First lesson in the school Cherokee......it's not our Archer that's for sure! Whew....two original King KX175B radio/navs, DME was out of service and it did have an ADF and working transponder. I'm used to several shots of primer, fuel pump on and crank, 679er is up and running, just that easy. Eight Lima Alpha took no primer, four full throttle movements (back and forth) full rich fuel pump switched back off and crank. Hmmm....she's not making vroom vroooommm noises. This time mixture lean hold throttle open, no pump and crank, still no Vrooom noise. Back to full rich, throttle cracked open and pump on, she fires up and idles very nice, I think she was actually flooded.
I taxi out and complete my run up then launch on runway two seven for a north west heading towards the practice area. Once finally settled in I dial in Modena (MXE) and track direct for some hold work. No DME but I did bring the garmin 496 for situational help. I didn't program the unit at anytime, instead just used it as a reference. I continued on course but chased altitude this afternoon. A quick glance at the GPS to confirm I am just a short distance away from the VOR which confirms my course hold and not chasing the needle as we get ready to cross the station. I'm on a south heading of one eight zero and once the to/from flag flips I turn outbound on a 200* heading and mark the time. I'm entering the hold in a teardrop pattern so at the one minute mark I will turn right to a 054* heading to intercept the inbound leg. The winds were blowing a bit, I've been in way worse, so I added time to my outbound leg. Oh, I failed to mention as I approached the VOR I did configure for 90 knots and a notch of flaps.
Around and around we go in hold and finally Brian clears me to proceed to Brandywine. My heading changes once past the station to 052* and I can descend to 1120 feet I level off at 1200 feet and hold there but my timing has me over the airport. Who knows why, in the real world I would have either seen the airport or as I am about to do, go missed at the MAP of 3:48, enter a climbing left turn to two thousand and direct back to modena (MXE). I try to track to the station on a 230* heading which will put me right into a teardrop entry to the hold. As we track out Brian advised I missed my landing checks....UGHhhhhhhh. I am going back to running the checks as I enter the hold then a quick double check on final, I missed both this time.
Back out to MXE and a few more laps in the hold. I'm reminded to keep the scan going and do much better with my altitude and I track very solid inbound to Brandywine. I'm holding at 1200 as my timer passes through 3:48ish and when I say were are at time or MAP, I am directed to look up. Ahhhh...there she is just off at an angle exactly where runway niner should be. Two seven is the active so we circle to land two seven. I'm in kind of tight and trying to space myself out from the runway on my downwind and I dip just below the circle to land minimum of 1120', Brian tells me check ride bust, NEVER drop below minimum until on final. I beat myself up for the bust while circling to land, now back at 1150 feet. Since I didn't flush it (the altitude bust) away I once again missed my landing checks. I can't type what came out of my mouth, I was really ticked at myself. I'm turning final and really keep an eye on my airspeed since this is not my normal ride. I'm a bit fast but I make a beautiful circle to the runway and dip my left wing into the wind and hold off long enough to set 8LA down and roll out. 1.1 hours in the log and some real homework required to get ready for tomorrow mornings lesson at 7am.
I guess I'm feeling the pressure to get done since I missed a few months and now I'm up against a deadline with my surgery date of April 9th. I'm frustrated, sore and just plain not a happy camper right now. I'm glad Mary is at the flower show with family so I don't dump on her while in this mood. I'm off to practice on flight sim and will devise a way to flow through my checks just like when flying VFR.