Today’s lesson was simply a ground brief on approaches. Yes, approaches. Finally. In talking with my instructor Jason today, it seems that my thoughts on people quitting were right. According to Jason, most people that start IFR training but never finish end up stopping somewhere in their holds training. Good times. Did I mention I’m happy to be past that part of the training? Of course, I suspect that there will still be holds in my future sim training, but at least that will just be part of an approach now.
Approaches, in a sense, are the easiest part of IFR flying as everything is basically spelled out for you on the appropriate CAP; outbound on this heading, turn this direction for the procedure turn, descend to this altitude here, etc. Granted there are various methods for starting the approach after reaching the initial fix but everything after that is written down on the CAP. And if you don’t follow those instructions to the letter, not only are you breaking the CARs but you risk running becoming one of those CFIT statistics, especially in mountainous terrain.
That’s not to say that expect approaches to be easy. Although you need to review the approach plate before starting, you need to be sure that you are at least one step ahead of the plane so that you aren’t fumbling around from one step to the next. And thus far, staying ahead of the plane has been my biggest challenge.