Scenes from an IFR Proficiency Flight

I recently took the Bonanza on an IFR proficiency flight with a fellow instructor. I do these flights periodically to keep my IFR skills sharp. We flew under VFR from KBFI to KBVS for a couple of approaches (with recoveries from unusual attitudes along the way), then on to KSHN for another approach and to top off the tanks before returning to KBFI. Below you can see the GPS track from the flight as shown in Google Earth. (Planned route of flight as shown at SkyVector here.)

More details of the flight track are available in this SkyDrive folder. Some of the squiggles on the first leg show where I practiced recoveries from unusual attitudes. You can also see the holding patterns used as course reversals; the track of a partial-panel, circle-to-land approach at KBVS; the approach at KSHN; and the VFR return to KBFI.

I captured the GPS tracks with a Garmin GPSMap396, which I always bring along on flights in the Bonanza for onboard weather and backup to the GNS530W in the panel. Reviewing GPS tracks can help any pilot during a post-flight debriefing. It’s easy to capture track points with most GPS receivers, even non-aviation models. For more information, see “Technique / Track Your Flight,” a feature in the June 2010 edition of AOPA Flight Training magazine.

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