IR EXAM SECRETS
Instrument Rating is not very difficult, but requires from the pilot who is flying to know the basics under the hood , know his personal minimums such as explaining to the examiner or instructor not to go into thunderstorm etc. know his goal for instrument rating , more examples is that he is not going to fly if there is strong winds etc. One of the most point is also to treat the examiner as passenger or a safety pilot .
Make sure that you are fully prepared for your flight starting from overall planning, route planning, weather planning, procedures brief, and flight preparation. All of these are explained into GO OR NO GO DECISION section of the website.
I will assume that you finished everything for your flight and you are fully ready to go , and I'll start by talking about the basic secrets of success in the Instrument Rating exam
The first point is to go to the plane before the examiner/ instructor for half an hour or more, and this thing will help you a lot to arrange yourself and make sure of the safety of the aircraft for the last time, such as the closure of the rare door and shut the fuel cap and others. Then sit on the chair and connect your headset and fasten your seat belts. You can get the ATIS and set your comms, nav aids GPS and save them as well and request engine start or you can wait until your examiner/instructor arrives but in the end these things depends on you, you are the pilot in command , trust yourself and make your decision . This point will help a lot to reduce STRESS , In addition , the opposite of the word STRESSED as well ^_^ .
The second point, which is upon the arrival of the examiner to the plane. After he sits on the chair and fastens his seat belts and before you begin to read your checklist ask him if he is familiar with the aircraft or not. They usually say yes but be ready !
The third point is when you request taxi, after you get your taxi instructions make sure that you show the examiner airport chart and show him where you are going to and what you will do for example : I am going to taxi and hold point Charlie and I will make sure that the approach for runway 29 is clear ). KISS ( keep it simple stupid ). After you done that make sure that your right and left is clear and do your brake checks. While taxing between aircrafts I usually say “ WING TIP CLEAR “ of any other aircrafts. KEEP A GOOD LOOK OUT . Do your taxi checks as in the SOPs for example : Turning left ball right correct sense , HIS RMI Standby compass correct sense, ADF needle tracking correctly, VOR needle tracking correctly, and DME needle tracking correctly. When you arrive to the power checks area make sure that you align the aircraft into wind and slipstream will not affect other aircrafts.
The fourth point is also an important point is when you get departure clearance, make sure you set your nav aids, comms and every thing because it is the last chance before you takeoff. TAKE YOUR TIME , write down if it’s a right or left turn in a place that you can see easily and also the given heading/altitude. Ex: R/315. Trust me you will need this information after takeoff and requires quick SCAN. When you request that you are ready for departure make sure that the approach is clear and do your takeoff checks and I usually start the timer because we cannot leave pitot heat on more that 3 mins on the ground and this shows that you know your stuff. Call increasing power and call set takeoff power loudly. Check fuel, check maps, check amps, check no warning lights and GO. Maintain center line, T’s + P’s green, speed alive no warning lights and then rotate.
Fifth point is about Checklists. After takeoff checks make sure that you check the speed and there is positive rate of climb before you retract the gear. Continue with rest of the checklist and end it by saying after takeoff checklist completed and the same for all the other checklists. Every 1000ft there is TIP Checks, which is T’s + P’s check, ICE check and power check. Top of climb checks, pre-descend checks, initial approach checks, landing and final checks. Make sure that you do all the checks and I Remind you again when you start them finish them. One Last check as well is cruise checks; FEFL, which is fuel sufficient, engine instrument checks, flight instrument checks and location monitor. When I arrive any waypoint I say loudly Twist, Turn, Time, and ( Talk ). After that I say Track and Stack =On track and stack I start to check my Comms and Nav aids.
Sixth point is the Arrival to your Destination so ATIS Comes first. Review your arrival routes and charts and brief it to your examiner/instructor. Radios must be preset and start your pre-descend checks. Anticipate and follow instructions such as the Radar Vector ILS etc.
Seventh point is the ILS. The ‘ Golden Rule “ for flying the localizer is to action corrections on the AI with reference to the HIS. Smooth and light touch with little correction is only required. Speed/power must be correct and a correction into wind and that set.
Eighth point is divided into three keys. Stalls are the first key. Complete the HASELL Checks and make sure that you confirm the locations with the examiner/ instructor. When you recover ease back pressure, add power, some rudder with roll and climb. Second key is Recovery from unusual attitudes. Do not move your head down and do not touch the trim unless trim run away. Recover when that examiner / instructor gives you control and the way you have been taught. Last key is the limited panel turns. Make sure that you turn first then start the timer “ Rudder 1st then Aileron 2nd gently “ .
The ninth point is the NDB. Most students are suffering and worrying about the NDB.
It is very easy if you initiated correctly, it will end correctly and in between you must focus on some checks. From the beginning, overhead the beacon start your timer and turn, call entering the hold and mention your altitude. Continue turning at rate one until you arrive your heading( corrected one ). Wings level or Abeam whichever is later. Start the timer again continue outbound for the calculated timing and most importantly is to use the DME. Check your corrected gate and fly it if the tail of the needle is over it. So you continue until you read 2.2d in the DME. Ignore your calculated timing. 2.2d is more important. Then turn inbound and while turning check your 60 to Go. If its undershoot roll wings level until its overhead the required track ( 10 degrees less if there is dip ), If it is overshoot continue turning and correct for it after you roll out. If it is on the required track, continue turning and correct for the wind after you roll out. Track it all the way to the beacon until 0.5d then stop tracking.
Tenth Point is the NDB procedure. Five points to remember, 1-Time 2- Call 3- Descend 4- Initial approach checks 5- ID ADF. So start the timer and call beacon outbound. Start your descend and carry out you initial approach checks, after that ID the ADF NAV Aid. One mile before final approach fix put gear and flap down and over it start your descend. Check height every one DME. If Go-around required power up, gear up, and flap up directly.
By Majed Almansoori