autopilot or both. I once saw a 407 that was certified for single pilot IFR and it had a huge rack of black boxes (full autopilot) at least two of everything on the panel, and some other nifty gizmos that I have no idea what they were.

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I loved every second of my instrument training.

 

I agree. It was a huge challenge to keep it all together while going through all the checklists, briefs, more checklists, oh crap instrument failure, and... well everything. I love a good challenge. Instrument training definitely delivered in that arena.

 

I'm positive that actual IMC flight is way more taxing on the pilot. I'd really like to go up and shoot an approach or two actual IMC, for more than a few reasons (experience the stress for a better understanding being the main one). Sunny Arizona doesn't lend itself to such conditions very often though.

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For me, flying in IMC is actually easier, under most conditions. I don't have that #&*&@ hood hanging from my head, causing discomfort and tunnel vision. I can relax and see the entire panel, and make use of some peripheral vision. But you can't just take off the hood and be in VMC, so there are certainly some drawbacks. But flying an ILS approach in 1/4 mile vis at 3AM, getting the approach lights through the chin bubble at DH, then the REILs at 100', and making a successful landing, makes up for all the drawbacks. Coming out of the clouds and seeing the runway right where it's supposed to be (or the marsh, depending on where you're flying the approach; no runways in the wilds of south Lousiana, for the most part) is fun for me. I know it's not fun for everyone, though.

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