The Instrument Rating Skills Test

I had passed the 170A, which is a test similar to the instrument rating skills test (IRT) – a bit like a mock skills test to show that you’re ready to take the IRT yesterday.  I meticulously prepared for the IRT – I prepared the basic items such as the plog and performance calculations and then studied my route in detail.

The examiner had brief us to take him to Seville and divert to Jerez on a simulated passenger, instrument flight.  The most likely runway to be in use was 27 at LEZL, so I chose the Alcol 2L departure, taking us to Moron VOR, and then I would request radar vectors for an ILS approach, from which I would go around.  On going around, I would route direct to the JER NDB at Jerez and carry out an asymmetric (an engine failure simulated after the ILS approach go-around) NDB approach, followed by an asymmetric go around and visual circuit to land. I studied the CAA CAP 413 document again to ensure my radio calls would be correct on the flight and even wrote some out and practiced them to myself whilst I mentally flew the route in my head.

I nervously walked over to the examiner’s office to allow him to examine the route I prepared, the flight plan, plog and performance calculations.  After a few questions on each, I was asked to meet him at the aircraft, to take-off at the scheduled time.  The entire flight went smoothly and found myself just getting on with the flying, as most of the thinking had been done on the ground during preparation.  The conditions were not easy though – it was very hot outside and turbulent.  However, I have flown in these conditions many times, so I have grown used to it and just learnt to deal with it.  Once I had shut the engine down and completed all the checks, the examiner told me that it was a pleasant flight and congratulated me on my first time instrument rating pass!

We then went to fill out the paperwork and debrief on the flight.  I’ve got a few days free now, so I’ve booked a flight to go home for the weekend and be back in time for the MCC Course.

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