Hard to believe but, after decades of dabbling, I FINALLY GOT MY INSTRUMENT RATING!

I studied hard for several weeks over the Holidays and took the written exam just after Christmas.  It’s probably the hardest of all FAA Written Tests and I got a 98% on it!  If you don’t pass your check-ride for the flying part within two years after passing the written, it lapses and you have to take it again.  It was the sixth time I’d passed the written exam in the last 30+ years!

With FAA Check-Pilot Chuck Brown and my Instructor Durwin Daniel

The Cessna 172 I flew was equipped with a Garmin 1000 glass panel!  Just like flying a jet but at a quarter the speed!  It was a great experience, although it was somewhat frustrating having to learn the system on the fly.  There is so much information available using it that it’s like drinking from a fire hose and, at times, felt like the panel was, “Starring back at me!”

Garmin 1000 Panel in a Cessna 172 (courtesy of Garmin website)

After the recent trip bringing the C-47 across the pond and getting stuck five days on the ground, I decided it was finally time!  There were several other reasons too.  They recently changed the type-rating requirements.

Cruising along on my Instrument Cross-Country!

In the past, I got type-ratings in the B-17, B-24, B-26, etc. with a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) limitation.  Now you HAVE to have an Instrument Rating.  Without it, I would not be able to fly the C-47 as Pilot in Command.  We also got a special waiver to fly the P-51D Cripes A’Mighty for revenue rides but, guess what?  One of the requirements is an Instrument Rating!

Plus, one day, I hope to be in a position to get a small jet for personal transportation and add another aspect of piloting to my flying career.  Currently, I’m learning all that I can about light jets and it’s still a dream . . . but it IS getting closer!