Yesterday evening (04/05/2012) we had our penultimate IFR Ground School class. Next Tuesday (04/10/2012) we’ll have our final class test and Mr. Whipple will sign us off to take the FAA IFR written knowledge test. Unlike the VFR class lectures, which I described in some detail when I was taking that class in the winter of last year, I haven’t done the same with the IFR lectures. This is because I have yet to learn to fly using my instruments and before I can do that, I have to qualify for my Private Pilot’s License / Certificate. I’m sure you must be asking yourself, “Why is Tiger studying for the IFR knowledge test now then?” The simple answer to that dear friends is so that I can get it out of the way, and move immediately to my Instrument Rating after my Private Pilot’s License qualification. Another reason why I haven’t written about my IFR classes is because I’m currently a VFR student pilot and therefore not able to put my flying skills together with the use of instruments. Although I now have a better appreciation of the instruments, I’m sure I’ll have a much better understanding when I’m flying through Instrument Flight Rules.
This class has also been very interesting and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it with a good bunch of class mates, most of whom are qualified pilots; unlike my VFR class where we were all learning to fly. Mr. Whipple of course has been just fantastic with stories of his experiences flying under IFR conditions, his odd sense humour to his coffee and cookies which he kindly brought for all of us every class without fail. Some time next week Mr. Whipple is leaving for Thailand to his see his daughter, her husband and grandchildren and is very excited. The class was never boring, but always interesting and entertaining as students discussed their flying experiences, told humourous stories and cracked light hearted jokes at the expense of other students. It’s hard to imagine that grown men can be adults and so very child like simultaneously. Mr. Whipple is used to all this as he’s a retired high school teacher and one student even apologized to Mr. Whipple saying, “I know I’ve been a little vociferous on occasions in class, cracking jokes and what not, but please understand that I didn’t mean anything by it. I’ve enjoyed the classes very much and I’ve learnt a great deal”. Mr. Whipple laughed and said, “Well that’s good! But I’m used to all this as I’ve been in the education system for over 35 years”. I always looked forward to my classes and to meeting my class mates every Tuesdays and Thursdays and I’m going to really miss these evenings of knowledge accumulation, academic interaction, the aroma of fresh coffee and the assortment of cookies. I’ve made friends and we have promised to stay in contact with one another and possibly meet for a drink or two sometime.