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.

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