Girls With Wings Blog #3
Clouds are amazing! They are also very dangerous and slightly terrifying, but they are exhilarating. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to shoot my first set of approaches in actual IMC (instrument meteorological conditions—a.k.a clouds). This means instead of being under the foggles simulating IMC, I would actually be in the clouds. Pilots learn about the dangers of flying unprepared into IMC from the very beginning of their training (flying untrained into IMC is one of the most perilous situations for any pilot), and, because of this, it is also a necessary part of Instrument training.
I didn’t necessarily fly as well as I would have liked, and there’s definitely some room for improvement, but I didn’t miss my GPS. I’ve tried to attach a video from one of my approaches—an ILS into Dover AFB. One of my favorite things about flying an approach to Dover is the low minimums (200 ft)! The downside: you can only land if you fly an approved airplane—otherwise you have to go missed. I was flying in an airplane from a different flying school, so I hit 200 ft and went missed. You can see that I sit left of course, and I don’t do too much to fix it (one of the things I need to work on). You can also see the ceiling is about 700 ft (although I prided myself on not searching for the field until I hit minimums). I shot this particular ILS twice, and then I flew a VOR approach back home. On the whole, it was a fantastic experience. I really can’t wait to log some more actual time—I think I might be the only pilot at the flight school hoping for “bad” weather!
A few more updates: Two weeks of my aviation summer camp are done! I’ve only had a handful of girls (3 to be exact), but I think the boys are really benefiting from seeing a female both as their camp leader and as a pilot. It takes them a few days to figure out I really do know what I’m doing, but the looks on their faces make it worthwhile. I know I’m having a great time encouraging all these kids to keep working towards becoming pilots (or getting active in aviation). I absolutely love being able to pay it forward.
Lastly, I’m in the last phase of my Instrument training! I have two cross countries, an end of course check, and then it’s my checkride! I can’t believe I’m almost at the end already; however, it’s been an absolutely beautiful summer full of flying.