This past month I have flown five IR training flights in the Bonanza and logged a little over 6 hours of IFR time. The total hours flown in the Bonanza will be around 15 so things are really moving fast. IR check ride is just around the corner it seems!
First three IR training flights consisted basically of the same things we did on the first two VFR flights – stalls, turns, recoveries. Only this time we did them wearing a visor that blocked our view outside so we could only fly by the instruments. We use the visor on the IR training flights to create zero visibility, as if we were flying in cloud. The weather has been so great lately that this is really needed.
We also flew with ADI being “inoperative”, and did climbs, climbing turns, descents and descending turns. IFR flying is quite calm in a way when it comes to piloting and with ADI inoperative all the movements should become even more calm. At first when the ADI goes out, it feels hard to even keep the plane straight and level, but it’s really quickly that you can get a grasp of it. We also practised this in the trainer before so it wasn’t completely new. Of course the real plane is somewhat different to fly. For example the power setting in the trainer is always the same. In the real plane it varies by individual plane as well as with weather conditions day by day. So for example keeping the correct speed always needs more attention in the real plane. This adds to the degree of difficulty when flying with a partial panel.
The last two flights we moved on to doing approaches. Those we practised a lot in the trainer, but doing them in the real plane felt quite new again. Mainly because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s a whole new thing to get the right speeds and find the right power setting for a perfect glide slope.
So far I’ve done approaches only in Pori and the approaches available here. The NDB approach is not available at EFPO anymore since last fall, but here I’ve done ILS, VOR and RNAV approaches as well as a circling approach. Circling approach is an extension of an instrument approach where you make the approach to one runway and then circle the airfield by visual to make the landing to the opposite runway. This could happen for example when the weather requires an instrument approach, let’s say due to a low cloud base, and the instrument approach is only available to one runway, but the tail wind is too strong to land on that runway. Then you can make the approach to that runway and circle to land on the opposite with the head wind.
As I’ve said flying the real thing is somewhat more challenging, but it’s so much fun! The only negative thing is that we only have those 15 hours in the real thing. They will be over so quickly. But right now enjoying every minute of it! Next week we’re supposed to visit another airfield with Bonanza for the first time and do some approaches there.
The trainer flights are almost done too. We only have a couple of them left. We have done different cross-country flights including systems malfunctions and other failures. We flew to Sweden and visited Sundsvall (ESNN), Åre-Östersund (ESNZ) and Umeå (ESNU) airfields. We’ve also practised AFIS operation and departing and arriving on an airfield that is closed. And one of the most interesting trainer flights was a flight to Helsinki (EFHK), which we will also do for real soon enough. I’m looking forward to that!
Enjoy the rest of the pictures taken from the backseat of the Bonanza!