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2004 Accelerated Instrument Training - Day 1

What We Did:

Date: April 1, 2005

Bill picked me up at the Days Inn at 8 AM. We went to a local restaurant and had some breakfast and talked IFR flying. One of Bill's friends met us there for 1/2 hour - he had done a couple of ratings with Bill.

After breakfast, we headed over to Bill's office at Fortune Air at Schenectady Airport (KSCH). He's got an old simulator which is good for up to 20 hours of the necessary 40 required for the Instrument Rating, so that will save us some time and me some money, since practicing procedure turns and holds is easily demonstrated and done on the simulator, hereafter known as the Flight Training Device (FTD).  We spent about 3 - 4 hours talking and playing with the FTD, and then headed out to the airplane. After a pre-flight, I showed Bill how to get in (the hardest part of dealing with a COZY, I think), and we headed out, taking off on runway 22 and doing a 180 to head off to the north.

We got out from under Albany's Class C airspace and then climbed up above the clouds to do some aircraft profiling - i.e. figuring out what RPM's, Attitude Indicator positions and gear positions would give us the Airspeeds and vertical speeds that we wanted for the six phases of instrument flight.  At about 6500 ft, here's what we came up with:



Pitch Setting
(AI Indication)

(Kts. IAS)



Full 90 900 up


2600 150 0

Cruise Descent

2500 150 500 down


1800 90 0

Approach Descent

1400 90 500 down

Non-Precision Descent

1000 90 900 down

These are rough numbers and indications to start with and will change with CG, Gross Weight, Density Altitude, etc., but they're a good place to start, and if I dial these numbers and AI positions in, I'll stabilize at just about the airspeed and vertical speed that I'm looking for.  So far, so good.

Bill and I took these readings (it only took about 15 minutes to do all of that - it's really not that involved) on the way from WP1 to WP2 on the picture below.  These are nowhere special - just points in NY State on the way west toward Vermont (or "The Communist State of Vermont", as Bill referred to it :-) ).  After reaching WP2 (or the general environs), we headed south toward the CAM VOR/DME to set up for a practice approach into Morse State (KDDH).

Over the course of the next 2 hours, Bill had me perform holds, procedure turns of various types, VOR, LOC and ILS approaches of various types and flavors into KDDH and Bennett Memorial Field (KGFL). I felt completely bamboozled and way behind the plane, but Bill said I was doing OK. I generally was within 100-200 ft. of the correct altitude, and even with a 10 - 20 Kt. crosswind, I was able to stay reasonably close to the right place in the holds (not using the GPS, JUST the VOR. The COZY really is easy to control and keep where you want it.

After a couple hours, I was feeling a bit nauseated from staring at the Instrument Panel the whole time without looking out (and I had to pee), so we landed at KGFL. It was a very nice landing, if I do say so myself. After I hit the can, there was a Long-EZ based/parked there, so we spent some time yakking with the owner (Bob ???, whose last name I can't for the life of me remember, but who has over 2000 hours on his aircraft and knows Dennis Oelmann well).  Walking around in the cool air helped the nausea a lot, and after 1/2 hour I felt a lot better.

We then departed KGFL and I practiced some more VOR approaches and holds We then headed back to KSCH and I tracked the back course of the Runway 4 ILS in to runway 22. The second landing wasn't nearly as good as the first, but Bill liked it :-).

We spent a bit of time debriefing, filling in the logbook and reviewing what we had done, and then Bill dropped me off at the Days Inn. I hadn't realized just how hungry I was - that was probably a good part of why I got slightly nauseated. After dropping off my stuff and checking email, I walked over to the Friendly's down the street and read the "Oxford Annotated Bible" while I got some dinner. I then wandered over to a convenience store and bought a box of granola bars that I could eat in the plane if I even got the hint of nausea. I called Deanie and we talked for 10 minutes or so, and then I headed back to the motel to finish my email and sack out.

Onward and upward - Bill says there should be no problem getting the rating done in 7 days. We'll see.

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