During my ground lesson this morning, Joe and I discussed some of the different things that are located on a low Instrument Flight Rules chart. I am starting to understand how all of the Navigational aids work together to set yourself up for an approach, but I am not quite sure I am ready to hop in the airplane and shoot an approach. However, I do have the luxury of the flight simulator which has a feature that allows you to freeze the entire situation and discuss/brief what events are to come next and what I should be doing typically when entering an approach to land. Joe and I briefed the Flying Cloud KFCM VOR approach for runway 10R and I got a basic understanding of what I am looking for, and when I should consider what the minimums actually are based on whether I am using the VOR and DME, or just the VOR. (I will attach the approach chart so you get an understanding of what I was working with) I am getting an information overload of useful things to remember and of course the FAR/AIM’s never seem to escape my mind.
As we were flying the Simulator today, Joe gave me specific instructions on what altitudes, headings and how long I should be flying a specific heading which all came together to form a nice pattern that actually turned out much better than I expected. I definitely need to keep my scanning habits up, because as I figured out today, the second you forget to check something it’s probably gonna be wrong. In my case, I was worrying about my altitude as I accidentally descended almost 100 feet and after the fact I noticed I was off of my assigned heading by nearly 40 degrees! Another thing that I think would help is to write every single bit of information I receive down so that I don’t forget any instructions or misinterpret something important like a heading. Anyways, hopefully we get some better weather in the near future so I can finally do my checkout in the Cessna 172. I am planning on flying up to Duluth International Airport sometime next week, so look forwards to some nice pictures!