Tuesday, June 29, 2010

IR Lesson v2.6

Another night of flying under the hood. Tom and I swapped text messages and an email or two as I acknowledged the updated planned lesson time this evening. I was really disappointed with my altitude work the other night so I really wanted to go out and show Tom I can do this IR stuff. I took on fuel to the slots in each tank and completed my pre-flight. Tom and I discussed tonight's plan of action and did some additional review from last time up. Tom is really good about talking through the lessons and game planning for upcoming flights, both big time positives for the IR students to have in their corner.
We headed south for the Smyrna VOR and once crossing the station proceeded direct Woodstown (OOD). From Woodstown it was direct Cedar Lake and a procedure turn (PT)for the VOR A approach into Millville. I was a bit anxious to start the direct turn inbound on the VOR A approach and as you can see by the track I started it at the Woodstown VOR, a sure fire bust on the ride but I corrected.
Ok, back on track and under control with altitude and heading looking good. I made the PT and headed to Millville. A very nice approach and a missed turning me back to Cedar lake. A few laps in the hold correcting for wind and adjusting times went well. I was turned loose to again shoot the VOR Approach in Millville. Once again I went missed and followed vectors for the ILS RWY 10 approach. All my checks went well as I flowed through WIRE, GUMPS and the Five T's. I really need to verbalize this at every way point. The ILS approach was very good and I asked to land so I could take a short break and gulp down water. I was a bit hot coming in and floated 08Romeo down the runway a spell.
Once reconfigured I launched for Wilmington. It's a short hop and hard not to let your guard down after the multiple approach work. Altitude and heading went well as I followed vectors and altitude changes right to final. Foggles up and configure 08 Romeo to land followed by a full stall landing and soft touchdown. A nice way to end the lesson.

Adding a Filter

If you want to give your engine the maximum protection it deserves, you should replace your pressure oil screen and install an oil filter. Oil filters protect the internal parts of you engine from damage, increase you oil change interval and allow better diagnostics if you should have a contamination problem. Standard Lycoming Style Adapter, filter, gasket and special mounting stud is listed at $175.00. Thinking of making the change? Check out the link to Teledyne Mattituck. I am heading to Cecil Aero Friday morning for an oil change and making the switch to the filter upgrade. This switch will allow me to extend my service hours between oil changes from twenty five to fifty hours.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

IR Lesson v2.5

Tonight's lesson was a scorcher. I was soaked by the time we were rolling for takeoff. The pre-flight plan for tonight was direct Woodstown (OOD) then Cedar Lake (VCN) and a diversion to Millville. The simulated IMC started on climb out as I passed through three hundred feet and flipped the foggles in place. I updated the Garmin 530 for a new direct heading I was on track and altitude good passing Woodstown. Approaching VCN I slowed to ninety knots, went through WIRE and once again briefed the VOR A approach into Millville. My laps in the hold were good and I compensated for the winds along the way. Three laps later I was following the VOR A approach. My altitude started to fluctuate and if this was the check ride I would have busted.
Following the VOR approach I went missed and tracked back to VCN for a few more laps. Next up after the hold was the ILS RWY 10 (pictured above)and again not to the PTS standards for altitude. I did the procedure turn and tracked the localizer fine but I was slow on the glide slope intercept and now riding high. This approach ended with me going missed. I screwed the missed and should have went direct VCN but I tracked to intercept the 036 radial, I made the change and corrected my heading. A lap around the hold and on to the GPS RWY 28 approach and a role play ATC directive to proceed direct NENYI. NENYI is not an IAP so to track to it on the GPS I had to load the approach hit the direct button turn the right outer knob to the window for way points. Once NENYI came up I hit direct and enter, I was on my way. The GPS 28 approach tracked just fine and this one ended in a full stop.

I gulped down my water that had warmed to the touch and set up for my return home to Wilmington.Once wheels up I went back under the foggles. We role played ATC with heading and altitude changes and I was rock solid with both. I completed WIRE and made my call to the tower. I lifted the foggles on final and made an ok landing to end the night.

