Almost one year after I had finished my commercial pilot course (17 July) it was time to revalidate my Instrument Rating (IR) and Multi-Engine Piston class (MEP). Each one is valid only one year, if this deadline is crossed more training (money) is needed before the checkride (exam).
The last time I flew an instrument approach was on my exam. So a few days before my checkride I started refresh my memory reading the theory (procedures, systems, procedures, malfunctions,...).
Then I installed the Flight Simulator to practice NDB, VOR and ILS approaches. It's cheaper to practice at home in the computer than in the air where things happen quickly and there is no "pause" button to think what to do next. :)
In the end, it only took me some approaches to get confident again on my capabilities to fly in instruments (inside clouds).
I was planning to fly from my hometown aerodrome (Leiria, LPJF) to the place where I was going to do the exam (Santarém Aerodrome, LPSR) but it was foggy at my hometown, so car trip it is.
To set things more interesting, three new things for me: aerodrome, airplane (Grumman GA-7 Cougar) and the examiner. I studied the airplane POH well (Pilot Operating Handbook) and watched some youtube videos about the LPSR approaches.
The exam started with my first brake failure! As soon as we started moving I did the normal brake check, for my surprise I didn't have any brake force, zero, nil, nada, none!!!That's the reason why during my training my instructors gave me a "lecture" every time I forgotten to do the brake check as soon as the plane started moving! Thanks! Back to the problem, I initially even thought that I was doing something wrong, misplaced my feet or the brake system was different!! Then the examiner did the brake check on his side and it was fine. We checked it on more few times and we decided to continue the exam with brakes been actuated by the examiner. The rest of the flight was uneventful! We did some instrument approaches at Montijo airbase (LPMO) and some circuits at LPSR (one of them with a simulated engine failure).
In the end I was again good for another year!
Here are some photos and a video from the exam flight:
Turning inbound Montijo NDB to start the appproach.
Vasco da Gama Bridge