A Good Pilot is Always Learning

Instrument Rating Oral Exam and Checkride2

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and if so, how could I tell. He asked me what a TAA approach does and I explained it to him. He then said "OH NO! You were flying around in the soup and spent too much time with your head down in the approach plates! You're in an unusual attitude! Recover the airplane! Your have the controls!" I was in a descending left turn and the Cardinal being the slick bird that she is was fast approaching the yellow arc. I throttled back, leveled the wings, and raised the nose. I then climbed back up to 3000ft. "Good job". He then got out two instrument covers and covered up my artificial horizon and my directional gyro and said, "OK I want you to go ahead and do the GPS approach into Chester County partial panel, Cardinal N177SM cleared for the GPS runway 29 approach into Chester County via the GOWZO transition, maintain 3000 until GOWZO". I repeated it back to him and then followed the instrument approach procedures. It was a near perfect approach. We did a full stop landing at Chester. I had passed the checkride! After we went inside, he had made some notes about things that I did very well and things that I should be careful of when I actually start flying IFR for real. He said that the biggest thing you don't want to do is reconfigure the airplane after the final approach fix. He said I only did it the very first time during the ILS, that I had forgotten to push the prop full forward while I was in the hold and waited till the FAF but that I did it correctly the other two times. He also said that during the VOR approach, I remember to start my timer and I was doing 90 kts indicated but that I was only doing 75 knots ground speed and that I should have adjusted my time to better take that into account and that is why I arrived at the MDA early but other than that, he was very pleased to see me wait for positive course guidance before descending. He also said that since I was cleared to do the VOR approach, that I didn't need to time the one minute inbound since I would be proceeding the rest of the way inbound anyways but that was only a minor point. He just suggested that it could be a distraction in real life IFR. Other than that, he just cautioned me that yes, although I have my IFR ticket, I can legally fly IFR to minimums now, but that I should set my personal minimums much higher for now till I acquire much more real in the soup IFR time before I start doing full approaches in IFR conditions. I felt that the checkride went well and it was actually a lot of fun! Cant wait to file my first real IFR flight plan!

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