2.2 hours that seemed like I flew double that. I was hot tired and had a wicked headache. I was glad to get home, take a cool shower and knock down two advils to make the head stop pounding. Next up Tuesday IF I get the oil changed. TFR in Wilmington tomorrow and Tuesday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

KTHV - York, PA - Lunch Run

The North East Flyers schedule noted the Kitty Hawk restaurant located at the York, Pennsylvania airport as their next stop. The wx was calling for the hot hot hot and muggies. Dave (M35, POA Forum) decided he was going to take his recently purchased DHC-1 Chipmunk for a lunch hop and of course I had to check it out.

Mary had a few things she wanted to do this morning and with the forecast heat and haze she took a pass on the flight. I sent Vince a text and he gladly took the right seat. I rolled through the gate around 10:15 meeting Vince in the parking lot. Together we completed the pre-flight and climbed aboard. I was still way ahead of the scheduled departure time but decided to get the fan turning and shoot an approach into Brandywine airport. Taxi clearance confirmed, we were on our way. 08Romeo climbed out on two seven with a right turn on course to the north. Winds were north- north west at eight knots with some clouds around five thousand. The haze was so thick you could slice it and serve it. As you can see from my track I abandoned the approach and turned west for KTHV, York.

I was on with Harrisburg Approach trying to find traffic that they called out but never had a visual. The Zaon PCAS did track him five hundred feet low and to our four or five then he was gone of the screen, I didn't have the warm and fuzzy feeling. Visibility was maybe five miles up to eight or ten depending on the sun glare in the muck. I made my way in and had hoped to shoot the GPS RWY 35 approach but there was to much traffic to disrupt the flow and the haze made for a new plan. I crossed maybe four miles south of the airport and repositioned for a forty-five entry for left down wind three five. Timing is everything as Vince and I blended in the flow. I turned a short final and pulled the remaining power since I was high and bled off airspeed and altitude overflying the displaced threshold. As I started to flare with everything looking good 08Romeo ballooned, then wanted to simply plant herself, stall horn blaring. I added a touch of power and made a soft landing, with a long roll out for the restaurant.
Vince and I sat down and ordered when Dave arrived in the Chipmunk. He soon joined us and placed his food order. It was great to catch up and hear the details of the chipmunk purchase and plans for upgrades. As we sat and talked Dave G from Cap City waked over to our table and joined us for lunch. Dave drove today and left his Cherokee tucked away since it sounded like the drive was faster and closer than a flight. As we were finishing up I thought I saw Mike B (110knots.com) walk by the windows facing the ramp with his son, sure enough it was Mike and Steven. Mike made the trip from Morristown and enjoyed some actual time on the way. We all sat and chatted for a bit the headed out to see Dave's de Havilland Canada Chipmunk.


The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk is a tandem, two-seat, single-engined primary trainer aircraft which was the standard primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and several other air forces through much of the post-Second World War years. The de Havilland Chipmunk was the first true postwar aviation project of de Havilland Canada. Today, over 500 DHC-1 Chipmunk (affectionately known as "Chippie") airframes remain airworthy with more being rebuilt every year. The production version of the airplane was powered by a 145 hp (108 kW) in-line de Havilland Gipsy Major engine.

Dave needed fuel so we all checked out the plane. Paint and fabric seem to be in excellent condition and Dave has plans for some upgrades to the cockpit. It looks to be a fun ride! We made our way to check out Mike's 172 and the avionics followed by a quick peek at 08Romeo. We said our goodbyes and I climbed aboard to set the brake while Vince pulled the chocks. I taxied out a few behind Dave and watched his take off, I think Vince has it on video. Vince and I cut through the haze the entire trip home. Harrisburg handed us off to Potomac followed by two hand offs to Philly approach. Once we had Wilmington in sight Philly cut us loose. I contacted the tower and as directed entered a midfield right down wind for runway two seven. Smooth landing and taxi to Red Eagle to call it a day.

