IFR Diary, Day 11: Wednesday, Sept 8
If Thine Eye Offends Thee...
Today we do four approaches: NDB at Stockton, VOR at Tracy, and ILS
25 at Livermore and the VOR coming home to Hayward. The latter two
are done on partial panel. On the ILS, which was circle-to-land
today, Charles again kills the nav radio, but this time I see the
red flags right away. I just started tracking on the number two
radio, which I'd already set up for the localizer. I pulled power
and went immediately to localizer/circle-to-land minimums. The
tower tells me to break off the approach at 1000 and enter Left
downwind for Runway 7. I complied. "Change this a full stop," said
On the ground, Charles said, "You just busted your check ride. Do
you know why?" I figured it was due to my circle-to-land procedure.
He explained, "Did you notice the note on the plate that circling is
not authorized North of Rwy 7L-25R?"
"Yes," I said contritely, "I did notice that, but it was VFR and the
tower instructed me...." He took on his 'listen-up' tone, "During
your exam, you're visual when the examiner tells you to take off
your hood. Until then, assume you're in the clouds--even if the
tower tells you that you're not. This would not happen in real
life, but examiners love to put you in these situations just to see
how you handle it. So think: how can you get around this
"I'd ask Tower to circle south for 7R instead." He nodded, then
said, "Good. Tower says, 'request denied.' Now what?" I thought for
a second, then offered, "I'd cancel IFR. Then I can circle anyway I
want. 'If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out.'"
"Excellent," he says. On the way home we do air work, and I find
that I'm getting smoother at the steep turns. Now that I've
discovered that I don't get sick, I actually enjoy practicing
recovering from unusual attitudes.
Charles tells me he wants to schedule a check ride for next Tuesday,
September 12. This puts a lump in my throat, but I have to trust
his judgment about my skill level. He promises that the remaining
five days is ample time to grind off the remaining few burrs.