Flight Lesson Update: Divert to the Instruments

I haven’t posted a lesson update in quite some time. Truth is I haven’t been progressing as fast as I was hoping (or even wanted to) due to time conflicts between flight training, school (finished my undergrad in Computer Engineering), work (have to pay those bills some how) and life.

Right now I am very close to completing the Private Licence training. Some could argue that I’ve already completed it, just haven’t taken the tests to certify that completion. I have the practice flight test coming up a week from now and I’m hoping to do well and be sent to the “full” flight test. Then I will do my written test and be licenced. It’s been a long journey but the end is well within my reach.

My two most recent flights have been reviews of some more specialized manoeuvres / procedures. First I practiced diversions. For those not familiar with this procedure the basic concept is this:

I’m flying from City of A to City of B. On the way the weather deteriorates or some other event happens which prevents me from reaching City of B and I must now choose a different destination (which I haven’t done any flight planning for) and fly to it (divert to City of C).

It’s an event that will most likely happen at some point during one’s flying career and for which you must be prepared. The basic steps (and these are very basic, DO NOT use these for anything other than informational purposes) are:

  1. Find where you are on your map (you should already know this because you’ve been following along as you’ve been flying right?)
  2. Decide where you’re going to start your diversion from (a town is usually a good choice but any landmark that you can identify will do)
  3. Decide where you will be diverting to
  4. Find the distance and heading you have to travel, how long it will take you there, how much fuel you need and whether you have enough
  5. Inform the FSS and fly to your diversion destination

There are few more subtleties than this so please ask your instructor and consult the Flight Training Manual.

For my diversion we took off from CYFD and headed over to Scotland. The scenario I was given was: clouds 1600’, divert to Bright. Through the magic of technology, the route I flew is below.


The exercise went well though I did have some trouble staying on track. I did end up finding Bright (top left loop) and identifying it. After that I flew back to Brantford and landed safely.

The second flight was an instrument practice session under the hood. I put on the hood as we were passing through about 1400’ after take off and kept it on right until final. It was pretty awesome. I have no problem flying under the hood but it is quite exhausting.

Oh good I’m at altitude, levelling off, maintaining altitude: OH WOW I’m 30 degrees off heading! Adjust heading, flying heading: altitude is all over the place.

It’s a lot harder than it looks to fly straight and level under the hood and by extension in IMC. We practiced the exercises I will have to perform on the flight test then flew back to Brantford. I did not take the hood off until final. Ashley vectored me in all the way. The landing was one of the smoothest I’ve had in a while. I was also confused about what happened during the landing and we talked about it a bit. It wasn’t so much a problem just something that I was having trouble comprehending. All in all it was a good flight and you can see our route below.


I’m looking forward to the practice test next week. I’m a little nervous but I do feel prepared and I will be reviewing all week.

Thanks for reading!