Mary and I planned to make the hop to Wings (KLOM) for dinner but with this heat and haze I think we will drive. I'm up tomorrow at 5:30 for another Instrument lesson, I hope the heat lets up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garmin 530 Buttonology

Since I am finishing up the Instrument rating I was working partial panel holds and the first time through did it without the Garmin 530 relying solely on the compass and timed turns. After going through multiple discussions with Garmin users and reading all the forum chatter about the procedures, I was sent a link to a Garmin tips and tricks video by Jeff (33N). I learned some pretty cool stuff that really helped make the random non published hold much easier. Now I’m sure the old timers (hours not age) will say you can do it with the compass, turn indicator and timer and they are correct. However, why make your workload increase when you have the tools to make it happen smoother and easier. I am going to attempt to show you what I am talking about.

First, what is a hold you ask, ok, for the non-flyers here goes.
A holding pattern for IFR aircraft is usually a racetrack pattern based on a holding fix. This fix can be a radio beacon such as an NDB or VOR The fix is the start of the first turn of the racetrack pattern. Aircraft will fly towards the fix, and once there will enter a predefined racetrack pattern. A standard holding pattern uses right-hand turns and takes approximately 4 minutes to complete (one minute for each 180 degree turn, and two one-minute straight ahead sections).

In the absence of a radio beacon, the holding fix can be any fixed point in the air, and can be created using two crossing VOR radials, an intersection, or it can be at a specific distance from a VOR using DME. When DME is used, the inbound turn of the racetrack may be permanently defined by distance limits rather than in minutes. Appropriately equipped aircraft may be given GPS way points to be used to define the holding pattern, eliminating the need for ground-based navigational aids entirely
Here we are tooling along at 115kts and directed to proceed direct Smyrna (ENO), hold EAST, 090 radial, right turns. I already have my heading bugged and I am tracking to the VOR.
I can use the NAV2 to continue my track inbound TO the ENO VOR and NAV 1, the Garmin 530, to set up the hold. I push the OBS button and dial the in the 270 degree heading FROM the VOR which will be the inbound radial for my hold. Ok, I am still cross checking NAV 2 to make sure I’m on course to the VOR and I am working through the parallel entry in my mind to prep for the assigned hold and stay in the safety area (the hold race track).
With the help of paint shop I added the yellow dotted track so we can all “see” the hold. I added the light blue track to show my parallel entry, making a left turn outbound on the 090 degree radial for one minute. At the one minute mark I will make a left turn into the protected area and continue my turn to @ 240 degrees (a 30 degree cut) to intercept the 270 degree inbound radial. Once I intercept the 270 I would track to station passage then make the standard right turn and start the loop outbound, continuing this sequence of events to stay in the hold. Flying this hold also requires adjustments for wind and outbound times in order to make one minute inbound legs.

I’m not sure if this helped or not but I wanted to post what I learned form the video that shared some tips and tricks to make managing the workload a bit easier. You can view the video for the Garmin 430 at the following

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Practice Fun Time

It's Fathers day and our BBQ is cancelled since Mary's diverticulitis is acting up. She has been off her feet all day with intermittent sick puncuating the pain. I contacted Mike to see if he wanted to get some air and safety pilot time. Mike is always up for a flight so we agreed to let some of the heat dissipate and plan to meet around 4pm. I headed to the plane just after 3pm so I could try and adjust my landing light. I need to pick up two small washers to bump up the angle to center more out front of the plane than 50 feet out.

Mike and I headed to KLOM, Wings field so he could take a look at the Cirrus rentals. The current fleet is going to expand and the rates are very competitive. After we gathered the aircraft info we strolled over to the Aviation Country Club for a look see. The pool was open, people were playing tennis but the bar and dining area were closed. We will have to bring the ladies up for dinner sometime soon.

We checked out the school and the pilot shop before heading back to the plane. We went back and forth whether to head to Lancaster and Fiorentinos or to Chester County for the Flying Machine Grill. Chester County won out and we saddled up. We climbed out of Wings and dialed in KMQS along with the ILS RWY 29 approach and vectors to final. Mike and I role played as I set up for the approach. I went through my WIRE and GUMPS, intercepted the localizer and tracked in. It was looking really good "on rails" as Mike stated right up until about 800 feet. The DH is 919 feet but I rode it a bit farther. I got a bit out of shape and was left of the runway but could have landed. I should have flipped up the foggles at 900 feet! We took a break for dinner at the Flying Machine Cafe' and planned for the flight home. It's always great talking about flying with Mike, he is really into it and reads so much he provides a wealth of knowledge. I wish I had half of the dedication to study that he does.

