In early June my family and I took our annual summer vacation. I knew when vacation time was over it was time to get my flying club annual and biannual flight review (BFR). Today was that day.
I am alway nervous for these things, though not sure why. It always results in good refreshers of procedures and I get to shoot some approaches since I am now instrument rated.
I scheduled some time with an instructor but could only get afternoons after 2:30pm. The temperatures have been obnoxious lately and wasn’t particularly looking forward to a couple of hours of sweating and thermals.
As luck would have it, I was able to slide into a last minute morning slot at 7:30am due to a cancellation. Yes please!
I arrived early and completed the preflight. Once my instructor arrived, he suggested we do the flight portion first, while it is cool. I agreed so we jumped in and got to work.
This flight was pretty laid back, it isn’t a test as much as brushing up on skills. I liked that I was asked questions in general conversation on how I would handle this or that. It was very informal which made it more fun and less like an examination.
We departed for the practice area where we went through steep turns, stall series, unusual attitudes. Then I shot the VOR – A approach to KSCR with a low approach to runway 22 before breaking off.
We headed back to KTTA and along the way I was tested on an emergency descent. My field selection was spotty as it looked more hilly than I thought it would be. It would have been survivable but not pretty.
Next, I shot the ILS 3 approach into KTTA. Nothing earth shattering here, I was pretty stable and the air was nice and smooth which aided tremendously.
After going missed, I headed back to the IAF at IKTOW to shoot the RNAV 3 approach. While I setup, I was asked a few more questions followed by idle chit chat. A lot of the time this is just for distraction, to see how you cope. As I got setup, my instructor covered up my Attitude Indicator and Directional Gyro. This would be partial panel. It was fine, it is good practice.
I briefed the approach and entered teardrop for the procedure and here’s where things got interesting.
As I turned inbound I noticed the vertical guidance flagged. I thought, hmm that is odd. Soon I realized why. As we approached the FAF at IKTOW, I saw a message popup on the GTN 650. It displayed “Loss of Integrity” and the LPV went from green to yellow. Either we are having a real GPS failure or the instructor did something.
Soon after, all the information on the GPS went blank. The squawk book reported this but it was supposed to be fixed. My instructor obviously didn’t set it up because he was taking pictures to document for maintenance.
I decided to flip the CDI back over to the ILS 3 Y approach since I was already setup and follow the ILS down. In hindsight, I should have just did the step down with a timer but for some reason felt better about the ILS 3 since I just shot that approach and was configured.
It was interesting shooting partial panel with just the compass and not having the GPS available for track. It was awesome real world practice though.
Things turned out fine and I landed without any drama. If you have read previous posts, I seem to struggle landing with instructors…. not this time demons!!
All in all, it was a really fun flight and got my flight review and club annual completed. I really enjoy the instructors at our club and always learn new things. More flying to come soon!
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