IR Part 141: Cross Country

The 3rd stage of the course is almost entirely about cross-country flying. This means that the student must prepare and safely conduct the entire flight to some remote airport (more than 50 nautical miles from the departure airport).

First of all, I’ve never created a flight plan before. Of course, I was preparing mass and balance, weather briefing and fuel, but I’ve never done the plan itself. Fortunately it is relatively easy in the US and can be done online.

The most challenging parts for me are still approaches and ATC, especially IFR clearances. The flight itself is relatively easy, just instruments monitoring and keeping all flight parameters inside their limits.

We had some issue with our flight plan though. I used for filing, and it uses EST timezone by default. I used to UTC for my logbook records and all related services (like weather), and as a result our plan was filed for 5 hours later. We had VMC, so decided to continue in simulated IMC with the instructor as ATC, and changed our flight plan for the way back to our airport to get a proper clearance.

I still have to work on my approaches to better keep the glideslope and my approach path. The enroute part is OK.

IR part 141: Stage II check

Probably the most important stage in the Instrument Rating course is the stage II, when the student learns to fly approaches. It requires precise and correct piloting, correct radio communications, attention, multitasking skills, and attention again. Of course, it’s important in every flight including visual piloting, but instrument flight is even more demanding.

It is not so scary as it was at the beginning, but today we have wind gusts, which makes piloting some more difficult, especially on the glideslope. I had to fly 3 different approaches: ILS, VOR and GPS. I feel still a bit overwhelmed sometimes, but more and more confident with practice.