I set up another run at the ILS RWY 29, vectors to final and made a very nice approach. We went missed and exited the MQS air space and headed towards Wilmington. I worked on partial panel but this time utilized the Garmin 530 and the 496. The OBS button is a real gem when trying to hold, especially with the partial panel going on. As I'll explain in the next post the OBS button allows you to dial in a course which I did from the ENO VOR. The role play ATC by Mike directed me as follows "08R hold NORTHWEST on the Dupont Vortac 330 Radial, 10 DME, Right Turns". I plugged in the DQO (DuPont)VOR, intercepted the 150 degree radial TO, read the DME as 12 miles and continued to count down to the station. The plan is to turn right out bound at 10 DME to a 330 degree heading. I think sometimes it sounds more confusing then it is.

After the hold we swapped control and Mike shot the GPS RWY 17 approach into KEVY, Summit. Mike flys 08Romeo very well and it's fun to watch him chug and plug. He is always busy staying ahead of the plane and it seems three steps ahead of the approach, I want to get there too. Once going missed and making the traffic call to Summit we once again swapped control. I flew us home to Wilmington making my call 9 miles out with the current ATIS, altitude and where we were going on the field. I made my way for runway two seven and as directed would report entering a left base. I had to hold altitude for other traffic on the way in and asked to start my descent. I was cleared to land and made an ok landing to end the night. 2.5 in the book, 2 approaches, one night landing. FUN STUFF!!!!

It doesn't look like I can get on Tom's schedule until Sunday night, this is not good. I don't want this to drag on, I just want to finish up. I'll confirm with an email tomorrow, today was just to hectic and I really was to beat to fly tonight. Remember pilots IMSAFE.

I - Illness, Do I have an illness or any symptoms of an illness?
M-Medication, Have I been taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs?
S- Stress, Am I under psychological pressure from the job, financial, health, family?
A -Alcohol, Have I been drinking within eight hours? Within 24 hours?
F - Fatigue, Am I tired and not adequately rested?
E - Eating, Am I adequately nourished?

Fathers Day

"....Remembering him is easy, I do it everyday. There's an ache within my heart that will never go away."

Gone but never forgotten.......Happy Fathers day Dad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

IR Lesson v2.4

Wow! What a long lesson! As you can see it was a great night to fly as the Air Guard had the C-130's doing laps around the area and us bugsmashers were out in force.

It's been a crazy week with work and trying to fit in IR lessons. Wednesdays lesson was cancelled for wx(potential boomers)and it turned out to be a decent day for some actual with aircraft breaking out around 800 - 1000 feet at Wilmington. I rescheduled for tonight and it was perfect. Well, as perfect as one could hope for but I really didn't get to enjoy it under the foggles.

The plan for this evening was timed turns and some partial panel work. We climbed out of Wilmington to the south west practice area and I entered the simulated IMC at 1000' or there abouts. We had good opening discussion on the ground and now it was time to work the plan. With a partial panel (DG Failed/covered)I had the use of just the compass, standard rate turns and picking up the clock second hand in my scan and do some 360's and 180's. Honestly, I haven't done this stuff in ages! It wasn't to bad having to make small corrections with maybe a five second burst. I did turn the wrong way at first working off the compass....embarrassing.

With the "partial" partial panel, only lost the DG, I still had my Attitude Indicator, I was headed direct to the Smyrna VOR (ENO). I was directed to hold East on the 90 degree radial, left turns. I really struggled painting that picture in my mind not having the DG to visualize my entry and see the hold racetrack. I did manage my outbound turn to 90 degrees and made an ugly parallel entry. I managed to track the 270 degree inbound and once crossing the station made the nonstandard left turn back out on the 90 degree radial. I should mention here how much I love the Garmin 530 and if I loose vacuum and my back up system fails I still have my 496 battery powered GPS. Yes, I hugged my 496 last night.

