Started my IFR training!

It has been something that I have wanted to do for quite sometime, but I have finally gotten serious about my IFR flight training.  I had plans to start earlier in the year after I had some new panel lights installed in N9526J but that had to be put on hold for awhile after the plane was totalled in an unfortunate accident.  After going through the spring and most of the summer without a good airplane to fly, I finally got the bug again over our family vacation to Michigan in early July.  I rented planes from Dodgen Aircraft in Allegan, MI and got quite a few hours of flight time in West Michigan on the trip.  In August I purchased a 1979 Piper Archer II that is loaded and all setup for IFR flight.   Click on the picture below to see the specs of the new airplane and to see more pictures.

Before I purchased the new plane I received a stipulation from Lori.  She said that she supported the purchase of the new plane as long as I studied and got my IFR within a year.  What an ultimatum!  Lori wants to be able to use the plane to travel places and to see family more often and I totally understand why she is pushing me to get it.  I thought it was a great idea and I immediately started studying again for the IFR written exam.  I’m about ready to take the test within a couple of weeks as I’m taking practice tests and scoring in the low 90% range.

I’ve also started the flight portion of my IFR rating.  Frank Dorrin is an instructor that I met through flying out of Delaware Airpark (33N).  Frank and I have talked a couple of times about the rating and what is required.  He is very much down to business and uses a structured syllabus.  He also owns a simulator which will help in my training.  I’ve decided to start working with Frank and have now completed two flights with him that were both very productive.  So far we have practiced the instrument scan, four fundamentals, constant rate climbs and descents, timed turns and we are currently working on patterns.  We’ve spent some time on the ground as well and he is preparing me for what I need to know by showing the reference materials that I should use.  What I really like about working with Frank as I know what to expect.  He lays out the plans and we execute them.  Both flights have been at night which is also helping me with my night proficiency.  I’ve attached the flight tracks of the two lessons that I’ve completed so far that I downloaded from my Garmin 496.  Technology never ceases to amaze me and this data is a great tool to evaluate the flight performance.  You can also view the speed and altitude information as well as the flight tracks by clicking on these links: IFR Lesson #1 and IFR Lesson #2.

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