On Monday, 22nd March 1999, almost two years since starting my private training and after many false starts, I began my IFR training. This journal is a weekly account. It's qualitative, just like my private journal to try and capture the feeling of learning to fly on the gauges. I started my IFR training with 217.6 hours total time. I'd already accumulated 7.1 hood time from my private training and various aircraft checkouts.

  I eventually took my checkride with over 500 hours total time. The checkride did get a bit delayed! This section is organized in two parts - IFR flights I've taken (which includes the checkride, which was partially on an IFR flight plan), and then my training journal.

The checkride 3rd September, 2000. I flew to Coulter Field, near College Station for the Instrument Rating checkride. But were the results white or pink?
First Actual as PIC 8th September, 2000. A ridiculously short flight plan - all of ten minutes, but it's best to start off simple I think!
Austin, we have a problem 27th January, 2001. Bad glideslopes, miscommunications and unstabilized approaches lead to a NASA form being filed...

-- IFR Training Journal --

   So I'm back in One Niner Foxtrot, the Cessna 172 in which I did a large proportion of my private training. Having just completed my tailwheel, it's actually been a couple of months since I flew the airplane. So now I don my Hoodlamb, and get ready to taxi...

Week 1 March 22nd, March 25th. ILS approaches, airwork, a little NDB work.
Week 2 March 31st (March 29th weathered off). Introduction to NDB work, more ILS approaches.
Week 3 April 6th, April 7th and April 10th. My brain has to be rebooted several times in flight, and I do some very good impressions of a porpoise.
Week 4 April 12th, April 14th. Hassled by ATC, hassled by NDB approaches, hassled by holds. But I did get a really good ILS approach in!
Week 5 April 25th. Holding holding holding...
Week 6 April 28th, April 29th, May 2nd 1999. Partial panel, off go the radios and the long cross country.
Week 7 May 5th and May 7th. Safety piloted!
Week 8 Cancelled due to a week of hell at work...
Week 9 May 18th. Uh-oh, it's time for an NDB hold...
Week 10 No IFR this week, P'ville flyin had just happened...
Week 11 ILS, VOR tracking, airwork
Week 12 ILS and Holds
Week 13, 14, 15 A week of thunderstorms followed by two weeks of hell at work, so I only few VFR.
Week 16 Trip to Beaumont for a back-course.
Week 17 July 14th and July 16th. Night IFR, airwork, NDB approaches, holds and an IFR approach to a grass strip.
Week 18 July 21st and July 23rd. Some interesting safety pilot tricks!
Week 19, 20, 21 Airplane troubles (three club planes had bad cylinders!), so no IR work. The 170 isn't exactly an instrument airplane ;-)
Week 22 August 19th. A new approach - the ASR.

  I then had a bit of a layoff caused by lack of aircraft availability, getting into aircraft ownership, and taking up soaring. However, I'm back with it! I'll continue to relate my more interesting experiences rather than week by week (I'm now brushing up for the checkride).

First Brush With Actual On May 1st, 2000, I had my first meeting with actual IMC. I flew with a CFII to get this experience. In fact, we had to abandon the return journey. The experience was very enlightening!

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