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Inflight Entertainment

Yesterday I have absolved the second mission of my basic instrument flying module (BIFM).

Holding short of RWY 03L while Jetair's 737 is landing

Holding short of RWY 03L while Jetair’s 737 is landing

I am already starting to feel the difference between the first and second flight. I know what to expect from the plane which I wasn’t flying for almost 6 years and start to get more familiar with the airport as well. On the first time it was a combination of too many new things, which made it a bit more complicated. The manouvers helped me to learn to look inside the cockpit when flying into the clouds.

I feel I did some improvements since the first flight. It is easier to watch more than one instrument on time, to maintain a certain heading (however sometimes the plane still goes its own way, but we are working on it…), and to get orientated in the space without any visual references.

In the first mission I´ve basicaly stopped thinking about the Murphy’s law, that there is always a mountain hidden behind the cloud. I started to concentrate more on the instruments inside the cabin, without looking outside. Don’t want to get to confident, but I am simply feeling safer. 

Today we have practiced some new manouvers; and the weather was just as perfect as during my first session! Clounds, clouds, clouds… Shortly after take off, my instructor covered the windshield, to not to get disctracted by looking outside.

My "inflight entertainment"

My “inflight entertainment” 🙂

I would say, actually I can´t believe that I am paying for having these kind of views from the plane, haha. I always wanted to fly to enjoy the views of the countryside and now I see this (lol). A good pilot is always learning, so it is definitely worth it! So this is my inflight entertainment, to look on a piece of a chart and a binder 🙂

Finaly we took the cover off from the windshield and we have continued the flight in real IMC conditions looking on the instruments inside the plane. It was “real”, as it should be. You can’t ask more than this, to have real IMC conditions on a place, where the sun is shinig more than 360 days a year…

Perfect IMC conditions

Perfect IMC conditions

Actually the whole week I was hoping to have this kind of weather; with clouds and poor visibility (on normal occassions when I fly I pray for CAVOK and good VFR weather).

In todays missions we have practiced descent and climb at 500ft/minute maintaining certain heading and speed and rate of descent/climb. It requires quite a lot of work and concentration. But once you discover how to do it right, it goes easier.

The important thing is to get used to scan/crosscheck all instruments at once and keep an eye on every instrument simultanously. Try to not to focus (stare) on one instrument only, otherwise the plane starts to go its own way.

We have made coordinated turns as well: take your current speed, divide it by 10 and add 7 degrees. This formula will give you the angle of bank to be maintained during the standard turn. 

After today´s flight I was not exhausted like during my first mission, but there is still a lot of work to be done. 
Actually somehow it makes fun. I know, that I am improving my skills and doing something for the safety of the flight.
The only strange thing is, that I haven´t seen anything at all during this 105 minute flight, as I was not able (allowed) to look outside. 🙂

I´ll have to work more on the interceptations of the radiala and I look forward to the next mission. 

Turning on final RWY 03L

Turning on final RWY 03L

On final RWY 03L at Al Gando airport

On final RWY 03L at Al Gando airport

Today's route

Today’s route

I like quite a lot the debriefing. TO hear what went good, what went wrong, I can ask any doubt I have to a person who knows how it works. It is good to go back to the basics and refresh the knowledges.

A good thing is also to take notes from the debriefing; or record the flight. When you watch it at home, you detect things you could have done different way, and improve your skills before your next flight.

On the image of my today’s flight I can see that I haven’t applied correctly the wind correction when flying a certain radial, now I clearly see that I have to have it on my mind next time.

I would really recommend this course to every PPL pilot, actually it should be a part of the basic PPL training. I am quite sure it makes me a safer pilot. I would even love to make the whole IFR training, who knows, maybe in the future?

Safe landings!



11 thoughts on “Inflight Entertainment

  1. When I look at the flight data on the Google Earth Map the only thing that’s going through my mind is : “how many drinks did you have prior to take off ?” 🙂
    I tried out the formula you suggested for the standard turn and it seems correct. I took my car, pushed it to 120 km/hr and took the curbing 180° exit on the highway. Following your formula I need to divide this speed by 10 and add 7 degrees (= 19°degrees). It simply didn’t work ! As I would never dare to question your professionalism I started to think things over and yes … my mistake. Once converted the speed into knots (65 knots) it makes sense ! My car is tipping over and wheels on one side come up losing ground. With my iPhone leveler (great app !) I saw a 14° inclination which is almost exactly the theoretical outcome (65/10 + 7 = 13,5°). And to the drivers out there who were pointing their fingers at their heads : I’m driving VFR idiots ! Very Fast Racing …

    • Tjeke, I have an idea: Take some pictures of your crashed car and write a post, hahaha. And like “bruggetje” you could use the song “I crashed my into the bridge and I loved it, I don’t care…”, haha.

