Instrument Proficiancy Check

Well after about 4 months of studying and practicing, today was the big day for my IPC.

Earlier this week I met Spencer Aircraft at my hangar so they could perform my IFR Airplane Check. It is biennial test of the transponder, the pitot / static systems, and the altimeters. In a nut shell they hook up equipment to the pitot and static systems so they can simulate flying the airplane to 22,000ft. (or whatever you want it certified to) At specific intervals like 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 7000, 9000, etc they make sure your altimeters are reading what they should and that the transponder is transmitting the right altitude when it is queried by radar.
Since Spencer Aircraft is located at Thun Field, they just drove their golf cart over.

Here is the instrument that tests the output of the transponder,

and here is the instrument they hook to the pitot / static system.

All set up in the cockpit so he can run it up and check the specified altitudes. (Kind of a long process.) Everything went great though and they signed it off. Now that the airplane is ready for IFR, I need to do my IPC.

Today I did my IPC. (An Instrument Proficiency Check is a comprehensive evaluation that follows the practical test standards for the instrument rating.) This needs to be done by a designated examiner or a CFII.

It's hard to take pictures when your flying with the hood on so I'll have to just tell the story. I drove up to SeaTac airport this morning at 9:30a to pick up Austin (CFII) who was coming from Spokane. Now that he flies for Horizon, he can just about get on any flight and ride in the jumpseat. We did about an hour of ground school regarding the IPC and then went flying. For the flight portion I filed IFR to Tacoma Narrows at 11:45a and a return flight to Thun at 12:45p. One thing nice about Thun is they have a clearance delivery frequency on the ground so you can get a clearance before taking off. It was easy but they issued a 10 minute delay for take off. Fortunately it only ended up about 5 minutes and we were on our way. To start they gave me vectors to the ILS 17. After that I did the published missed to the hold followed by the LOC 17. After that I did the RNAV (GPS) 17 approach with the JUYCU initial. After that they vectored us then cleared us direct to ARWEL for the GPS 34 into Thun. That was it but I was pretty mentally spent. Back at Thun we debreifed and did a little more ground before meeting Darin for lunch at the Hangar Inn. It was so nice we ate outside on the deck. I was debating on whether to drive Austin back to SeaTac or just fly him home. With the nice weather I decided to fly him.

Hey a picture finally! This is on the ground in Spokane while dropping him off.

For fun on the way home I called Seattle Radio just after takeoff and filed an IFR flight plan from the Moses Lake VOR to Pierce county. (They like you to file 30 minutes in advance so they can get it in the system.) I filed MWH V2 ELN V2 SEA PLU at 10,000ft. When I got to Moses Lake (MWH) I requested my clearance and they gave me MWH V2 ELN V187 TCM PLU at 10,000ft. Almost the same because I knew they were going to start vectoring me once West of the Cascades. Sure enough they started me down on the West side to 8000 then 5000 then cleared me direct to ARWEL (one of the initial approach fixes for the GPS 34 approach at Pierce County) After the procedure turn while inbound I went ahead and cancelled IFR. I was quickly catching an Aircoupe flying a 5 mile final straight in so I broke off and went and entered on the 45.

Here is my radar track (in green) picked up just West of Moses Lake. (From flightaware.com.)

Now it's time to find some clouds!