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CFII, Instrument Rating, Training

Nervous Energy


March 15th, 2015


Total Hours: 158.6


This was my first week back after the small vacation that came along with my girlfriend’s visit. I wish I could say that I’ve been killing it back at school but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Despite having a lot of energy and wanting to simply crank out the remainder of my training over the next three or four weeks I’ve been hit by some delays. Some were simple scheduling issues, others came from weather, and now there is a serious mechanical issue with the instrument trainer. While there is nothing I can do about these delays I am trying my best to keep the energy level up and work on my IFR book and get ready for the two written exams I have to take for my instrument ratings.


Overall the studying seems to be going well. I will be taking my exams next Friday and don’t imagine any real problem passing those. I’m using the same strategy I used for all the other exams and it has seemed to work well enough so far. Mostly it involves lots of practice tests. This time I am using only the free tests found online as I think they have been sufficient for the other exams I’ve done. I’ll let you know how it turned out next week! In addition to studying for the exams I am working on my IFR book. It has not taken as much time and energy as the VFR book, which is a very good thing. I’ve finished up a rough draft of all the lessons and taught them once to my instructor. There is a lot of overlap between the VFR and IFR books so that makes building the lessons easier. In fact I think I am improving some of the lessons from my VFR book along the way. There are many things I’d like to do to improve both books but for the moment I am trying to focus on the things that will get me through the end of the program. To some extent this includes working on the books, but the bigger focus is getting the exams done and as soon as possible getting back in the machine and flying.


I had hoped to write about the differences between the simulator and the real thing by now but unfortunately I have flown so little that I’m not even sure what to say yet. Right now the most flying I’ve been doing is on my sim at home. Thankfully that does make a difference for instrument work since it is mostly just procedures. Nonetheless I am impatient to get cracking and see what it will take to get my skills up to par. Perhaps by next week I will be able to write a little more about what it’s like to fly the instrument R22, but at the moment it looks like we’ll be without a helicopter most of next week too. Ugh!!


Compounding my frustration at not being able to fly is the fact that there are some jobs opening up at the school soon. This is great news without a doubt, but it’s got my nerves going and the butterflies are circling in my stomach. Getting down to the end of the program it is hard not to focus on the next step, getting hired. I have every confidence that I will get a job as a CFI somewhere, but I would really like it to be here at Mauna Loa. However there is nothing more I can do at this time. I’ve worked as hard as I know how and moved through this program as quickly and efficiently as I could. Soon I’ll be done and I suppose there will either be a job or there won’t. If there isn’t I’ll be starting another adventure, the search for a job at some unknown school. It happens and I know plenty of others have succeeded in finding work elsewhere so I know that I will too. I am thankful that I have the flexibility and drive to do whatever it takes to succeed after completing the program. The unknown makes me a tad uneasy, but I have to admit it is exciting as well.


Okay, not much to write about this week. Hasn’t been much to write about in several weeks it feels like. I’d like to think next week will be different, but I don’t think there will be much to say until I get some serious training in and I’m a bit closer to the checkride. With a little luck that will happen this time next month… I’ll keep you posted!

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About Orin Bakal-Molnar

Besides aviation my biggest passion is climbing. I love spending my free time on the side of something big! But I'm almost as happy doing anything outside in the wild. Travel, photography, and fly-fishing are a few of my other pursuits. And of course there's nothing like meeting new people and sharing good conversation.

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