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Not another IREX success story

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dboc205 created the topic: Not another IREX success story

I would have loved to have joined the ranks of fellow IFR rated aviators, but my first attempt at IREX defeated me yesterday. In reflection, I realised a few stupid mistakes I no doubt could've avoided. It's a humbling experience in your late 50's, realising perhaps that the old brain isn't quite as flexible at absorbing - and more importantly, recalling knowledge as it perhaps once was. As a recreational pilot, it's been a long held ambition to attain the rating and I'm sure I can get there with a bit more study time, but whilst memory of the 3.5 hrs serves me to some extent, I wanted to ask some follow up questions in areas I knew I struggled with.

  1. There was a question that related to the expected range of a VOR. It was along the lines of "You're flying from Troughton Island to Darwin at A060 at UTC0215. What is the expected range of the Darwin VOR?". My initial thoughts went to look in ERSA, but that of course only covered the NDB. I then tried to recall a formula I once saw for working out coverage of line of sight transmitters (and hence no doubt arrived at the incorrect answer). Only after the test did I recall the reference to AIP Gen 1.5 - 2 2.3(b) Rated Coverages ; where VOR and DME ranges are listed at various altitudes. Is that the point of reference for questions like this (i.e. 90NM @A060?)

  2. Another question that confused me was relating to an approach with a GNSS failure. I can't recall exact wording, but it was similar to "You're on the RNP approach to Sydney in IMC and you get a RAIM failure on final. One GPS goes to dead reckoning mode and the other keeps showing a track. What do you do? My thinking was to continue to the MAPT and if not visual do the missed approach. I'm not sure, maybe I ticked the wrong box, but is there any fault with my thinking?

  3. There was question regarding SID "You're flying the SID YSCB Canberra Three Departure and have been cleared to 4000 feet. You've been assigned heading 040. What are your actions with regards to wind? I went to AIP ENR 1.5-38 8.1.2 where I went with "Pilots will not compensate for wind when being radar vectored," Is my error to assume that being given a heading does not mean you're being radar vectored?

I wanted to add a quick thanks to those that have shared their knowledge here. Whilst juggling life, work and IREX, this forum and the content from Bob's library of video and written materials have been invaluable in deciphering the Canberra jargon. So far my wife informs me that I haven't yelled out 10.3 degrees at night yet, but apparently I have mumbled something about tracks and paths. Next attempt is booked in a couple of weeks, so on with the practice questions and dreaming.. err, reading the AIP.
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DARKMAIZE replied the topic: Not another IREX success story

Not an expert, just a fellow newbie here, but here is my thoughts:

1. Try AIP GEN 1.5 section 2.3 - VOR Ranges (this was tabbed for that reason in my AIP.

2. Depends on the answer. I'm confused by the "one" fails.. But given I cannot guarantee what my location is as a guess, I wouldn't be descending to minimums, either stay at current altitude or climb if below safe altitude until reaching the MAP and then execute a missed approach. Depends on the wording of the options you were given.

3. Not sure again on the exact wording, but the first part of the Canberra Three departure is tracks. You will TRACK the initial headings (ie: account for wind) until reaching altitudes in the procedure and then make your turn to fly heading 040 as assigned (ie: the initial track is not radar guided, only what you turn onto after that). At least I assume that is the type of answer they were looking for.
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dboc205 replied the topic: Not another IREX success story

Thanks for that. Regarding the GPS failure I may have muddled up remembering the wording of the question (i.e. whether they were posing a single or dual GPS failure).

First and last point in my initial questions all resolved after some more reading. What confused me with the Canberra SID, was to think that being given the heading meant an immediate instruction (i.e. being vectored). The SID tells you to Track 117 up to 3200, then turn on the assigned heading. The initial track then would obviously be to take wind drift into consideration until you then take up the assigned heading of 040. So in terminology are you only considered "Radar Vectored" after you pass 3200FT? Is there ever a case flying an instrument departure where you would be told to ignore the SID and fly a heading immediately?

In any case, all a good learning experience - they do like to confuse with the way they word their questions. At least I know what to expect in a week's time when I try again.
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dboc205 replied the topic: Not another IREX success story

Had my 2nd attempt at IREX today. Was more confident going in this time after scoring 95, 95, and 87% on the additional timed practice exams here, but only just managed to scrape through with 72%. A pass is a pass, but I'm still annoyed because I really thought I had a better grasp on the rules, or at least knew where to find the relevant info. Apart from their convoluted wording, it's incredibly annoying from a learning perspective not to be given the actual responses to see where you've gone wrong. I really don't know why I stuffed up on still so many questions. The KDR is of limited value since the areas mentioned I thought to have adequate knowledge in. Anyway.. as much as I would've liked to have been in the 80%+ bracket, I'll take the pass and go back to enjoying actual flying.

For anyone else who is in later stages of life, working and contemplating of doing something like IREX because you don't have enough stress in your daily life.. here's my dot-points for consideration:
- Go on the full Bob Tait journey. I looked at a few different online materials and courses. The info from Bob is still the best by a fair margin. The video series especially was super helpful and really enjoyable to watch. If you can cater for the time away from work, I would suggest booking yourself in instead of doing things piecemeal. Definitely grab all the exam options. It's great practice.
- If you're wearing glasses, print the permitted materials in A4 and put them into a nice big binder instead of buying the A5 stuff from Air Services. Use all your permitted tags and highlights.
- Once you've gone through the course materials, and if you're juggling life/work + IREX, I suggest you make a plan to have at least 2-3 half days where you can isolate yourself completely and do practice exams or revision. Find some time to de-stress the night before the exam (good rest, hydrate etc.).

I don't think I'm able to give too much advice, but in case you've arrived at a similar point in life and want someone to chat to, don't hesitate to ask.
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