Ok, back to it. From Smyrna I was to proceed direct Millville (KMIV), expect vectors to the ILS RWY 10 approach. I chugged and plugged while minding my heading and altitude. Oh, my DG is working again! I went through my WIRE and GUMPS when appropriate and concentrated on flying the plane. Once given the last heading change to intercept I was cleared for the approach. I alerted Millville radio and made my call to report LADIE inbound. I was a bit high on glide and got a bit out of shape on short final as I reached the Decision Height of 300'. My last correction was to large since I was so close and when I simulated breaking out (flipping up the foggles) the runway was to my right and I was pointed maybe 30 degrees nose left of center line. I got back to the runway, went missed and once passing the MAP I started my left turn direct cedar lake (VCN). I made a teardrop entry and tracked out bound correcting for the winds then turned inbound on the 218 radial for my first lap. CFII Tom cut that short and with some ATC role play had me heading for the GPS RWY 32 approach direct LAYIB. This approach would require a procedure turn with a parallel entry. This PT is a bit different, instead of the 1 minute outbound I would need to go 4 miles. As you can see it looks really long but that was 4 miles when I turned inbound. It's six miles to the final approach fix ZUNIE and at 90 knots I was ahead of the plane and running my WIRE and GUMPS check a second time. I haven't been night flying in a while, even though I am current but as we all know that does not mean proficient. I briefed the plate again and reviewed the missed procedures. At ZUNIE I advised Millville radio of my position.

Once crossing the FAF (ZUNIE) I was calling out my descent from 2000 to 420, monitoring my rate of descent and adjusting power. Once breaking out of the simulated IMC I added flaps and set up for a full stop landing. Not a bad landing for my first night time in almost a month. On roll out my flap handle tangled with a headset wire, memories of my first flight in 08Romeo. I called I'm eyes out as I rolled to taxiway Charlie and exited the runway.

Once clear and announced we got the headset wire issue resolved. My landing light really needs to be adjusted to the right. It lights up way to far out front, I need it closer so I can taxi not spot deer. I taxi back to runway three two and while waiting for the twin in front of me to head out I set up for the hop back to Wilmington. I advise departing three two and start my roll. Airspeed alive and everything in the green I am looking to rotate. As I maintain centerline and about 60 knots all the runway lights go out. FLY THE PLANE! Note to self last check at night is to reset the lights for my departure. I was climbing out, 08Romeo appreciates the cool temps and wants to settle in around 800-1000 feet a minute climb but I trim that thought of hers back to 500 feet. I flow through the WIRE check and follow vectors. Cleared to land number two behind a Cessna I flip up the foggles on final. I'm high and make adjustments accordingly to end with a nice landing.

The numbers in review; 295 miles flown, 2.7 hours total and 2 night landings, 1 ILS and 1 GPS approach. I still felt ready to go when Tom asked as we secured the plane. However, once in the SUV and heading home the adrenaline rush was over and I felt like I got hit by a truck. I was glad to get home and crawl into bed. Mike B calls me the machine when we fly and I do like to fly, constantly, but tonight my tank is finally empty.

Some thoughts on tonight's flight:

  • I corrected a missed item on my checks after run up from the previous nights flight. I chalked this up to violating the sterile cockpit rule and felt better about tonight's taxi time and ground work being more professional.
  • It felt good to do some partial panel and compass/timed turns. I do remember this stuff! I appreciate the avionics I have on board, they can be a life saver.
  • When I struggled to 'paint the picture' partial panel I should have utilized my second CDI and twisted for my heading and then 'see it'. It was there and I didn't use the tool.
  • I have a new appreciation for the aviation pioneers, and that Linbergh guy who navigated across the ocean....big stones is all I have to say about that.
  • My confidence is back, I'm ready to finish the rating and most important become a safe instrument pilot that maintains a professional attitude once that fan is turning.

