Today I planned to use a small Cessna 150 for the trip, but it is still in maintenance: there were some problems with a compass and landing lights. I prefer to use this plane since it is much less expensive, but it is the only Cessna 150 in our school, so if I want to fly today, I should book a Cessna 172.
As I said, Cessna 172 is about 1.5x expensive, but it is an IFR-approved plane, so it makes sense to file an IFR flight plan!
I was going to fly to Palatka airport, 28J: that trip allows to fly before usual midday weather deterioration. I planned a VFR flight, so now I lost some time to prepare an IFR flight plan. Anyway I will fly in VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions), but I’d like to practice communications and log some IFR time (it is not FAA Instrument time, but for EASA it counts).
I was taking off from an uncontrolled airport, and I activated my flight plan in the air. The controller asked whether I’d like to fly VFR, but I was going to practice IFR, so I requested IFR and got the instructions to climb to 4000 feet and expect vectors.
At 4000 feet I was almost at the cloud base, where the air was a little bumpy. But nevermind, the clouds were cumulus and not dangerous, so it was just some practice of flying straight and level in bumpy conditions.
The landing was challenging with gusts up to 17 kts, so it was better to have some additional speed and power: the runway was very long, so the only problem was stability.
On the way back the clouds were dissipating, and the weather became less turbulent. My assigned altitude was 5000 feet, and that leg was smoother.
It was very nice to fly IFR, that practice is valuable.