Monday, December 12, 2005
IFR 9 - More Practice
The objectives of this flight: 1)Build Confidence, 2) Practice procedures.
I linked up with a safety pilot for this flight, another private pilot working on his Instrument rating. His job is to look outside for traffic while I wear the foggles and look inside at the instruments.
My plan was to fly VFR direct to the Rome VOR, do the the ILS into Russel (RMG), then right over to Cartersville for the Localizer, then back home and ask for vectors to the ILS at Cobb County.
KRMG 121853Z AUTO 29013G21KT 10SM CLR 13/M01 A2990
KRYY 121845Z 29015G21KT 10SM FEW030 12/M01 A2988
The weather was finally good, although gusting winds to 21 knots would make it interesting. I didn't file a flight plan as most of the work would be around non-controlled fields. The brief, preflight and taxi all went well. It is a little different being in the plane without an instructor, more personal responsibility, less effort to impress. I just felt more comfortable. The safety pilot pointed out things he does a bit different, I shared my procedures, and overall it was a very good 'give and take'. Low voltage light during run-up, avionics off (GPS flight plan lost), master reset, voltage OK.
After we cleared Cobb County airspace I put the foggles on and set up to track inbound to the VOR. Along the way I set up the radios, listened for weather, listened to and advised Rome traffic and generally completed all of AMICEATM. I used the GPS as backup and rediscovered my tendency to apply yoke pressure when fiddling with the GPS. I'm just going to have to put my left hand in my lap when I tune that thing. Otherwise my air work was acceptable, though far from my best.
The ILS uses a holding pattern for the procedure turn, the IAF is defined by the inbound course on the Localizer(Nav 1) and a radial from the RMG VOR (Nav 2). My radio setup was good, and it was nice to have GPS setup as backup and situational awareness. (BTW, approach plates are much easier to read in the daytime.) Gusty winds pushed me around a bit, but I felt very comfortable with the approach. Went to mins and executed the missed back to the VOR.
Since I was tracking with Nav 2, it gave me the opportunity to set up Nav 1 for the next approach. Again, I backed this up with the GPS (careful to scan and not push while tuning in the new procedure). Cartersville had touch and go traffic on the opposing runway, so we stayed at altitude for this one. (Again, I was really interested in procedures, so going down to mins wasn't essential.) Normal procedural turn, intercepted the Loc inbound without any problems, took the foggles off so two sets of eyeballs could look out for traffic. Went missed and told the boys in the pattern I would get out of their way.
Heading east, the setting sun shining on Atlanta was beautiful. City lights were coming on and the traffic jams coming north made me delighted to be in the sky. I contacted approach to see if they could fit me in for vectors to the ILS back home. It must have been a slow night since he gave me a squawk, told me to stay VFR and gave me the vectors I requested. Foggles back on, checklists complete for a beautiful ILS. Foggles off a little above mins, I saw I had maybe 20 degrees crab into the wind so decided to use just 10 degrees of flaps and fly it a little fast. Landing was not my best, but respectable.
Fun! This was a fun flight. I did all of the things I needed to do, found some inherent weakness in my personal routine that can be corrected, and made a new friend at the same time. We traveled 155 miles, got up to 155 mph and climbed all the way up to 3907 feet. (Scattered clouds at 4500 kept us down around 3000 for most of the flight.)
Time = 1.7