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Guest DNelson

First Instrument Approaches.

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I've just completed my first stage check for my instrument rating, and have now started approaches. This is really information overload stuff :) . My first was at KFNL (Fort Collins Loveland, CO) last Saturday, and was in actual IMC. We broke out at 400' above minimums for the ILS 33, same on our return to Jeffco (KBJC), ILS to 29R. My CFII did all the talking to ATC and radio stack management (thanks goodness).Today (2 days later), as a part of my lesson, both my CFII and me took my grandson back to KCOS (Colorado Springs). I flew under the hood, but this time I had to manage all the comms, GPS, nav radios; all by myself. To add to it, KCOS was IMC on our approach to 17L; my CFII told me to take off my view limiting device as we were about to enter actual. This time I did a lot better at holding both the glideslope and the LOC, and to break out and see the runway right there was real magic!But- major brain overload, handling real controllers in the Denver area who are real busy, plus keeping ahead of the plane.UA has it's flight training at Stapleton, as we will all soon get to see first hand. A part of that goes back to the days before simulators, when Denver's 320 clear sky days each year made it great for real flight training. Given that the other 35 days are usually in mid winter with lots of ice to prevent a GA airplane from intentionally getting into legally, it's very rare to get non-ice, non-thunderstorm actual here. I feel really lucky to have had the experience!Bruce.

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Way to go, keep up the good training!I hesitate to start the instrument endeavor!! I am still working on my tailwheel endorsement!W. Sieffert

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Thanks- this sure is a steep learning curve, nothing like the VFR flying that I've done. Kind of fun sharing the frequency with the big boys! :)Bruce.

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Thanks :). The grin is still on my face, 36 hours later :)Bruce.

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Yup, instrument training is where civilian flight sims really shine, IMHO. When I completed my instrument training a few years back, FS98 was the current version (not even the original Fly! had been released then). Even that version helped tremendously with my instrument training, even with it's very imprecise terrain. (I can still name numerous approaches in the rocky mountain areas where, if you fly the approach exactly by the approach plate, you still auger into a mountain using FS98.) I did quite a bit of approach work and holding patterns using FS98, and my CFII could tell a difference. I flew my checkride at around 41 hours of instrument time (simulated and actual), and passed on the first try.If you're interested, I could supply you with several departure/approach combinations here in the mountain west that can be flown in FS9 and provide and excellent instrument workout.

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Hi,Yes- I would like to see the approaches that you can offer here in the mountain west. My e-mail is brucek@qwest.net , although I'm sure that some here would like them too.I use FS9 for practicing local approaches that I will be doing, and found it very useful in practicing both holds and DME arcs that I passed on my stage check recently. Thanks for the encouraging words. Now that I've seen that runway at KCOS appear out of the overlaying ceiling, flying will never be the same again. It's too late now to decide not to do the instrument rating !! :)Bruce.

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Bruce,Well, I seem to have lost the list of IFR departure/approach combinations I created several years ago, but here's my favorite:Depart from Helena, Montana (KHLN) on either rwy 9 or 27 and fly the STAKK TWO departure to the Bozeman transition. At this point you will be on Victor 365. At SWEDD intersection you turn inbound on the BZN VOR 140 degree radial. At this point you have two options to get on the ILS into Bozeman (KBZN): Fly the 14 DME arc directly to the localizer, or fly from the MENAR intersection to the LOM, turn outbound on the localizer, then fly the procedure turn to get inbound. Either transition is quite a challenge if you don't think it through before you fly it.Actually, these exercises are pretty easy to find. Just find two IFR airports that are maybe 50-75 miles apart and look for a pilot nav departure procedure at the first airport that goes in the general direction of the second airport. Many times that departure procedure will lead to a navaid or intersection that will appear as an IAF on an approach chart for the second airport. In that case you fly directly from the departure to the approach, without even looking at the en route chart. Or, like my KHLN-KBZN example above, you may have an en route segment, but it will be very short.Dan

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