Tonight was too nice to pass up. I sent a text to Mike B and asked if he was interested in flying, I wanted to get night current and shoot a few approaches. Mike was available now and I advised I was on my way. I didn't think we would make the one hour after sunset for night currency but I still needed to work on keeping my instrument skills proficient.
08Romeo fired up in a few blades and we taxied for departure on one nine. After turning out on course Mike worked in some vectors with slow flight, adding in altitude changes along the way. Slow flight was followed by steep turns that were pretty good, crossing through my own wake that also confirmed my altitude was dead on.
Next up was the ILS 10 approach into Millville (KMIV). I did a real nice job down to the decision height then went missed. The missed tracks to the VCN VOR which provided a lap in the hold and the start of the VOR A approach. I like to keep the Garmin 530 on GPS and track the VOR approach while keeping the #2 CDI set up for the VOR tracking.
A real nice approach with regard to the course but I blew the step down altitude. It called for 1600 feet at VINER and noted the VCN distance was 6.1 miles. I briefed and called out VCN at 1600, it was 400 feet below the assigned altitude. Thankfully Mike acting as my safety pilot alerted me and I briefed again and saw the mistake. Ok, I'm still on course and speed with the corrected altitude, making my way to the field. The approach ended with a great circle to land and an ok landing.
We departed Millville and headed for home. I tuned Philly approach on 119.75 and requested the GPS 27 approach into Wilmington, Philly gave me the "stand by". A few minutes passed, the controller was really busy, when he contacted me with a squawk code and turned me direct Woodstown. I was good to go and entered the approach on the 530. I actually felt a bit rusty chugging and plugging on the Garmin. IFR skills, use em or loose em. It was another nice circle to land for runway one niner and a not so nice landing that was a tad firm. Mike treated to dinner at a new place. We enjoyed a very good meal while we debriefed the flight.