Friday, October 17, 2008

Back in the IFR Saddle

IFR Lesson 28
Today after over a month lay off (forcing myself to take the written test) I finally was back in the saddle flying simulated IFR. I had a 2:30 lesson at KOQN so I was wheels up from Wilmington (ILG) by 2 pm. As I approached OQN there was one Cessna 172 at my 8:00 position. We were talking and had visual contact. The Cessna followed me into land number two. It's great when everyone plays nice on the radio.

I was practicing approaches until my home computer took a total dump. Yep would not even come on. Thankfully John got me squared away and I am going to weed out the old hard drive tomorrow morning. It's been at least two weeks since I shot an approach "online" and at least 45 days in simulated conditions in the real world. Winds favored runway nine this afternoon so off we went amidst a busy Brandywine airport. I worked myself in between departures and arrivals including two helicopters. I climbed out to 3000' and turned to the north. Some basic maneuvers were on tap just to shake the rust and get the feel under foggles again. With the feelings back and under control I was asked for a GPS runway 9 approach into OQN.

OK, lets see if I remember how to use this Garmin 300XL. First direct to OQN, select route then cursor a few times until GPS 9 is highlighted, hit ok. Next choose an Initial Approach Fix (IAF), so I scrolled through and made my selection, ECZEL. I'm on my way tracking the approach. Not a big problem getting setting up the Garmin other then a bit of roller coaster up and down action making the fingers bounce around. I got smoother on final and ended up going missed and back to CEFSY to practice a hold. I crossed the station and turned outbound for four miles on a 237* heading, setting myself up for the teardrop entry. Not a bad hold but not my best by far. I had to cut a large angle to make up my wind correction but tracked to the station fairly well. Back around for another lap and I forgot to monitor my track on the GPS and started to chase the needle or intercept the 267* radial, this brought back memories of the MXE vor holds. Brian asked how we looking and that's when it hit me, I'm tracking out of control, yikes! One look at the trak on the GPS told the story. I got myself squared away and turned inbound on the 088* . My CFI was happy that I made the corrections. I once again hit the GPS Squelch which released the hold and started my track inbound on 088* to CEFSY. Not a bad recovery as I cross the station and get cleared to land. Traffic had now switched due to the winds so I took advantage of the circle to land numbers and set it up for two seven.

My circle to land was smooth and a nice 180* turn. I landed a bit flat, held it off and squeaked a nice landing after all. My metal parts were sore today and with the change in temps the arthritis actually was letting me know that I ain't no youngster but I still really needed the practice. A few more lessons/check ride prep flights and I'll be good to go. Tomorrow I am going to detail the interior of 679er, after we grocery shop and after my SUV is cleaned. For now it's another two hours in the log, 1.1 under the hood.....I'm tired and sore!

1 comment:

Rob said...

If you have another afternoon lesson during the week, let me know when you may be done, I'll come meet you at the airport out there and we can chat or grab something to eat.

Thanks again for offering last weekend when I was up at 1N7. Talk to you again soon.