Monday, March 16, 2009


Well, despite the weather conspiring against me last week, I was able to get a good, high-quality flight in on Saturday (more about that later) and a final checkride review with Aurora Aviation's chief CFI yesterday.

And this morning, came the moment of truth! So, today dawns with visibility at 1/4 mile or less at both Waco Regional and McGregor, and ceilings under 100 ft. This sucked, because it was a thin layer and you could look right up through it. I got up at about 0530 to get ready, and was driving to Waco Regional (I was going to fly N2105G over to McGregor for the checkride).

By 8:15, conditions were no better. Resigned to doing only the oral today (Felix, my DE, was on a tight schedule), I drove to McGregory. Felix shows up and wants the paperwork for the license to be on computer (IACRA for you pilot types). Of course ,that Tim and I had done it all on paper. So, we didn't get started on my 0900 checkride until 1130.

The oral went well---typical hiccups here and there like you see on any oral, but Felix is a good DE and prompts you as long as you're not missing the point too badly. We finally get in the airplane a little before 1300.

First approach out of the bag was a partial-panel VOR approach. I hate partial-panel work, period. Ironically, it was probably my best approach of the day. Next was an ILS, missed to a hold (got flustered momentarily going to the hold but got it back and flew, I think, a pretty hold), and then we went out north and I did some good unusual-attitude recoveries. To cap it all off, we proceeded back in and did the GPS 17 approach to McGregor with the autopilot. N2150G has kind of a flaky/picky autopilot, and that always makes things fun, but I got some grace there and the approach went well. All in all, the flight was 1.4. Nice to be done with this stage!

So this weekend, we had to go rescue N19NS from Wiley Post in Oklahoma City. I flew Parker up in N2150G (with Tim, since the weather was IMC), and got 3.3 hours out of it. Then, I got to fly the Mooney home! Not many people fly 1.3 hour of actual in their first Mooney flight, but that was a pretty neat first...first Mooney flight, and lots of actual instrument time in it. The first landing was.not.pretty. Pilot-induced oscillations are not cool and I don't want to do that again. You really have to have speed discipline in the Mooney. The second try was really, really nice. All that to say, I'm really looking forward to spending the next month doing the Commercial in it. I think Alisa is posting some pictures of the flight soon.

Onwards and upwards. Blue skies (or skies with applicable minimums for the published approach!).


  1. Awesome!! Great job, Aaron!! Congrats! You'll enjoy your commercial training. :)