Wow, 2010 already? Time flies when you’re having fun (John, do not make a lame joke using this pun). I have yet to fly this year because have been studying diligently for my CFI-A Knowledge Test. I really want to get a good score on this test and even more, I want to REALLY know this stuff backwards and forwards. So that’s where I am at.
My IFR PIC currency lapsed at the end of November because I did not meet the requirements in the last 6 months to remain current. The way the currency works, for IFR at least, is that you must have accomplished, in the last 6 months, the following:
- At least six instrument approaches;
- Holding procedures; and
- Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigation systems.
You can find all this information in Part 61.57 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Well by the end of November I had all but 4 instrument approaches. It had just been such nice weather the last 6 months, I haven’t had to shoot an approach. So what happens when you lapse like I did? Well you are given a 6 month grace period where the FAA allows you to go up with a Safety Pilot and shoot the remaining requirements in simulated conditions. Who qualifies as a Safety Pilot? All they have to possess is at least a Private Pilot’s Certificate and a current medical certificate. I decided to give my Grandpa a call and ask him to be my safety pilot.
My grandpa is a corporate pilot out of Hillsboro and used to be an airline pilot for Eastern Airlines before they went bankrupt. So you can imagine how much fun we have when we both are in the cockpit. I really enjoy flying with him and I get a kick out of his comments on how slow the Cessna is compared to the Learjet 35 he currently flies. So I flew up to Hillsboro, picked him up and we got my required 4 approaches in. Did the ILS to Aurora, ILS to McMinneville, the VOR approach to Hillsboro, then got radar vectors for the ILS back into Hillsboro. It reminded me of when I was training for my Instrument Rating. Approach after approach after approach. It mentally wears on you. I think it is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do in aviation. I think the only way to make it more difficult would be to have to do it in a light twin.
Well I’ve rambled on long enough. Happy new year everyone and hopefully my next post will be on how well I did on my CFI-A Knowledge Test!