Short Final: IFR Checkride


I rarely clog the radio frequency with unimportant chatter, but this was a very special day. It was March 19, 2015, when I completed my IFR checkride successfully. I was filled with excitement and gratitude as I reflected on hours of study and flight training with a fantastic instructor who, in the process, became a good friend. It was an extremely rewarding experience!

On the flight back after my checkride, the frequency at my home base, Solberg‑Hunterdon Airport, was silent. I flew the standard pattern announcing my position as usual, until turning final when I pressed the mic and proudly said, ‘’Solberg traffic, Skyhawk turning final 22, Solberg. And you’re listening to someone who just passed his IFR checkride.”

I was just throwing it out there to the silent universe and living in the moment. I was shocked when I heard my instructor’s voice on the CTAF say, “Nick, I knew you could do it! Great job!”

He was inbound with another student about to announce his position and heard me on the frequency. I pressed the mic one last time and said, “Thank you so much Tom! I couldn’t have done it without you! You’re the best!”

Nicholas Wagner

Ringoes, NJ

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  1. I have my own IFR stories …

    After I passed my IFR checkride, I had an interesting conversation with my instructor:

    CFII: “Congrats! You’re my first of dozens of students to get a rating!”.
    Me: “Oh. Why’s that?”
    CFI: “I’m active-duty military, and usually get reassigned before training can finish.”

    (I had flown at least two flights per week, so I wrapped it up in a few months.)

    Another interesting conversation:

    CFII: “So I see you filed a flight IFR yesterday …”
    Me: “Affirmative.”
    CFII: “… in the clouds, right after your new rating.”

    (I did my first flight from HNL to Kauai, which requires an IFR flight plan for airplane rentals since it’s about 100nm over the ocean and sight of the islands is lost. As a bonus, I found a cloud layer to do some actual.) 🙂

  2. James B,

    Did he think it was inappropriate for you to go fly in actual IMC after getting your rating or something?