Instrument Flight 21: Some Real IMC

My radio arrived back from the factory a few weeks ago. While I was waiting I tried connecting the other one to my VOR/glideslope receiver, hoping that combination might work. It didn’t; the VOR needle is still way off, so I ordered a new digital indicator (CDI) to replace it. I put the new radio back in the plane, and it seems to work.

While my official IFR training was on hold the last few weeks, I did some hood flights. I also got some good IMC experience on a trip to Key West.

Today I’ll start listing my actual instrument (IMC) time. The middle number in the header above is my total IMC to date (2.1 hrs), and the last one is my total instrument time (hood and IMC). I got a few minutes in my plane yesterday, the first time I had been in the clouds with my original CFII.

I got the new CDI installed last week, so the plane is back to where it was when I bought it. I should say “almost”, because the unit isn’t receiving VOR signals at all. Only the localizer/glideslope functions work.

Today I was about as rusty as I expected. We did some holding over a VOR, then VOR and ILS approaches. The holding got overly confusing, because I had just entered the pattern when the controller told us to hold on a different radial. I had to start over. (We had been cleared to hold, but no radial or direction was specified.)

The approaches were about where they were a few weeks ago. I can tell my hood flying has improved; the problems now are with procedures. I messed up the VOR approach by flying a certain heading instead of following the needle. The ILS went better; I actually was on the correct horizontal and vertical paths at the same time for a while.

It helps to have both indications on one display. Instead of needles, my indicator has lights arranged in the shape of a plus sign to show how far off course I am. When a light comes on, fly toward it. If the ILS is flown correctly, the lights are off.

There are separate lights which come on to indicate that the glideslope and localizer signals are being received. This unit picks up those signals much farther out than other receivers.

Today: 1.2 hour instrument time
Total: 2.1 hours IMC time
Total: 37.3 hours instrument time

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