Jeff sent me a text last night about the potential to fly today. The plan was to catch up at Red Eagle and go out and commit aviation, we did, it works for me. Jeff wanted to spend some time flying multiple VOR Alpha approaches and maybe a GPS or two since he is hard at it working on the Instrument rating. Rob and I also traded text messages and he was heading out in the Diamond DA20 and would make a stop at KILG to catch up with Jeff and I. Sounds like a plan to me now we need mother nature to cooperate.
Rob and Ally were first to contact the Wilmington tower as they approached from the north west over New Garden Airport, N57. Tower directed a left downwind two seven and Rob acknowledged. I saw them fly down wind, base and final and he made it looking real smooth. Rob was working on reaching the 100 hour milestone in his flying career. Rob and Ally climbed out of the Diamond and in order to keep warm I brought the SUV on the ramp. It was much more comfortable with the heat on then standing out in the cold.
I had a handheld radio to monitor for Jeff's arrival and we heard him announce fourteen south inbound for full stop which put him just south of the C&D Canal. 93Z was directed to make a straight in for runway one report three mile final, Jeff acknowledged and continued north. Once niner three zulu taxied in Jeff climbed out and walked across the ramp wanting to meet Rob and check out the Diamond DA20. What a cool plane, with very good panel that included a Garmin 430 and it had traffic on board too. I'm not to sure if I could get my butt out of that bird IF I could even get in.
It was time to fly, Rob and Ally were headed north back towards Wings Field and Jeff and I were headed south east. After I parked the SUV outside the gate we saddled up and reviewed the plan of attack out of the cold and in the confines of niner three zulu. I thought maybe we would stay in the area and shot the VOR approaches off of Modena but Jeff had a fun afternoon of flying plotted out. The first approach would be into Millville followed by the Woodbine and Cape May VOR Alpha approaches. The plan was to shoot a GPS approach back into Millville then head home for Wilmington and knock out an approach there also. Atlantic City Approach was very helpful today as we cycled though each approach. I was safety pilot today and other then spotting traffic remained pretty quiet. It was fun to watch Jeff go through the flow. It also gave me a look at where I was when I started out on the quest for the instrument rating. I must say he did pretty good chuggin' and pluggin' with the 430, going through the five T's and keeping ahead of the plane. I always say it's a learning tool to fly safety pilot. I see things I should do better, note things I may do that should be corrected and you get an overall picture of what the plane is doing and its position with regard to the avionics on board.
It was a busy couple of hours for Jeff under the foggles but he did well. It's my opinion that if someone can fly multiple approaches back to back rapid fire without much time to set up in between then you should be much more prepared when it comes to shooting the approach and potential missed when it's the real deal.