Today Brian and I decided on Class "Charlie" airspace with some traffic and good Air traffic Controllers. I had topped off the tanks yesterday after my return from my practice approaches with Jeff over in New jersey. 679er was ready to roll when I arrived at the airport. I made the quick hop to Brandywine and picked up my CFI. As I stated in the opening line, we decided on Allentown, KABE Class C.
Traffic was light at Brandywine and we were off runway two seven in short order, 679er was climbing like her hair was on fire at 1200 feet a minute, she loves the cool air. I headed north and picked up flight following with Philadephia knowing I would be handed off to Allentown. I tuned in the ATIS and noted the winds then planned on my first approach accordingly. GPS 24 was the first on tap this morning. I set up the Garmin 300XL and selected PILSE as my initial approach fix. I set up my comm/nav with everything I would need for communication and I was ready and set for the missed approach. Philly handed me off to Allentown approach and they advised to fly direct PILSE, maintain VFR at 3500, I acknowledged. Did I mention how much I hate the Foggles? They are uncomfortable, they mess with your vision and for no other reason, they just stink. Ok, I least feel better for clearing the air with that rant. About 2 miles from PILSE I slow to just 90 knots and add a notch of flaps, a slight throttle adjustment to 2200 rpm and 679er is loping along just fine. At PILSE I turn left to a 330* heading and descend to 3000', it's 5 miles to MUDRE. The Garmin 300 leads my turns and at MUDRE I turn left on course to 243* clear to descend to MUSYK the final approach fix. I run through my landing checks and switch tanks, I'm ready. I am instructed to switch to the tower and I do, advising that Archer 679er is inbound MUSYK (the final approach fix) and alert them that I have current ATIS Info. Brian tells me to remove the foggles and the runway is right there before me, sweet, no time to feel the love I'm going missed to the published hold. The tower confirms and switches me to departure.
I double check my nav two setting for the East Texas ETX VOR (published hold) and track there with the plan of a direct entry to the hold. I cross the station and turn on a 059* course and track out for 4 miles. I am adjusting for the wind and use the GPS to view my track while making corrections with the heading indicator. Good tip from Mike that I fly with in 3525U. The picture displayed is out of the manual and not a true representation of today's tracking. I hit my four mile mark and turn inbound to a 239* heading. As I am rolling out the CDI swings in harmony with my heading indicator, life is very good! Brian makes a call to Allentown and requests the ILS 24 approach. We exit the hold and I follow vectors for the ILS. This stuff is really fun, as I turn to a new heading of 040*. My altitude is dead on, speed and heading look very good. Next course change is 060* and I confirm then pick right back up with my scan. I give the GPS a glance and put together the mental picture that has us tracking parallel to the approach. My next series of turns will have me intercept the localizer. I once again flow through the approach plate wanting to brief a second time and check my settings. Everything is looking fine when I get my next course change to 150* and follow with the right turn. I'm getting close, final landing checks completed and a quick glance at the plate to confirm my settings. The final course change to intercept the localizer is 210* and I'm cleared for ILS 24 approach. The localizer comes alive and I immediately start my turn to 243*. On target, looking good and ready to descend once crossing MUDRE. I cross MUDRE and descend to 2400 crossing the Final Approach Fix MUSYK with the needles centered. I am now clear to 586' and get the cleared to land from the Allentown tower. A touch and go then off to the south and a return to Brandywine. Brian lets me keep the foggles off after my T&G to enjoy some of the wx and view. He calls my plane and I acknowledge so we can circle a reservoir off his side of the aircraft and check out all the colors of the water. Not looking good if that's somebodies drinking water.
Allentown has us squawk VFR since Philly is not taking the hand offs today. No big deal as we drop to 2500' and set up for the GPS 27 approach. I have shot this one many times and all goes smooth right up until I remove the foggles. I'm aligned as I should be and at the right altitude but after the foggles I feel like I'm zipping along at twice my speed. I double check and I'm good 65 knots very short final and I'm feeling like I'm stuck on fast forward. I let Brian know and he is ready if needed. I'm over the numbers, flat and plunk 679er in. Full power! Going around to salvage the possible multiple bumps landing. Once turning crosswind the fast forward feeling subsides, what a rush that was as I keep telling myself slow down, stay ahead of the plane here cowboy. I enter the down wind, base and final making a smooth landing and in control.
Quick review and update. No, I still have not taken the written. Brian asked me to plan a few cross countries and we will review. He said get the sample test to me so I can sign you off for the real thing. It's cross country, the oral and check ride prep. Getting very close!!