Last night I had my first IFR flight and it was great. The weather held up for me, and it was a smooth night flight from Richmond to Lunken Airport in Cincinnati. My route was from i39 to HYK VOR (In Lexington) to Falmouth VOR (in Northern Kentucky) to an ILS approach into KLUK. I was surprised that IFR flights are as simple as they are. I actually thought they were more simple than VFR flights. As long as I stayed ahead of the airplane whenever I could, it was easier to keep up with instruments and ATC than looking out the window for checkpoints.
I also enjoyed the reliability of flying by instruments alone. It can be difficult at night to find an airport, especially in a heavily populated area. However, with instruments and approaches, you don’t have to worry as much about finding an airport, because you’ll be directed right to it. The only thing I didn’t like about flying IFR was being blinded by foggles the whole time. I couldn’t enjoy the scenery of the cross country because I had to scan the instruments the whole time. I peeked out whenever my instructor would let me to see a city or something, but other than that I was stuck staring at the panel. Other than this though, I can see why many pilots only fly IFR after obtaining their rating. If I fly VFR in the future, I think I will still use the route planning that I’ve learned in IFR flying. My instructor said that I could combine my next flight with another person and we could take a trip to somewhere further away and switch once we got there. It would be an intense flight to at least six different airports, a leg over 100 nm, and I’m not sure about the total mileage but it would be substantial. I think it will be with my room mate so we can plan it together pretty well. That’s what went on this weekend, and tonight I’ll watch the Super Bowl on the Flight Deck. We may order some wings from Zaxby’s and play cards in someone’s room. Have a good weekend, and go Pats!