I had a 7am lesson this morning which worked out very well since I could not seem to sleep past 4:30am. Up and down watching the clock until finally hoisting the white flag of surrender and dragging myself out of bed at 5:30. Maggie and I roamed the house, she got to eat and run outside while I showered and paid some bills.
Brian changed things up a bit this morning starting me off at KILG, Wilmington Delaware - the home base for Archer 28679er. This was not a time to feel like I had some sort of advantage because I clearly DID NOT. I briefed the ILG ILS RWY 1 approach plate and made mental note of the frequency's and altitudes, time to missed approach and the hold at an intersection. I flowed through the plate and set my communication, navigation and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) for the flight. I was instructed to depart ILG direct to the HADIN Initial Approach Fix (IAF) at or above 2000'. Checklists complete I am rolling for take off. Wheels up on adventure number 9..........whoa forgot about the winds from 300* at 18 knts. Correction to maintain runway heading until 500' then begin my climbing left turn direct to HADIN.
I tracked to HADIN fine and made my course reversal to track the ILS into Wilmington. I chased the needle a bit until I settled down and broke out around five to six hundred feet in time to slow down, add another notch of flaps and get on the runway. I wasn't happy since I blew off my landing checklist, had some trouble getting stable at 90 knots and chased the localizer needle. I felt "behind the plane" the whole way, like the dish balancing/spinning folks on Ed Sullivan again.
Brian reset me for the approach and let me have another go. This time I held altitude a little bit better (nothing to write home about) still above the glide slope but I tracked the localizer much better. At HADIN I again set my timer, looking to not exceed 3:24 the missed approach point. I also could not descend below 275'. I continued to track the ILS calling position and adding the clock in my scan. I also held at 300' for a short time until three minutes and twenty four seconds ticked off requiring me to go missed. I did take a last look out front but I saw nothing but overcast and ugly.
This is where it gets fun, or as I really should note the you know what hits the fan. The missed calls for a climb to 900' then a climbing left turn to 2000' via heading 220* and DQO VOR R-271* to ELUDE 9.2 DME and hold. Ok, Time out, lets stop the bus right here, I continued on course until 900' then started my turn to 220* while maintaining a climb to 2000'. Minding the 5 T's I turned, then twisted my heading bug, no timing here, checked throttle setting and felt good. Ok, time in, Yes, I thought I had it covered but I forgot to turn the nav 1 CDI to the 271* radial which allowed me to cross it, fat dumb and happy thinking that I was doing fine. Brian allowed me to continue but did ask what the outbound and inbound legs of the hold were. Ughhh they are 271* and 91* respectively but I am off in never never land past the radial I should be tracking. I twist the nav 1 CDI to 271* and 'now' add my Garmin 530 back in my scan to see I am way left of course. I turn to a heading of 310* to track back and intercept the 'correct' radial.
With that brain fart flushed away I focus on working my scan and entering the hold correctly. When my DME reads 9.2 miles I start the timer and continue outbound for one minute then make a teardrop entry to my inbound heading of 091*. It went very smooth. I made a dozen laps around the hold working on my wind correction and adjusting my outbound times in order to hit a one minute inbound time that corresponded with passing the magical 9.2 on my DME. Sounds confusing? It was for me too. The first lap was fine then lap two three and four got crazy as I left my DME out of the scan and relied on my timer for the hold legs. The pattern on the instructors computer looked a bit warped until I got it back on track and anchored at the intersection.
It's a lot of work and a lot of information to process. I will say it's fun and I am learning, that's a plus! My first instructor Bill walked in from an early flight lesson and laughed while asking if I'm working hard since he saw no sweat on me. I laughed as did the others at the school and said none yet. It was good to see Bill and catch up on what we both have been up to.
I am thinking about taking the day off Friday to just go fly and have some fun. Saturday is the North East Flyers visit to Millville and then a lesson on Sunday at 7am. A busy weekend!