I’ve been quiet on here. The past few months I’ve been working extremely hard on earning my Instrument Rating and can officially say I’m an Instrument Rated Pilot! Finally! For those of you that have been following my journey know this has been a goal for YEARS. YEEEARS. The feeling is amazing to accomplish this rating.
This process has been a bit of a whirlwind with my normal work, additional work I took on, and then flying. That’s my excuse for being a bit silent, but I’m going to sit down and write a few blogs about lessons learned, difficulties and triumphs throughout this process. I’ll start with a refresher.
I became a private pilot on Long Island in 2013. Long time, right? My medical even expired before I got this new rating. I knew I wanted to continue my flying journey, but time and money just weren’t there.
I did switch careers and move from theatre to aviation as an aircraft dispatcher. Jake and I moved to Cincinnati and with a more stable salary and cheaper flying, I picked it back up. But it was the fun stuff. Grass strips, taildraggers, gliders, and aerobatics. All those were great steps to making me a better pilot. Stick and rudder pilot, in the traditional sense. Flight time and pilot skills increased but not much progress towards my instrument rating.
A new job, a new state. We moved to California and I focused on work. The flying prices were the same again as NY area, but we could afford it a bit more now. Jake and I found a school and he helped me build XC hours and instructed me for almost 20 hours. The bulk of this time was spent just learning how to fly the airplane. We did those instrument patterns over and over again. I was so sick of it. But controlling an airplane became much easier for me. It would be one less thing to worry about once you add on reading/understanding approach plates, flying the approach, and going missed.
It wasn’t working out so well for us though. With both our jobs, time to fly was sporadic. I had to get a CFII. We both agreed that most at the school we were using just weren’t up to par. Plus, another move was on the horizon.
Now in Seattle, it was time to buckle down. Also, my written was set to expire at the end of June! That’s what I get for being ambitious to take them quickly. As my previous blogs stated, it was a task to find a CFII with availability. Once I had my CFII, I tried to fly 2-3 times a week. The freezing level in March was a bit of a struggle. Otherwise, flying in the Pacific Northwest is amazing, especially if you’re instrument student! I ended up with about 8 hours of actual time.
There were roadblocks in June that made my training feel like it came to a grinding halt. I’ll go into more detail later. But June 26th I passed my checkride!
Now at a bit over 190 hours, I’m motivated to keep up the pace and continue down this path. Before I go into that though, I’ll share my past journey. Please stay tuned for my next update. It’ll be more on working with a CFII.