AFSP 013 – Week 11: The 250 Nautical Mile IFR required flight

Take a moment and read 14 CFR part 61.65 (d)(2)(ii)(A, B, and C).  Just kidding, no one is going to do that.  But if you did, you would see that one requirement to take your Instrument Rating Check Ride is to perform a flight 250 nautical miles or longer filed as IFR, an instrument approach at each airport, and three different kinds of approaches.  So, our school actually has a predefined route for this for each location and ours takes us from North Las Vegas to Needles, then to Bullhead City, and finally back to North Las Vegas where we completed ILS, LOC, and GPS approaches (it’s okay if those terms mean nothing to you).  The first segment is the longest but that’s fine because Needles has an interesting approach – Coming in from the north at a high altitude, we had to perform the procedure turn and holding pattern to lose altitude for the approach.  Leaving Needles was the same but in reverse.  We had to follow the Departure Procedure and enter the holding pattern to gain altitude to depart the area.  Great practice with crosswinds in a holding pattern!  Bullhead was pretty simple and we stopped there for gas and to eat lunch.  The flight back to Vegas is always interesting.  We had a hard time receiving Las Vegas Approach and one of the other CFIs at our school was closer and heard us on the radio.  They acted as an intermediary and helped us out.  Way to go guys!  As we crossed over the hills around Vegas, we had a sudden wind shear.  This is exactly why you are always hands on the yolk when flying.  If I wasn’t holding on and immediately correcting, we would have hit at least a 45 degree bank or more.  But I’m a good pilot – not today, wind!  Finishing of this week will consist of more SIMs and maybe another flight to shoot another approach – we flew to St. George to shoot the GPS approach.  I struggled on this one and we had to circle to land which was good practice.

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AFSP 012 – Week 10: Departure Procedures, Approaches, and Holding Patterns.

Week 10 is all about learning Departure Procedures, Approaches, and Holding Patterns. You’ll spend a bunch of time flying approach after approach after approach and you’ll get familiar with how holding patterns work up in the air. You’ll also be spending a great deal of time at home studying for your written exams (there’s 2).  Be prepared to have your brain overloaded this week as there’s a lot to learn and things come fast when you’re flying.

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AFSP 011 – Week 9: Intro to IFR and IFR Time Building

The introduction into IFR flying begins with a very relaxed and exciting week full of and new experiences. You’ll be flying under the hood quite a bit but you’ll be flying further than typical and to new places which is always exciting.

You’ll be extremely overwhelmed trying to copy down IFR clearances this week and you’ll see how busy a cockpit gets during an IFR arrival. However, you’ll be spending a lot of time at cruise where you’ll be discussing basic IFR flight information.

AFSP 010 – Week 8: The Flight Review and Check-Ride

Although I’m not taking a check-ride for my private certificate, I will be doing a Flight Review (BFR) with my instructor before I move on to instrument flying.

In today’s episode, I cover the Flight Review and Check-Ride, how they differ, and when you would expect to see each.  You will be performing a check-ride for all your new certificates or add-on ratings (such as Multi-Engine), so listen in to find out what you’re in for.

AFSP 009 – Week 7: Night Flight, Pattern Work, and more Cross Countries

In week 7, I flew my first Night Flight in a very long time.  I preflighted at dusk and took off in the dark which was pretty cool.  We flew to St George to do pattern work in the dark.  The pilot controlled lighting system was difficult to use there for some reason so we had to fly directly over the airport before we could even get the lights to turn on.  Once we got that all ironed out, the pattern work began.  We flew patterns until they closed the airport down – they had scheduled maintenance around 10:45 that night.

The rest of the week was fairly basic with more pattern work and cross countries – working on VOR radial interception and tracking, managing work load, and decent planning.

Night Flight

AFSP BONUS Episode 002 – Surviving Flight School With A Family

Accelerated flight school is not a walk in the park.  It’s difficult, time consuming, and expensive.  Having a family only exacerbates these issues.  I discuss with you how to prepare your family for your time in flight school, how to manage your time between studying and everything else, and how to budget to afford flight school.

Your time

  • When/where do I study?
  • How much should I study?
  • Will I have ANY free time?
  • Can I work while I’m in flight school?

Your money

  • How much does flight school cost?
  • How will I pay for it?
  • How do I budget for flight school?

Your family

  • How to prepare your family for flight school.
  • How to prepare yourself for flight school.
  • How to handle things when they get tough.

AFSP 008 – Week 6: Solo Prep and Awesome Cross Country Flights

Week 6 was all about solo preparation and cross countries!  We completed my solo takeoff and landing evaluation (passed!), performed more basic maneuvers, and completed two cross country flights.  It was a great week in flight training!

TOL Eval

AFSP 007 – Week 5: Scheduling Woes

Not all weeks are created equal. During week 5, I flew 1 full flight and 1 very short flight. Out of the last 10 available days, I few 3.  Sometimes you lose the scheduling battle and this week I certainly lost.  Hopefully I will fair better next week.

No show notes for this week but I have included a picture of my pattern work.  You will see two shorter downwind legs – those were simulated engine failures.  You can also see where I was distracted during my touch-n-go takeoff and flew a crooked crosswind (ATC cleared me for the option as I was climbing off the runway and I had to ask them to repeat since I was confused about being cleared so early).  I almost busted the Bravo airspace on that one!  There’s also one pattern where I was asked to side-step to 12R instead of 12L.

Pattern Work

AFSP 006 – Week 4: More Simulated IFR and “The Loop”

In Week 4, I got to experience some more simulated IFR with VOR interception and standard rate turns. I also created a flight plan at home and flew that plan in what we dubbed “The Loop” which was a loop around the Las Vegas valley.

This week’s “The Loop” flight was probably the best flight of my life (thus far) as we were routed directly over Nellis Air Force Base while two sets of 4 F-16s flew in formation below us. AMAZING!

Check out my Twitter feed on the right-side of the page or on Twitter (HERE) for a picture and video of us flying over the F-16s!

AFSP 005 – Week 3: Emergency! Emergency! And, can you say, Cross Country?

In my third week in the accelerated flight school, we cover basic emergencies including engine failures in the pattern.

On the second day, the weather threw us some wonderful crosswinds so we spent the day practicing crosswind takeoffs, patterns, and landings.

Week three also brought me my first official cross-country flight! It was amazing!

Finally, Radio calls and position reporting are incredibly important and I tell you why.