Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Checkride Prep

What started out as a beautiful day with a smooth flight to Brandywine (KOQN) turned into a real bucking bronco while under the hood. I called for fuel at Wilmington, completed my preflight (sump tanks) then launched for Brandywine. Smooth as could be, plus twenty miles visibility as I climbed out of ILG. I could see the Pottstown cooling towers to the north and make out the Philly skyline even through the haze to the northeast. I was at two thousand five hundred cruising along only needing to tap the rudder on occasion, what a nice ride. I spotted the two water towers that show the way for a the four mile 45* for left down wind two seven. I noted the AWOS and made my calls. Base to final, now getting ready to add the last notch of flaps my brain calls for a slight crab into the wind with a nice landing as the reward.

Brian and I saddle up and I ask whats on tap, I want to have my approach plates ready. We are going to work the local area between Brandywine (OQN) and Chester County (MQS), or so I thought he said. Once climbing out and turned on course north Brian decides on some ILS and holds at Allentown (KABE) taking advantage of approach and the tower. My autopilot is OTS (out of service) so I fight the winds and the ridge line screwing with my altitude and break out the proper plates. I'm thinking this sucks as my butt comes out of the seat multiple times with all the turbulence. I brief the ILS RWY 24 approach and get everything set up. Radios set for approach and the tower,check, nav radios including my missed East Texas VOR, check. Still twenty five out and trying to get a handle on the bumps. ATIS dialed in and noted for my call into approach. Another quick once over briefing and I'm ready to have at it, did I mention how bumpy it is? I slow to 90 knots, add a notch of flaps and get ready to rumble. After calling Allentown and getting a response, I exchanged some info.

ME: Allentown Approach, Archer 28679er, two zero miles south, 3000 level, with Kilo, request practice ILS 24 approach.
APP: Archer 679er squawk 2441
ME: 2441 679er
APP: Archer 679er Radar contact 15 south, turn to 040* descend and maintain 2500
ME: 040* descend & maintain 2400 (I'm thinking easier said then done)

Approach is providing vectors to get me to the ILS approach, I wasw running almost parallel in the opposite direction south of the approach when they started my turn towards the ILS.

APP: Archer 679er turn left 350*
ME: 350* 679er
APP: Archer 679er turn left 270*, maintain 2400 until established on the ILS, cleared for the ILS RWY 24 approach
ME: 270*, maintain 2400 until established on the ILS. (I forgot to say cleared for the ILS RWY 24.)

I was handed off to the tower and checked in......of course I brain farted and said Allentown Tower Archer 28679er, that's it. Yikes, they responded archer 28679er tower.....a moment of silence. Brian beat me to the PTT and chimed in with inbound ILS 24, 679er. I had a momentary brain freeze, actually two on the approach, I felt like a dope. We went missed along with the proper calls and received vectors back to have a go at the Localizer 24 approach. A bit better with my wind corrections and I confirmed the calls correctly this time. I again went missed this time to the published missed approach hold. I started my turn a bit late, should have right turned at 900' instead climbing through 1200. I flipped to the east texas VOR and tracked TO the station on the 260* heading. This course would set me up for a teardrop entry in the hold. I cross the station and start my timer holding 260*. At one minute I right turn inbound on the 112* heading and advise approach I am established in the hold as requested. Two laps around the track on course and adjusting time very well, it felt good. My CFI requested a south departure out of the hold and thanked approach for the service, we were on our way to the GPS 27 approach for Brandywine.

I flipped through the GPS and dialed in KOQN, GPS RWY 27 with my initial approach fix as DASDE. Everything went fairly smooth except for a slight chase of the needles due to not holding enough wind correction in. I reach the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) of 1020' actually I'm holding at 1100 and get to take off the foggles. Brandywine is over the nose and I'm high so I chop the power and slip to the runway. A nice job getting in and an ok landing in the gusty wind.

I square up the bill and meet up with fellow POA forum members Bob Ciotti and Rob Schaffer for lunch. How nice is that to get a ride to lunch and get to talk flying with pilot friends. It was a short hop to the DK Diner and the lunch was good. We got to check out Rob's new Lowrance 500, and discuss their flight to Elmira, NY tomorrow. We also kicked around some weather talk concerning my flight to Cape Cod this weekend. Thanks guys for providing the wheels for the lunch run and as always your great company.

Rob dropped me off back at OQN where 679er and I got ready to bug out, back to Wilmington. A quick hop with a great tailwind had me clocking 135 kts ground speed to ILG. I entered a right down wind for runway one as instructed and landed long for the jet traffic holding and to make for a shorter taxi to my turn off.

2.9 hours today with two of that as instrument torture. I'm off to finish my wash, gulp down some Tylenol for the aching hip and figure whats for dinner. Next up Cape Cod this weekend.

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