IFS Complete

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Its been over a month since I finished IFS (Initial Flight Screening). It was a program designed to screen pilot candidates in order to save money on “real” pilot training. While it was a screening program, it also is designed to teach candidates how to fly, especially if you have no prior experience. While I have flown a few flights with the Young Eagles program, and with my brothers from time to time, before going to IFS I only had 1.9 hours of training under my belt. So, IFS was a great time where I learned a lot about flying, flew 20+ hours, and flew the mighty DA20 solo. Before arriving at IFS, I had been told about the super fast paced academics, the stressful flying, and being stuck in a white building for a whole month straight. I felt that I was pretty prepared (as much as I could be), and while the academics were hard, I felt like I could do it well. What I wasn’t expecting was the flying portion. Once we started flying in week 2, I felt like I would never be able to pass IFS. It wasn’t that actually flying the aircraft was hard, but because of the precision which was required in PROCEDURES, I felt almost hopeless. After my 2nd flight, I felt like 10 flights weren’t going to be enough for me to master the procedures, but I learned them all and did well by the end. Once I had shown that I could “safely” fly the aircraft according to the procedures, I went on to my Solo Flight. On my solo flight, I was very nervous before takeoff. I was nervous up until I took off. After I called the tower, received permission to takeoff, I rolled onto the runway. As it had been snowing the night before, the snow was barely melting off the pavement. I hit full power (which isn’t much…) and accelerated down the white runway. As soon as the wheels left the ground, all the nervousness left. It was the best feeling in the world. The world was beautiful and it was just relaxing. Due to time and weather constraints, I only got to fly two patterns on my solo, but it was amazing. Once I was done with the solo flight, we still had the check ride left. This was rather easy, because it is more of a formality, and it was the same destination and training area as my previous flight. The check ride was as smooth as butter! I was on my way back to Del Rio to start Undergraduate Pilot Training!! – The Pilot

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