What a journey. I completed my Multi-Engine Instrument Rating back in October but have just been so busy I haven’t gotten around to updating the blog until now (Thanks holidays!). This was easily the hardest part for me, getting an Instrument Rating. What a challenge, but the challenge was accepted and completed.
Last time I updated I said we were close to the end, but with smooth sailing came bad weather and maintenance issues that popped up, adding to the delays. Nothing anyone could do about it, and if anything I was happy for the extra time to study and revise procedures. The Instrument Rating is split up into three sections, initial analogue IF simulator time, multi-engine class rating in the DA42, and then combining that with IF. The course is run differently to the CPL, it’s much more fast paced and time is a very precious commodity, with costs obviously being much more in a twin flying IF than a single. As such you have to treat every sim and flight like you have one shot to get it right because no one wants to fork out for another crack just because you came underprepared.
Flying through clouds for the first time is surreal. You don’t really have time to notice at first because your head is down and locked onto scanning the instruments. Those times when you do look up and see you’re spliced in between two layers of lumpy and chunky grey cloud is awesome, almost like you’re flying through the atmosphere in an Alien movie. It’s easy to get caught up in how it looks outside and before you know it you’ve dropped SA and are behind all the checks needed to set up for an approach, so keep your eye on the prize.
My test was pretty eventful, we had a tight schedule that day and of course, it changed. The first part of the flight was all fairly straightforward out to Amberley for the ILS and then back at the Gold Coast, it all changed. Problems with sequencing and our booked slots forced us to hold for quite a while and then eventually we had to land and split the flight up in two parts, so that added to the stress of it all but we did manage to complete the flight and I passed!
As much as it was a challenge it was probably the most rewarding phase of my training. I feel I came a long way as a pilot, understanding a lot more about the traffic mix and how RPT operate by following the rules they do. My SA improved a lot along with my overall confidence. Great instructors help a lot, and I’m very fortunate I’ve had such high calibre instructors throughout my training. Without their dedication to me, their craft and answering my countless questions there is no way I would have made it through. In fact, the whole team at AWA deserve a round of applause here because they didn’t just make me an instrument rated commercial pilot, they made me a better person. I have grown so much since I started this and learnt so much about myself for that I will always be grateful, so thank you. And thank you to all the other students for being there to bounce ideas around, help with problems and all the other hurdles along the way. Lastly, thank you to my friends and family for supporting me and mentoring me through this journey.