Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 I-ratings

A. Basic GPS and autopilot flying

Although I'll hand-fly the plane as much as possible, it's safe to know how to use the GPS and the autopilot in cases when I really need them.

Winds calm

First time tinkering with the GNS530. What an amazing navigational aid. I'll always remain a /A kinda guy though ;-)

Crosswind

First long-haul flight with the GNS and autopilot, partly IMC with moderate crosswinds. Lesson: Don't get lazy. :p 

B. VOR and NDB radial flying

Flying departures and arrivals requires excellent radial flying. Although I'm already familiar with flying VOR radials, flying VOR radials on a back course and flying NDB radials are new.

Winds calm

Practiced with NDB "radial" flying. Needed some attempts, but I got the idea quite quickly. Next up: crosswind radial flying.

Crosswind

Radial flying with a significant crosswind in cruise was challenging, but very educational :-) Took some time getting-used-to. I love this old school kinda of navigation.

C. DME arcs

Some procedures require pilots to fly a DME arc to safely enter the airport area. I like to practice flying arcs by hand, in isolation, first.

Winds calm

Very educational flight. Learned about DME arcs, also VOR localizer back tracking and tried my first ILS approach into BFL!

Crosswind

D. Obstacle Departure Procedures

My first try at flying complete departure procedures. I start with omnidirectional obstacles departures and learn about obstacle departures, next.

Winds calm
Crosswind

E. Standard Departure Procedures

RNAV departures, conventional VOR-based departures, pilot-nav departures, vectored departures, and hybrid versions of these sorts. Bring it on.

Winds calm
Crosswind

F. Standard Terminal Arrival Routes

I finish stage 2 with learning to fly STARs: RNAV and conventional ones.

Winds calm
Crosswind