Final Instrument Training

I was really hoping to finish the 0.6 hours of remaining instrument work today, so I tried to get us up in the air as soon as possible. 89333 was our plane again and I was expecting more of the same as last time. On climbout, Gene has me head north, instead of the usual west. Under the hood, we climbed to 3000 feet and did some more maneuvering… speed, altitude and heading changes. We didn’t do any more VOR radial tracking, but Gene was fiddling with it and the Liberty VOR indicated we were on a track toward Siler City.

A few minutes later and Gene pulled the power… with the hood on! Ok. That’s not part of the training. He told me to take the hood off and I looked around. Just below us on the left was the Siler City runway. I headed for the runway 4 end and circled around a few times while we lost altitude. Base and final and I was high again. Full flaps (I should’ve added them earlier, Gene mentioned) and a full forward slip at 54 knots. It was the perfect combination for getting down fast, and we did. I straightened out just above the runway, touched down and we stopped just passed midfield. Gene suggested we taxi in and stop for a drink on him. I thought “Great. I’m not going to finish my instrument work today”, but I could use the break as well, so we did just that.

We parked and went inside for a drink… a caffeine free soda, that is. We chatted for a few minutes with the airport manager about the good ol’ days of small town restaurants and hand driven washing machines. I could tell it was a nice walk down memory lane for them, but I was feeling pretty young. That’s not a bad thing.

As we walked out to the plane, we looked at the clock (half an hour to get back) and discussed what to do next. I only had 0.3 hours of instrument time left, so Gene said we should be able to get it in on the way back. Cool!

After takeoff, the hood went on again. It was mostly standard cruise stuff on the way back, but we did take the time to work on a couple unusual attitude recoveries. I closed my eyes and took my feet off the rudder pedals. Gene flew around, up and down, left and right, then handed me the controls and I opened my eyes. We were diving at a speed into the yellow, above Vno. I immediately pulled the power and pulled back slowly on the yoke. We leveled out, slowed quickly and continued to cruise.

Gene brought us back to a couple miles from the airport and my 0.6 hours were done. The hood came off and we landed, just in time to get the plane back for the next pilot.

Another 1.0 hours brings me to 68.0 hours total.