Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Don't" Chase The Needle

Up and out the door for another 7am lesson at Brandywine airport. Brian pulled into the next parking spot by ten of seven and I had been parked for twenty minutes. I quickly scribbled my signature on the invoice and was off to the flight line with clip board and keys to eight lima alpha in hand.

The pre-flight went with out a hitch and the bird was fueled and ready to go. It took a good bit of work to get her started and how we did I'll never know. I hope I can duplicate the process on check ride day. I now have learned to ask where our first destination will be so I can get out the correct plate and get dialed in prior to my taxi out. I am directed to the Wilmington ILS RWY 1 at Wilmington, KILG, my home turf. Trust me, I held no advantage other then the fact if we decided to stop I knew where we could take a nature break or if we wanted to get a bite to eat I could have the answers ready.

I was briefing the plate as we headed south when I tuned the ATIS and looked over at the DME to report my position from the on field DQO VOR. Hmmm, no DME working, ok next on the list of tools. I moved the cursor on the Garmin 496 and it gave me 13 point something and time to target. I figured good enough and with that called up the tower to report my position, ATIS info and request practice ILS runway 1 approach. The tower directed me to report HADIN inbound and I acknowledged. The NDB tracking is fun and pretty easy to do. I dialed in my cross check 267* radial from the Woodstown VOR and kept my altitude and course steady.

I flipped on the marker toggle switch on the communications panel so I could hear the NDB as I passed over to help identify my position. Ok, getting close now about 2 miles so I add a notch of flaps, hold steady at 90 knots and flow through my landing checks. As I cross the station the NDB spins so I begin my turn outbound on a 195 * heading for 1 minute. The plan is to make this a parallel entry so at the one minute mark I make a right turn to a new heading of 45* to intercept the 015 * approach course. Localizer is alive and I turn left to 015* and track in towards the HADIN NDB. Once at HADIN I'll need to start my timer, flip to the DuPont DQO VOR for my missed if needed, call the tower to report inbound and fly the needles to the Decision Height of 325' and the Missed Approach Point timed 3:32 from HADIN.

The approach went fairly well but I did get a little heavy on my corrections which had the needle deflect a few dots as my timer was running out. I went missed and advised the tower which directed me to make a left turn out back to HADIN for another three approaches. I progressively got better so that's a plus with my final missed following runway heading and climbing out to the north to have a go at the KOQN VOR A approach. My holds were good and my approach went well. I did get dinged for not making a better circle to land instead getting a bit wide and flying the pattern.

I'm up again Saturday and Sunday each 3 hours of lesson time. Brian is making the call to the Examiner this week to get his Private Pilot student on the schedule and I will be set up for the same day. I guess I'll find out the date this weekend.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Fantastic! Sounds like you are doing really well and things are comming together for you. That was the ILS approach I was trying to fly in the Sim the other week. I was given Vectors to the Localizer, but ended up flying through it. Good luck this weekend!