A last crazy note....Mary and I sort of dubbed 08Romeo "Juliet" as a spin off of her tail number. However, I have found myself calling her Elizabeth more than once, to the point Tom has noticed. Maybe its my first car, a 73 Monte Carlo's spirit joining forces with me once again. She was known as Elizabeth by my friends and family. OK, it's really late, actually almost Friday. I'm tired and my brain is wandering. Time to head to bed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

IR Lesson v2.3

I decided to add a lesson to the flight schedule this afternoon after watching the wx for tomorrow. A quick call to Aeroways for fuel and I added my info to the online scheduler. I left work at 3:30 and headed north for a haircut, cancelled my blood bank donation with a phone call then turned south for the airport. I walked through the gate around 5PM and started my pre-flight on 08Romeo.

CFII Tom arrived on time and we discussed this evenings flight. Although we previously had discussed timed turns and partial panel work the plan for tonight was shooting approaches. I departed Wilmington and entered the simulated layer at 900 feet proceeding to the south west practice area.

We role played ATC and I followed directions for altitude changes and vectors, eventually proceeding direct ENO (Smyrna VOR). Once crossing the station I received vectors to the ILS RWY 1 at Millville. I shot three good approaches flowing through my WIRE and GUMPS checks, with each attempt going missed and receiving vectors for the next go round. My altitude was steady all night but on my first approach I was a dot wide right on the localizer, just left of the runway but I could have landed the plane.

Tom has me no flaps 90 knots which I am getting used to needing to work up the new numbers and get them stuck in my mind. The second and third approach went even better, rode the GS on rails down to 300 feet, went missed each time after the MAP which he quizzed me on. The localizer tracked solid on this round. On the last approach I was given an intercept and I read back maintain 2000, cleared ILS 10 Millville, he caught me. Tom asked what was the difference, I explained I had to maintain the last Altitude (2000), once cleared/established I could proceed with the approach and intercept the GS down to 1900.

Following the last missed approach Tom gave me vectors and a climb to altitude while I was plugging in the direct to KILG info on the GPS and radio frequencies. Tom commented on how my division of time was excellent with short bursts on the GPS and back to the scan all the while maintaining the standard rate turn and 500 fpm climb to assigned alt. With the two last 30 degree bank turns taking me to final, I flipped up the foggles at 900 and followed with a nice landing to close the lesson. Partial panel and timed turns the next time up. 1.9 in the log this evening and I'm excited about the IR once again!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BAC Fest Planning

Beech Aero Club Fest(BACFEST)is just around the corner! Here we are mid June ,aircraft owners for 8 months, planning to return to Texas where we purchased and flew home 08Romeo. October looks to be a busy month for the both of us. We have the POA forum fly-in to Windwood Resort in Davis,West Virgina the first weekend and the plan was to fly from there to San Antonio with overnights in Nashville and Memphis. With Mary back to work we may have to cut those plans short and fly via the spam can (commercial flight) to Texas the following weekend since she has to build some vacation time.
I really don't want to go myself if Mary can't make the trip, it just won't be the same. Half the fun of flying is exploring new things together and making memories. We talked over dinner last night and think we may have a plan. Mary will put in for one day off, Friday October 8th and we can fly out Thursday late afternoon or evening returning Sunday afternoon. We will save some money not having to board the dogs from the 1st through the 10th and I can save on two oil changes, pre and post trip. The cost of two round trip tickets will equal my fuel burn one way (@140 gallons x 4.50 gallon = $630) granted it won't be as much fun and we won't get to make stops in Nashville and Memphis but we would be able to attend the gathering. More planning and discussions to follow.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wash Day

Since the Ohio trip was a no go Mary and I decided we would give 08Romeo a bath along with a wax . I taxied up to the Red Eagle shop and just off to the side parked 08Romeo and set the chocks. All our supplies were in the back of the SUV and we jumped right in. Wow, there were some serious bugs splattered all over every inch of the leading edges. The tail was equally as bad as the wings. I pretreated with a special mix and then got to it. I did a lot of hand work along the leading edges but it turned out very nice. The nose was clean even inside the nose plug area and we lightly sanded and re-painted the nose gear, it was looking ratty.

