Sunday, June 29, 2008

IR Lesson 22, Staying Ahead

After watching the wx reports yesterday I didn't think I would be flying today. I was up about 6am and didn't really feel like crawling out of bed. I did get up since Maggie had to eat and do her thing in the back yard, which included barking at squirrels she had run up a tree. Sheeesh...who needs to hear that at 6 am, I called her in, gave her a treat and sprayed some sort of doggie smell be gone stuff, it worked.

I finally make the call at 7am that my flight lesson is a go. Thunder storms look to be rolling in sometime later this afternoon but I should be long home by then, soaking up the air conditioning. I made the call to FSS just to back up my findings and check for TFR's (we all like to be on tape). The briefer confirmed my findings, I identified KMQS Chester County since he didn't know what airport that was then we said our goodbyes. Flight Bag in hand I headed south to ILG and my ritual of having Scott from AeroWays top off the tanks in 679er. Preflight completed and tanks full, I climb in and as always run through my check lists. I start up and get clearance to runway nine at kilo five. Wow, that's a switch, calm winds and I didn't get two seven. I make my way and apply the parking brake then flow through my run up procedure.

A final check of flaps,trim, mixture, pump, lights and I am calling for a take off clearance. The young lady at ILG this morning clears me to takeoff runway nine, turn on course approved. I acknowledge and get rolling. Time off 8:05 and 679er is climbing out of Wilmington. It is really clear today as I level out at 2,500' and track north on a course of 015*. In the distance I can see the cooling towers at the nuke plant in Pottstown. I also spot the two water towers in West Chester that will line me up for a 45* to the left down wind for two seven. I bank left, then eventually right to split the towers and call my four mile 45*. One Cessna is landing, one Bo just off two seven as I am turning downwind. Base to final and slowing to 65 knots I cross the fence and cut the power for a really nice landing, I would have liked a bit more stall horn but it will do.

The folks at the desk ask how long I'll be and this time I give no smart answers, sometimes getting a laugh is not worth the price I'll pay while under the hood. Brian and I get started and climb out to 2,500 on a heading to the north. We are going to do the GPS 27 Approach, again. I reach over and check for the nav/hdg setting and give the plane to George (my autopilot) the transition is smooth, I'm holding altitude, airspeed and heading. After removing the plate from the binder I brought up the GPS and plugged in the initial approach fix DASDE. Once I briefed I took over control and flew a very nice approach. I was staying ahead of the plane, with set up, radios and landing checks, it felt really good! I was told to look up and sure enough I was on target looking down at runway two seven. No time to enjoy I was going missed.

We climbed straight out and I was directed to set up for the GPS RWY 9 approach. I really can't remember shooting this approach so it should be fun. I gave 'george' the nod and flew my heading as I leveled out at 2,900. I briefed the plate and dialed in the info. I was correcting my course to now proceed direct to ECZEL my intended initial approach fix. Once briefed and comm/navs set I took control from george and hand flew the remainder of the approach.

The GPS was set and I was tracking great, holding altitude and airspeed was good too. Around five miles out I added a notch of flaps, set my rpm to 2,200 and the airspeed indicator sat on 90 knots, it looked like a clip from the King DVD's. ECZEL to CEFSY, no procedure turn so a left turn to the final approach fix WACCY. I was also good to descend to 2,100. I ran through my landing checks, switched tanks and was counting down the miles. Once across WACCY I could descend to 920' and my missed approach point is runway nine. Brian said remove the foggles, and there, exactly where it should be was runway nine. This time we are going missed and to the hold. I suspended the GPS to soon and had to release it, all the while making a climbing right turn to 2,900 direct to CEFSY. I finally sequenced the correct pattern on the GPS and CEFSY appears as I track to at 270*.

I initially dialed 270* in to get me going in the right direction as I switched through the GPS. Ok, what entry, my CFII asks. This will be a parallel, crossing the fix at 270* outbound for 4 miles, not timed, then turning inbound to intercept the 088* heading. I'll roll out on a 050* heading to intercept a bit quicker. Three laps in the hold then a problem with the GPS. Hmmmm, why is the GPS not showing my approach? I have to reset with the clear button and reprogram in a very short time. Honestly I had dialed in a 088* heading and from CEFSY and was working that. I maintained my altitude perfectly through WACCY and finally down to 920' holding until the runway.

Another missed approach and a climb out to reposition for a GPS 27 approach once again. This approach also went very smooth and I came in and practiced a circle to land. Brian explained the circle to land, not to be confused with entering the normal pattern but more of a 180 back to a short final. More of a continuous turn then a squared off pattern. Not a bad landing on two seven and a nice slow roll out to exit the runway.

Two hours of lesson flying time and a total of 2.7 flying today. June has been a very busy month. By the numbers; 6.4 hours of fun flying, including the Block Island trip and 11 hours of Instrument lessons. My most productive month to date. I'm not sure when I am up again. The starter on 679er hung up and was making a metal to metal contact as I shut down today. I'll make a call to Gary (owner Gary) and get her scheduled for a check up.

1 comment:

Steve said...


Thanks for the note on my blog. Looks like you have a TON of entries in here so it might take me a while to catch up, but I'm looking forward to reading about your training and adventures!

Regarding landings, I appreciate the encouraging words. I definitely felt a little better in the next lesson (not sure if you read that post) and I know they will come in time. Thanks again!