Thursday, February 12, 2009

A grudging friendship with the IFR Hold

Just completed flight number 11 this morning. I'm really starting to relax a little more (but not too much!) and get comfortable that I'm bordering on knowing what I'm doing on instruments. This was our third flight working on holds. Let's just say we made progress. On the first try (a couple of days ago), the mental model that I'd thought would help me determine the method of entry into the hold completely failed me. Yesterday, I had the entry decision down but the execution was still sloppy.

Today, I finally flew a hold that my instructor called "textbook." I'll take that. The next one we did today (an intersection hold...these are more challenging because you're basing your "I'm at the station" point on a DME distance or a cross-radial) wasn't as good, but I think I can improve that tomorrow. All things considered, I'm feeling a lot better about my grasp of a procedure that seems to be most people's least-favorite part of instrument flying (in fact, a guy that's working on his CFI walked into the office just as I typed that line and, when I told him I've been working on holds, told me "I hate holds").

We have two-a-days this weekend. Since most of my flights have been about 1.5 hours, this weekend ought to get me about 6 more hours in, or a little past halfway through the curriculum. I can't believe we've moved this quickly. Just goes to show you what flying every day can do for your retention. After this experience, I'll always be a proponent of accelerated flight training programs for most students under most circumstances. No way I'd progress like this if I was only flying an hour a week.

More Saturday evening. Keep the greasy side down!

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