Learning Experiences

October 2008 Issue

Ahead Of The Airplane

Im a private pilot with (at the time) 1800 hours over 35 years. I have owned three airplanes, and now fly a Piper Archer. I had decided to reward myself with an instrument rating as a retirement present. I had to work during my ground school as the 60-year-old mind does not function like that of the 20-year-old, and the flying also was a challenge since hand/eye coordination is in about the same shape. Still, I had a fun time learning from my young CFI-I, who had been a good friend for some time. We flew mostly by his schedule, in weather, and even picked up ice during some training flights. It was great experience. When the time came for the long dual cross-country, we planned to fly from our base in Davenport, Iowa, to Iowa City and make a VOR approach to a full stop. We then would pick up a new clearance, fly to Omaha for an NDB approach and pick up my daughter who was stationed at Offutt AFB. Wed fly back to Davenport for an ILS.

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