      Now seriously. I forgot, that between my readers are also sailormen and not pilots only:-) For the most of us in aviation we use knots. Except Russia and very light planes… But the sailormen, don’t they use knots as well?

      But you are right; this formula works in knots only, and it works realy. I have proved this yesterday. Great to discover interesting things like that…

      So. Next time, convert the knots into km/h and everybody will point and say: Hey, this man is driving IFR! (Intelligent fast racing) 🙂 🙂

  2. Yup, seamen use knots or nautical miles per minute. To be honest, I used to think that the speed signs along the road were in knots as well but after a number of fines I know better now. The police who stopped me didn’t believe me … As from than I drive IFR 🙂

    • Hahaha. Seamen probably use speedboots if they use nm per minute 😂😂😂👌but it was fun to sort this out 😀😀😀

  3. Hey Stan, nice blog! Is it normal in your country to cover the windshield for IR training? Because the safety pilot (instructor) has to look for traffic. Even if you were on an IFR flight plan in VMC you always need to look for traffic. How does that work? Just wondering. 🙂 Cheers, Florian

    • Hi Florian, thanks for stopping by.
      Glad you like my blog 😉 I liked your IFR article as well 🙂

      Normally we do not cover the winshield, but we forgot the hood and didn’t wanted to go back to the office, put delay on our FPL, etc, etc, since it is a long way on this airport to get back to the office, pass the security….

      My instructor was looking outsite through the right side of his windshield and we were flying in a controlled airpace so it should be ok. They would advise us should there be any traffic in the area and we were flying above the sea.

      The other flights were made properly with hood… 🙂

      But I think it should be like you write; looking for traffic.

      Safe flights! 🙂

  4. is this BIFM thing an easa rating?, or just an spanish rating, like in the uk the basic instrument one? . I was going to do the Enroute Instrument Rating which is EASA indeed, and then once I have some hours logged in IMC, do the Competency based instrument rating, CBIR ( is a new one) which at the end grants you the same privileges as the IR, the difference is only in the training requirements and that requires less hours because you already have some logged, hence cheaper. But I am thinking on doing this one, logged the hours in IMC, and go for the CBIR directly.

    cheers from la palma!

    • Hi from Tenerife!

      BIFM is not an AESA rating, it only consists of 10 hours flying without visual references (hood time).

      This are let’s say the first 10 hours of the IR rating, it’s for your safety, but you are not allowed to fly IFR flights…

      But it’s always good to have it, it makes you a safer pilot…

      So once you decide to continue with the IR, these hours will be taken in count.

      Safe flying!
      Stan 😎

  5. So you actually get a certificate stating that (10 hours of IR instruction) or just signatures in the logbook? , the problem with the full IR..is that you have to do the full ATPL, well its not that one has to, but its the sensible thing to do 7 theory subjects vs. 14 in the atpl, all flight schools with distance learning theory programs seem to be geared towards ATPL, so that’s why I was considering the e-ir route ( one theory exam), and the the cb-ir to get the full IR. Agree with your statement on how it makes you a safer pilot, thats the reason why I am doing it, I am planning on adding the aerobatic rating soon as well. I call canavia a few days ago, I wanted to try one of their diamonds the one you talked about somewhere , the one that makes everything for you, lean mixture, autopilot etc.., haha, and they told me they don[t rent without a safety pilot. So much for having a licence that one is not even allowed to drive a plane without a safety pilot!. But its their plane so their rules I suppose.

    • Yes, I logged 10hours as IR flight in my logbook and the school issued a certificate of those flown under “instrumental flight rules”. This is actually the first step of the whole IR training, so I don´t have to repeat this hours when doing IR rating.

      Well. I´m studying ATPL (on distance, via Bristol Ground School and Canavia), so the IR theory is “included” in the course.

      What I´m thinking is, that you could study only the IR part (7 subjects) from the whole ATPL course and finish your IR rating… I don´t know if this would work, but you have to approve the exams at SENASA; and I assume that if you have passed these 7 exams, you are legaly OK to finish your IR (and then let’s just say “stop” or “not finish” the ATPL course). The thing is,you would pay the whole amount of the course and use only 50% of it.

      Does this make a sense?

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