Mike B walked through the gate and jumped in to offer supervisory skills but Mary shot us both down and....she was holding the hose. Sort of like the golden rule but with water. Mike was meeting Frank D and I think they were headed south to Elizabeth City in North Carolina. I taxied 08Romeo back to her tie down and finished up waxing as Frank and Mike climbed out on runway one four.
A fun day, a clean plane and two tired pups. Heading out for lunch then home to wash the SUV and car. We have no big plans for this evening so I'll get some study time in for the oral portion of the IR.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

IR Lesson v2.2

Plan for tonight:
1. More serious vertical "S" as discussed.
2. Compass and timed turns (partial panel).
3. More VOR navigation, adding holding patterns.

I met up with CFII Tom as the fuel truck just pulled away from 08Romeo. I wanted to top off to twenty gallons each side after flying with Mike. We debriefed the previous flight lesson and reviewed what was on tap for this evening. Tom had his new iPad and we discussed with illustrations (scratch pad feature) holds and entries, a good quick review. We traded a few other questions and answers then got to the business of flying.

Once again Wilmington Ground sent me to runway two seven at Mike, hold for landing traffic. I was soon in the air climbing out for the practice area. The foggles went on as I entered simulated Instrument Meteorological Conditions(IMC). Once level at three thousand I started the vertical S turns. Descending right 360's at 500 feet a minute. So, in one 360 degree standard rate turn I should be down to two thousand feet. At this point I roll into the opposite turn and immediately start the climb back to 3000. I did a bunch of these, as you can see and really held the altitude to standard. From the vertical S's I tracked to the Smyrna (ENO) VOR and held East on the 90 degree radial. I had some quartering tail winds that pushed me along so after the first lap I had to shorten my time outbound to hit the inbound track and cross the station at one minute. I had the correction nailed on my third lap and held for a few more rounds before letting Dover approach know I was finished with the practice holds. I headed into Wilmington tracking the DuPont VOR then vectors for a straight in on runway three two. It was a fun lesson and I really felt good after we secured the plane. Next up will be some approaches, partial panel and diversions. I feel the ride is getting close.

Fun Flying

It was too nice not to fly so MikeB and I traded emails and decided on a flight after work. Mike and I headed out just to shot a few approaches and I wanted to work with the Garmin 530. I have to get smoother (comfortable)with dialing in the OBS for non published type holds. I wish the 530 would let my select on the CDI and reflect changes, it doesn't work that way.

I completed the pre-flight and Mike was waiting for me at the plane since I ducked inside Red Eagle to chat with Jason. 08R was ready and cleared to taxi to two seven at Mike. It was bumpy this afternoon, which worked out well because I wanted to work on my scan and altitude standards. Something Mike shared with me a while back was the "macro/micro scan" (Mikes reference)with the attitude indicator (AI), I needed to revisit that. Sometimes I think I fixate yet other times I read, interpret and move on without enough correction. I went back to the method noted and every time scanning the AI, I would would also give it a look at the tiny ball (circled in red) . I was in the habit of blowing by this tiny little helper and not taking advantage of interpreting the aircraft pitch with an easy reference. The hash marks provide degree of pitch up or down or as I like to say up or down bubble. My altitude control was much tighter after working on reading and interpretation of something so simple.

Mike shot the GPS 35 into Summit (KEVY) and then we headed back into Wilmington. The time went by really quick and I inked 1.8 in my log book. I should add we did some lazy eights and that really helped with my pitch/bank controls and getting a better feel of 08Romeo. It also adds the want for my commercial rating.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

IR Lesson v2.1

Short notice for my lesson this evening as Tom and I work out the communications. I got to the plane around 3:45 and completed my pre-flight, which reminds me I need to order fuel tonight so the line guys won't have to fill it in the rain tomorrow. We started out with a review of our last flight and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I met PTS standards all except altitude but after knocking of some rust performed better towards the end. Fair enough, altitude is always a bugger for me when multitasking yet during VFR flight I'm rock solid. We taxied out to runway two seven and launched for the practice area on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay just south of the C&D canal. I climbed out vfr and at a pre-determined altitude flipped the foggles in place simulating entering IMC conditions. I followed vectors to the practice area on south west headings.

