Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

Cool VFR Flight Experience

I have been doing a lot of instrument/G1000 training in the RedBird FMX sim and have gotten very rusty on my actual flight ability so my instructor and I went on an excellent flight yesterday. We flew VFR KJYO-JASEN-KFRR-W45 and back and it was an excellent experience. Something that I have noticed is that once you get used to flying IFR and being told what to do you begin to forget some of the decisions that you have to make when you are flying VFR. This is particularly true in the DC SFRA area (particularly at KJYO being in the IAD class B airspace). The flight was great and my instructor had me do something that I have never done before on the return flight. When we left W45 he had me follow the adjacent river part of the way back. There are numerous turns and kickbacks in the river and it was a neat experience. This was amplified by the ridge that runs next to the river so I had to keep an eye on my distance from that while I was flying directly over the river. It really made me feel like I was doing some actual flying (rather than specific lessons and direction). I had several decent landings during the flight and also did a couple of missed approaches just for practice. I also used the ForeFlight app on my iPad-2 for the entire flight this time as well as for flight planning and filing. Previously, I tended to get distracted by it about halfway into a flight and would take it off. All in all an excellent day.