Today I completed my third IFR flight lesson.  Through these few lessons I have discovered that IFR flight is nothing like I expected when I began this training.  Though unable to see beyond the panel, the flying is far more precise, more accurate, than I have experienced flying VFR.  While building on the fundamentals of VFR, there is an inherent precision to IFR that makes it challenging and satisfying. 

To date the training has focused on the fundamentals of controlling the aircraft with only references to the instruments.  Skills learned thus far include altitude, attitude, and speed control. Straight and level flight; turns - standard rate, 30 degree, and steep turns.  Stalls and falls - power on/off.  Slow flight.  Constant rate and constant airspeed climbs and descents.  Climbing and descending turns.  All the things we learned in primary training, except we are using only the flight instruments.  In addition, we have accomplished zero/zero takeoffs twice (not crazy about those), and flew an ILS approach.

At the conclusion of lesson two, we flew the ILS Approach to Robins Runway 33.  That experience ranked pretty close to my initial solo.  Although being coached every step of the way by my instructor, I flew the approach.  At minimums I removed the "hood" (view restriction device) and directly before me was the runway.  The system worked just like the books say.  I knew it would, but seeing it, understanding it, and experiencing it whetted my appetite for more.  This stuff is difficult at times, but the challenge is quite rewarding.

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