My Friday lesson was moved to this morning because Brian had something come up. I assured him again this morning after he apologized that it's no big deal, I'm pretty flexible. I was once again all alone at Wilmington as I got 679er ready to go. As usual I arrived early and spent some time playing with the Garmin 300XL GPS and trying my new phone hook up to my Zulu headset. I called for fuel and everything worked fine. Scott from AeroWays pulled up and topped me off with 13 gallons. I told him I would give a call around noon for 21 gallons and we both laughed.
I completed my pre-flight with the fuel sump and climbed in. I'm still not used to locking that door so early, Mary usually takes care of that. I flow through the pore start checks and the call "Clear Prop!". 679er comes to life and just smoothly idles, waiting for the brake release. ATIS noted I call up Wilmington ground and advise ready to taxi, VFR to Brandywine with information Oscar. Peter, the controller on this morning that the info is getting ready to change to papa and he gives me the changes. I respond, thanks Peter info papa noted.
Once cleared to take off on two seven I add full power and quickly jump into the air, it's so different with just me in the plane. I track to the MXE, Modena VOR for the VOR A approach but since I'm VFR I don't bother with the procedure turn (I'll get enough of that shortly). I advise five mile 45* for runway two seven and slop through the humidity and haze. I'm only about 2000' and its five mile visibility and changing. Just a few quick miles and I am turning to enter the down wind for two seven. Check lists completed I make an ok landing. On short final my timer jumped off the yoke and into my lap, FLY THE PLANE. I landed a bit flat but the landing was acceptable.
Today will be work on holds, procedure review, briefings and cleaning up my heading/altitude. We climb in and get underway. Run up complete I announce departing two seven and off we go. Hmmm, warm temps, full fuel and two adults from a short(er) runway. 679er gets in the air without much stress and we are minding the noise abatement. It's ATC role play time as i get vectors for the ILS 29 at Chester County. Bad thoughts come into my head about my hold after going missed there last week. Can't think of that now, I need to keep focused. My CFII has me heading north and then turning back south towards KMQS. I once again briefed the approach and had everything dialed in. I gave the AWOS a final listen and felt I was ready to stay ahead of the plane. Radio practice time
ATC (CFI) - Archer 28679, turn right two eight zero, maintain 2500' until established on the ILS two nine, report Moses inbound.
Me - I repeated the instructions to confirm and kept flying the airplane.
Localizer alive, I announced, and started my turn to intercept. Brian asked what are you forgetting? Crap!? is this a distraction, no I must be paranoid, I'm set for missed with a simple flip of the nav radio, radios are set, I'm on course and the glide slope is coming to me. I'm thinking but drawing a blank. I need to set my timer but not until the OM Moses, that's it! how do I ID Moses. I had to flip the toggle to hear and see the OM at passage. More ATC role play.
Me - Philly approach Archer 679er Moses inbound.
ATC - Archer 679er contact (tower) this airport is CTAF on 122.7, good day
Me - 22.7 for 6769er, thanks.
Ok, foggles off and I am a bit high and left of course but at least the airport is where it's supposed to be. No time to enjoy my fair approach it's "missed time" and I am climbing to 2400' in a left turn direct to the MXE, Modena VOR. In my briefing I gave some thought to my missed, if needed and I planned on a direct heading of 120* which helps set me up for my teardrop entry to the hold. I'm finally starting to "try" and keep a step or two ahead of the plane. I cross the station and head outbound for a minute then it all falls apart. I didn't correct enough for the wind, I didn't get aligned on the 329* inbound radial before crossing the station and was lost in space. Of course Brian asks, "how we looking?", like crap I said, I need to get back to the MXE vor so I turned back towards the outbound radial and tried again. This time it was better, correcting for wind and staying on course but not getting my times even close. I would go out for a minute and take almost two on the return inbound as I crossed the station. Ok, I am again making another lap, holding more towards a 120* heading and decide to track only forty seconds outbound. As I start my turn and timer the CDI is following my heading movement and I am on track inbound adding almost a twenty degree correction. Timer runs just a tad long so the next outbound leg I ran just to 30 seconds. Bingo! Turning back inbound and I cross the station almost dead on, this is pretty cool stuff!!
Don't get too excited, I think to myself. I get vectors and head towards the ILS 29 approach once again. This time I am better coordinated with glide slope, localizer and throttle control. My night work with my friend Mike really helped free up some brain cells by not fooling with the throttle all the time and locking 679er's settings in my memory. I'm told to look up and there she is, runway 29 smack in front of me and waiting for me to land, yeah right. Who's landing? Going missed again and back to Modena MXE.
After crossing Modena I headed off to the north east and briefed the GPS 27 for Brandywine. I set up the GPS for the approach and followed along my way. I was heading for the DASDE Initial Approach Fix at 2900' and enjoying the ride. We had 17 miles or there abouts before reaching the IAF so we chatted and reviewed. We talked about having the aircraft hands free so I can brief without pushing myself off course or altitude by hanging on the yoke. We also talked about small corrections and keeping my scan going.
Upon reaching DASDE I made a right turn on course to 179* headed to GONVE. From GONVE to CELPA I could descend from 2900' to 2100'. I was steady on course and upon passing CELPA I was good to descend to 940'. Off came the foggles but I could not adjust the eyesight fast enough, I had to go missed. I was to fast on short final and didn't want to chance it. I climbed out but instead of going missed I turned crosswind and followed the pattern, a circle to land so to speak. Much better this time as I touched down and rolled out with a nice taxi back to parking. 2.5 in the book and my holds are figured out, I HOPE! I am up again next Thursday.
By the way if your wondering, 679er took on 20.8 gallons of 100LL.