Friday, October 9, 2009


Wednesday's winds foretold the change in seasons, cold fronts from the northwest chasing warm fronts from the southwest. My backyard weather station recorded winds at nearly 35 mph and checking the local airports all reported high winds. Fortunately I was scheduled to fly on Thursday. It was a beautiful autumn day.

The original plan was to fly north to 1N7 for a x-country validation check, but after reviewing my notes it occurred to me that I had never completed my lesson plan out to Lancaster. So I suggested this to the CFII as an alternate plan as we taxied out to the run up area and he obliged.

A simple flight plan to PTW, then to BOYER into KLNS. I briefed the VOR RWY26 approach in the run up area and departed to the north. The CFII acted as my simulated ATC providing clearance, heading and altitude changes. George and I got along just fine. I had a moment of confusion when cleared to intercept V457 and go DIRECT to DETTE, otherwise the approach went well. I wanted to exercise this because it has multiple step downs requiring vigilance of vertical speed and altitude control. I felt very comfortable using the STEC to accomplish this. We terminated the approach with a T&G.

Next was the set up for the VOR/DME 08. This one is interesting for the arc. I fumbled just a bit to get set up, but overall felt quite comfortable with the system. I was cleared DIRECT to JONJR for a Circle to Land RWY 31. As I was working through my brief I noted that the entry into the missed approach holding would be a teardrop. Nope. So I looked again and the CFII pointed out that hold is defined by the RAV 168, meaning it would be a parallel entry (No, not on the cusp) Good training on this one in use of the alternate navigation sources. While the MFD is great for showing progress, it is really nice to have 'old friends' like the tail of bearing indicator showing which radial you are crossing. Again, while not perfect, I felt comfortable controlling the system to get me where I wanted to go. Flying downwind I was informed that this would be a half flap (50%) landing which went well. We departed the area heading for home.

Along the way he failed my PFD. While you do lose attitude and directional gyros, you retain course deviation and GPS navigation. So you still have all of the means necessary for a complete approach. We had a good discussion about capabilities and continued with the well worn GPS 06 circle to land 24 at Wings. Nice landing. (...and a good lesson on setting the parking break.)

Time = 1.8 hours

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your 'flow' is just fine, things coming more natural. I really like the ATC role play, it helps when you get that final vector to intercept and your concentrating on the needles and you don't soak in all that ATC has to say. The role play ATC makes it really click, second nature, filter what you need and read it back and keep flying.