I got a call from Mike that flies Cessna 25U. We fly safety pilot for each other when we can and the chance to fly with an IR pilot really helps me improve my skills. I headed to the house so I could get my headset and make sure the Bride didn't have us scheduled for any activities. Mary's Uncle called and was having a problem with his MSN 2 online cable box so I decided to make a stop and try to get him squared away. It seems he needs a new box, the video card must be fried since he had good sound and no picture. I was now running a bit behind our planned meet up time but I gave Mike a call to let him know. The folks at Atlantic were on break chowing down but had one person at the desk. I said hello and she buzzed me through the door that leads to the ramp.
Mike was just walking in from completing his pre-flight so we headed out and climbed aboard 25 Uniform for tonight's fun. Indeed the tables will be turned this evening since I will be the Safety pilot and Mike will be under the hood. I handled the radio work and contacted the Tower for clearance to taxi. The controller was a bit behind the curve this evening, I think she is one of the new trainee's. We sat at Fox2 and runway 32 to complete our run up. I monitored the radio and tried not to interrupt Mike as he flowed through the checklists. I could not help laughing when a Bonanza kept trying to taxi for departure and the trainee kept blowing the tail number and was pretty much clueless about where to direct this guy. The pilot of the Bo was patient but you could hear the frustration in his voice, at least I could. Obviously the controller did too and one of the regulars came online to get things squared away.
Finally cleared to take off on runway three two we are north bound for Chester County, KMQS and an ILS 29 Approach. Mike is pretty darn smooth and he simulates calls to ATC, flows through his checks and has us inbound. I am making position reports/radio calls and looking for traffic on the downwind. I have our traffic in sight and he advises that he will extend his down wind and follow us number two to land. Once at decision height Mike removes the foggles and sets up for a touch and go on runway two nine. Smooth touchdown and chirps to confirm we're rolling, we are on the takeoff roll. Flaps now retracted we are climbing out and maintaining the noise abatement procedure. I announce 25Uniform on the upwind two niner and settle in for the return to the published hold. A few laps around the hold and we shot the ILS approach once again, this time going missed.
Once back to the Modena VOR I got to torture Mike and asked for the VOR 24 approach into New Garden, N57. I still don't think the timing is right on the plate but we gave it a go. Mike briefed and I listened noting that he picked right up on the course change once crossing the Final approach Fix, it changes from 236* to 230*. Timer started and tracking inbound we reach the missed approach (4:28) which puts you over the numbers, good luck landing on that 3,700 foot runway when crossing the numbers at 940 feet.
Three approaches in the book we decide to head home. We head south west of the field and pretty much follow the C&D canal towards the Delaware River. I contacted Wilmington Tower and advised of our position and requested the ILS 1 (practice)approach . We were instructed to advise HAYDIN inbound. Mike was still under the foggles and I was looking for traffic. I did manage to pick out Cecil County, 58M and Summit, KEVY as we made our way home. I notice I didn't mention the haze, it was thick, ugly and just a pain to deal with this evening. Now advising HAYDIN inbound I ask to circle to land for runway three two. Wilmington Acknowledges with a circle to the south and so we continue. Field now in view we circle to land on three two and Mike brings 25U in for another smooth landing.
No eats tonight since it was getting late so we each headed out. Another good session with Mike and 25U. I really enjoy watching others fly and adding new things to my standard procedures that will help me be a better pilot. I have finally broken the 200 hour mark and it feels like quite the accomplishment, my learning still continues.