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Northwest Section
of The Ninety-Nines
The international organization of women pilots.

99s Fly!

A scholarship winner's IFR training

January 28, 2018

Laura with Aero
Laura Lloyd poses in front of Elizabeth Harris's RV 6.

I’m writing to update the Northwest Section regarding my recent completion of my instrument rating. This generous award was a tremendous help in my successful training. I started my instrument training immediately upon receipt of the $1,000 Northwest Scholarship in spring 2017 and received my IFR rating September 15, 2017.

My training was done out of Gorge Winds Aviation primarily in a Cessna 172 N5201H with VOR/DME equipment. I had one of the most knowledgeable flight instructors around, Dick Baily. I chose Dick because all his students have been successful in the completion of their IFR training. He consistently made sure I was keeping the needle center and plane level. He pushed and challenged me often, making sure I had the necessary skills needed to meet with a designated practical examiner. Dick would not allow me to move on to next phases until he was sure I was able to meet the skill set on my own. I logged approximately 55 hours of instrument training to become confident and proficient in IFR flying.

The most difficult part in this training for me was learning holding entries. I worked on this for a long time. My instructor never gave up on me. The light bulb finally turned on after many repetitive lessons. In the beginning of my IFR training it was a little uncomforting encountering actual IFR conditions. I quickly learned how to trust my instruments and not my body which was critical in the hard IMC conditions the Pacific Northwest provides on a regular basis.

flying with friends in Cessna 172

In addition to IFR training I was also required to have a minimum of fifty hours cross country time. With the help of a few club planes from the NW Aviators and few good friends who own their own aircraft, I was able to knock this part out easily. This was the best part of my training. A few trips I flew for long cross-country time included South Lake Tahoe, The San Juan Islands, Wenatchee, Eugene, Sun River, and North Bend to name a few.

When it was time to meet with my DPE, I was fully prepared. The test including the oral and the practical was about 5 hours long. We talked about different IFR scenarios and rules. Then we briefed 3 different approaches to fly including the Salem back course, Salem ILS, and the Hillsboro VOR/DME C.

This training was the toughest, most beneficial and the most rewarding out of all I’ve done so far. I will take this training with me through my career. Diligence, persistence and hard work paid off. It’s a relief to be on the other side now.

I have also completed my Commercial Certificate recently, on October 25th, which was my mom’s 64th birthday. I’m currently flying skydivers out of Skydive Toledo and saving up to start multi-engine training.

Thank you very much for the financial help along the way. It takes a village!

Laura Lloyd

San Juan Islands

Laura took this picture on her long cross country to the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

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