A trip down to Southern Ohio for some sim-IFR training

I’ve got a Private Pilot License which allows me to fly just about anything, anywhere, at any time. But a lot of pilots call the PPL only half of the license because the major restriction is that you must always remain clear of clouds. That means that a pilot is often grounded when he doesn’t want to be.

The instrument rating is a rating added to your license that allows you to fly under Instrument Flight Rules and therefore fly through clouds. But there’s a lot of flying that has to be done first before you can take your Instrument test:

My current progress towards my Instrument Rating.

The first two are complete or nearly so. The last two are easy enough to knock out with an instructor when I get close to the exam time. It’s the middle requirement that takes a lot of time & money.

40 hours of time is as much as you need for the entire Private Pilot License, and this rating needs another 40 of actual instrument time or simulated instrument time. Actual instrument time is time spent in clouds. Since I’m not allowed to do that yet, I would need to pay for an instructor to go up with me for all those hours. Simulated time means wearing some “foggles” that attempt to limit your vision to only inside the airplane. You don’t need an instructor for simulated time, but you do need another licensed pilot to act as a safety pilot while you are wearing your blinders.

So I’ve found a new friend & safety pilot to fly with lately and we’ve been taking short flights to build the Sim time. I fly with the foggles on the way out, and he flys with them on the way back. For a 1 hour destination, we each get about an hour of Sim time, an hour of cross-country time, and due to some weird glitch in the FAA matrix, we get to double-up on Pilot-in-Command time while someone is wearing the foggles.

This trip we went down to Portsmouth, Ohio (KPMH). It was my first time flying due South and it was kind of nice to see something a little different than endless Ohio farmland.

Southern Ohio hills covered in haze.

But we did also see plenty of farmland too of course:

Wet farms in Southern Ohio.

And on departure we did something a little different than we normally do, we flew under the Columbus class C shelf at a little under 2,000 feet.

At that altitude we were actually dodging radio towers.

Columbus from under 2,000 feet.

It was a good flight and it’s always nice to see a new airport. Looking forward to returning to Portsmouth again!

A Sightseeing Tour

I took my friend Denny up in the plane today. He was a flight attendant in a previous career so he was no stranger to airplanes but this happened to be his first time in a small airplane.

It was a bit windy, 16 knots gusting to 24 from the southwest. KOSU made that just extra easy by having a nice runway heading the same direction.

KOSU Airport Diagram

We took off from runway 23 and proceeded to meander our way around northwest Columbus before contacting ATC to coordinate a little sight seeing over campus and downtown.

The Oval, Ohio State, 4/15/2017

Denny got a nice shot of the Oval and a piece of high street.

Since we were right in the way of departing traffic from the big airport, we scurried south a bit to take a loop around downtown Columbus.

Columbus, Ohio 4/15/2017

This is a shot Denny took from just west of the city. The Scioto River is the beautiful brown waterway running through the shot.

After playing around the city, it was time to get out of the path of departing traffic and play around with the clouds.

Clouds were at around 10,000 feet today so we spent about 15 minutes climbing to that height over Delaware, Ohio.

10,000 feet in the air. Level with the clouds.

Then it was time to let Denny have the controls. As an ex flight-attendant, he was a natural. No fear of the plane. Just comfortably put us in a few unusual attitudes on accident that I had to correct so we didn’t die.

If you know what body of water that is… let me know!

Sun was setting. Time to get home. Wind was coming down just a little bit but still a bit gusty. Since the plane is so small and gets kicked around by even relatively light winds, we did a no-flap landing at a little faster speed in order to have a little more rudder authority.

Fun day in the plane!