Short notice for my lesson this evening as Tom and I work out the communications. I got to the plane around 3:45 and completed my pre-flight, which reminds me I need to order fuel tonight so the line guys won't have to fill it in the rain tomorrow. We started out with a review of our last flight and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I met PTS standards all except altitude but after knocking of some rust performed better towards the end. Fair enough, altitude is always a bugger for me when multitasking yet during VFR flight I'm rock solid. We taxied out to runway two seven and launched for the practice area on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay just south of the C&D canal. I climbed out vfr and at a pre-determined altitude flipped the foggles in place simulating entering IMC conditions. I followed vectors to the practice area on south west headings.
First order tonight was climbing and descending 360 degree turns at either +/- 500 feet. My roll out was spot on and standard rate turns solid, the altitude was better but I still busted. Tom did say it will be challenging with all the bumps tonight.....I said no excuse, I'm stinking it up. I started at 3000 and completed 360 degree descending turns to 2000 rolled out at that point and climbed the opposite way back to altitude. We also knocked out some steep turns and I was better left than right but altitude was getting better. I need to keep the scan going and get aggressive making changes to correct. Not big changes but immediate type corrections.
More VOR tracking and turning on course to a new outbound radial and then returning inbound to intercept a new radial trying to test my tracking and wind corrections. I aced that stuff while the altitude was getting closer. Tom liked my staying ahead of the plane with WIRE - wx, instrument, radio and everything else as we headed into Wilmington (got that from MikeB). I was following vectors then tracking direct to DQO from ENO and went through my checks. Picked up the ATIS, set altitude, dialed in the Wilmington tower and ground in backup then checked switches and safety items. I let Tom know I'll flow through GUMPS when starting down from approach altitude. My version of gumps is a bit different then most. Gas (fullest tank), things U should know (first two steps in the missed approach), Mixture full rich, Pump on, Safety (lights, belts, AP off). I was allowed to look up after multiple vectors to the left base and at 1000 feet for runway three two and I greased the landing. 1.8 today, fun stuff!! I'm up again tomorrow if wx permits, maybe some actual if there are no thunder boomers.