First order tonight was climbing and descending 360 degree turns at either +/- 500 feet. My roll out was spot on and standard rate turns solid, the altitude was better but I still busted. Tom did say it will be challenging with all the bumps tonight.....I said no excuse, I'm stinking it up. I started at 3000 and completed 360 degree descending turns to 2000 rolled out at that point and climbed the opposite way back to altitude. We also knocked out some steep turns and I was better left than right but altitude was getting better. I need to keep the scan going and get aggressive making changes to correct. Not big changes but immediate type corrections.

More VOR tracking and turning on course to a new outbound radial and then returning inbound to intercept a new radial trying to test my tracking and wind corrections. I aced that stuff while the altitude was getting closer. Tom liked my staying ahead of the plane with WIRE - wx, instrument, radio and everything else as we headed into Wilmington (got that from MikeB). I was following vectors then tracking direct to DQO from ENO and went through my checks. Picked up the ATIS, set altitude, dialed in the Wilmington tower and ground in backup then checked switches and safety items. I let Tom know I'll flow through GUMPS when starting down from approach altitude. My version of gumps is a bit different then most. Gas (fullest tank), things U should know (first two steps in the missed approach), Mixture full rich, Pump on, Safety (lights, belts, AP off). I was allowed to look up after multiple vectors to the left base and at 1000 feet for runway three two and I greased the landing. 1.8 today, fun stuff!! I'm up again tomorrow if wx permits, maybe some actual if there are no thunder boomers.

Monday, June 07, 2010

EAA Chapter 240

Tonight I decided to drop in on the local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) meeting held at New Garden Airport (N57). EAA Chapter 240 had a large turn out for this evenings meeting and what a friendly bunch they are. I took a look around in the hangar, workshop and club room before the 7pm meeting. I think there were four newbies in the crowd this evening and we each introduced ourself and gave a brief description of what we fly and where we are based. I gather from the multiple projects in the hangar and tonights Piper Cub restoration this is a hands on group. I did bump into a few folks I know, Roger from Cecil Aero (my oil filter adaptor is in and waiting for me) and a few folks I met at various fly-in's and airports I frequent. Ok, what is EAA you ask.....read along and I'll share some of the information I found.

EAA is a an organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds. EAA was founded in 1953 by a group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes. Through the decades, the organization expanded its mission to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters and contemporary manufactured aircraft.

How does one describe an EAA member? EAA members are what we like to call the "keepers of the flame." Sure, we love airplanes. We fly them. We fix them. We even build them. But it goes beyond that. It's about passion, camaraderie, that ol' can-do spirit, and a grassroots way of sharing our love of aviation with others. Whatever it takes to stand in the footsteps of Orville and Wilbur ... if only for a moment. EAA enables you to share the spirit of aviation with the most passionate community of recreational pilots, builders, and restorers. EAA is the only association that offers the fun and camaraderie of sharing your passion for participating in the flying, building, and restoring of recreational aircraft with the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts.

I had a very positive experience attending the local chapter meeting and having the opportunity to meet fellow pilots. I would love to help out with the Air Show scheduled for this weekend but I will be flying to Ohio, wx permitting. I will make it a point to be up bright and early Sunday to offer my help at the pancake breakfast.

EAA Chapter 240

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

IR Home Stretch

My first instrument lesson since April 1, 2009. I went up today for 1.6 with my new CFII, Tom. It was so nice to review some of the oral prep and discuss today's flight prior to launch. Today was a review consisting of basic attitude instrument flying, slow flight and stalls, under the hood. I did some VOR tracking as we headed to Smyrna (ENO) then on to Cedar Lake(VCN)and finally Woodstown (OOD) followed by vectors to the pattern at Wilmington (KILG). Tom took notes and said he will provide a review via email. My procedures were good, my scan a bit slow, as I started to fixate on Attitude indicator,but overall a productive lesson.