Monday, February 26, 2024

IFR Currency in my Commander!

I found a willing participant, also a BAC member, that agreed to be my safety pilot. Anita had a lesson to fly first then as soon as she finished her Commercial lesson flying out of Salisbury she headed to Ocean City.  Anita and her husband Dave live in the same area as Mary and I. 

The plan for today was flying to Delaware Coastal(GED)and knocking out the RNAV GPS 22 and RNAV GPS 4 approaches with the Stec 60-2 autopilot. We would then head back to Ocean City (OXB)and I would fly the RNAV GPS 14, 32, 2 and the newish Localizer 32. I can't remember the last Localizer approach I shot.

I had activated the pre-heats when I got up this morning since we planed to fly at 1pm. 3 Tango Charlie was toasty as I completed my pre-flight and sumpped the tanks. I only hooked up the tail tie down camera and one inside the cockpit camera, I really wasn't feeling the need today. What a slacker.

Once in the air and headed towards HUVOX, the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) for the GPS 22, we transferred controls. I wanted Anita to become familiar with the Commander. 

Approach one would be with the autopilot. Buttonology is key and I know I had some rust to shed. Actually the work with the 480 sim helped and the button pushing was very good. My approach plate briefs flowed but I didn’t verify the CTAF frequency. I usually read the plate and verify on the GPS/Com. I did not. Instead I knew the setting and continued on. My bad. 

I let the autopilot fly the missed and did my typical cram, climb, clean, communicate. Forgot the cool. 

The hold for the missed is the same IAF waypoint for the GPS 4 approach. I did my lap at ZARVI and then flew the approach, autopilot still engaged. There was traffic landing on two-two so I broke off early and pointed south towards Ocean City. Two in the books and now for the rapid fire fun. 
Despite the winds on the ground it was pretty much smooth flying. I was now pointed direct to PFAIR for the RNAV GPS 14. I did not engage the autopilot but I did use heading mode. I made a nice procedure turn and proceeded inbound. This approach is LNAV, today I confirmed LNAV +V. Bizarre! LNAV is lateral navigation, the +V is vertical guidance. 

I went missed once reaching five hundred feet now pointing off shore for the GPS 32 approach, IAF GOBYO. I decide to save time and instead flew to intercept the GOBYO FEMOD leg. I made another nice approach then once again broke off early for pattern traffic. This time I cleared the area to the north to reposition for the Localizer 32 approach. 

Since I was tracking the VOR I decided to knock out a VOR check, flying the Waterloo 171 degree radial to the IAF FEMOD. Next I identified the localizer I-OXB and continued. I flowed through this approach feeling pretty good about my performance, at least so far. Once inbound I could descend to 1600’ but did not verify my altitude bug. Anita gave me the heads up on my call out of 1600 when I was bugged at 2600. Yikes, that was a bust. I pulled power and recovered, but again broke it off and headed south away from the airport. 

I reset the the Garmin 480 for the GPS 2 approach now pointing south over Assateague and dialed in for the IAF CIRAN. With the approach activated the autopilot helped finish out the day. I once again broke off early and joined the left downwind for runway 20 making an ok landing, dropping it on instead of rolling it on.

A big thanks to Anita for her safety pilot time, it was very much appreciated. I look forward to returning the favor.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Breakfast with the Boys at Cape May

Dave and I swapped a few text messages and decided to once again meet at Cape May for breakfast. Dave's friend Steve had covid so he canceled and instead Bob rode along with Dave in the Dakota. Mary had passed on going, not into hearing the boys talk airplanes, besides, she had some sort of game day with the girls of the Women's Club. I sent a text to Chet, a hangar neighbor, and told him I had an empty seat and I was heading to breakfast in Cape May, he responded that he would meet me in one hour.  Perfect timing he would be there at 10:30 and I wanted to get in the air around 10:45ish. I did my preflight yesterday so I was good to go.

The flight was smooth and uneventful, that's always a good thing. Breakfast at the Flight Deck Diner was very good and I enjoyed my creamed chip beef over hash browns with a side of crispy bacon. Thanks for lunch Chet, my treat the next flight.
 Dave and Bob 
We took the traditional pictures of flight crews and airplanes then saddled up for home. The flight was once again smooth and full of good plane talk. I fell in line number two and made a nice landing back home at Ocean City.