Sunday, July 17, 2005

Instrument Stage Check #2 - continued

I was expecting this to be a very challenging flight. My instructor had grilled me on all the different things I would be expected to demonstrated. VOR holds and approaches, DME holds, ILS approaches, etc., etc. As it turned out, this was not too difficult at all.

As we climbed out, I turned to the assigned heading and was handed off to approach control. I didn't complete the climb checklist at exactly 1000 feet, but I was busy completing my turn to 270 and switching the radio. I completed it at about 1300 feet...just before the ACI was going to ask me if I was going to do it. Jax Approach asked us what we would like at Cecil. We asked for vectors for the ILS 36R and we were told to climb to 3000 feet and eventually told to turn to 200.

As we motored along, I began my approach briefing. Current plates - I had two sets somehow. Must have picked up the ACI's last week while we were doing the oral interview. I gave him the other set and we briefed the approach. HI to magnetic compass, check. Tune and ID NAVs. Can't ID the ILS from this angle. That will have to wait. Tuned the Gainesville VOR which is used for the missed approach and put that on standby. Tuned the CRG VOR to the 252 radial which is shown on the plate as being past the runway.

Set the course on the OBS - 005 degrees for the 36R. Entry? We are getting vectored. Altitudes...1800 feet at the fix. DH is 275. Time? 3:28 at 90 kts. Missed approach - ATC has instructed me to turn to 270 and climb to 2000.

As we fly along, I'm getting vectors. I tune the other radio to the ATIS and get the current weather and altimeter at CECIL - 30.16...just a bit higher than Craig. I'm now told to descend to 2000 and turn to 270. That would be a good base leg for the 36R. Prelanding checklist. Lights on, fuel pump on. Fuel on proper tank - about time to switch anyway. Doublecheck the HI.

Now I'm told to turn to 330 and cleared for the ILS36R approach. I identified the ILS on the NAV and now I can see the glideslope and the localizer are alive. The localizer is moving closer to the center now...I start a slow turn to the right when I have about two dots deviation. Now there's I'm on the localizer and my course is 005. The needle starts to drift back to the left, so I adjust course back to the left. I'm now handed off to the tower and I make my call. Oops, I'm letting the needle get too far. Turn left ... about 10 degrees should do it. Ok. Now the glideslope is centered and I pull the throttle to 1700 RPMs and nose down for a 500 fpm descent and 90 knots. The tower clears me for the option and asks what my intentions will be. She also announces traffic on a left base for 36L...sure hope the ACI is watching since I've got the hood on. Opps again...starting to drift. Although no wind is reported, it seems that I am drifting to the right of course pretty consistently. I turn to 360 and the needle recenters. Descending on the slope now while I turn to 002. This will keep the localizer needle centered.

1,275 feet MSL, I call out 1000 feet to go. Still on the localizer, I now extend one notch of flaps. Pushing the nose down to maintain the descent, I adjust the trim to keep the nose down. Now 500 feet AGL. I put out another notch of flaps and I almost lose the glideslope.

Tim now says we have the runway environment in sight and asks what can I do? I tell him I can descend to 100' above the TD, 175' MSL. Good answer. Do it. At 175' he tells me to go visual. There's the runway...perfect. I ask him if he wants me to land or do a low approach. Ok, low approach it is. I add power to full. Wait for speed to come up and remove the flaps step by step. Now at 79 knots, I pull nose up and start the climb. But now, I see the twin engine Seminole ATC called out before our approach. He's climbing out ahead and to the left. Looks like he's turning he's turning right. Ok. Now's a good time to turn left for the Missed approach. Tower returns me to approach control and we are told to climb to 3000.

After a few minutes, ATC asks us what we would like to do. We ask for a hold at the BEABE intersection - 150 radial from CRG at 5 DME. ATC turns us to 180 and instructs us to climb to 4000. He then asks if we would like to go direct to the CRG VOR or if we'd like vectors to BEABE. Vectors would be nice.

So, off we go towards BEABE. That approach went nicely. I made one mistake but I don't think the ACI caught it. Although I entered the 3:28 in my timer, I neglected to start the timer at the FAF. As we flew along, we jabbered about cars, women, flying. Lots of stuff. I pulled out the plate for the VOR32 approach at Craig and tuned the NAVs and radios. I got the ATIS - still 30.13. I tuned the OBS to 330 and 150 on the two VORs. I id's both radios. The DME was tuned, but it never IDed properly although it seemed to be receiving properly.

I noticed that the published hold at BEABE was for non-standard turns. From our position, we would have to make a parallel (pain in the ass) entry. We talked about that, but it became apparent to me that we were being brought in from the south...great. We can do a direct entry. Outstanding! ATC turned me to 300 at about 10 DME and I intercepted the 330 radial. This entry was perfect. I rolled wings level exactly as the needle centered. Ok. So which way do I turn? I was cleared to hold at BEABE at 4000' and asked to report established, but the controller did not say "As Published". This means I was supposed to make standard turns (to the right). We determined this just as I reached 5.0 dme. So, standard rate turn to the right. Timer cleared. Throttle oK, No twist. no talk yet. Wings level at 150 heading. Start the timer. Boy, that minute goes fast! Now right turn to 330. Oh man! this is a good one! I roll wings level just as the needle centers again. Now restart the timer. At 47 seconds, I hit 5 DME, so I will be adding 13 seconds to the next outbound leg.

We are ready to depart the hold and follow the VOR32 approach. Unfortunately, we now have three planes in our vicinity and we cannot descend from 3000'. ATC advises us to complete one more lap. Since I know we are being held up for traffic, I decide to pull the throttle and slow down to about 80 knots. We are told we can begin our descent as we cross the BEABE intersection. Since we are at 3000' and the airport is only 5 miles away, this means I'll need to lose altitude pretty quickly. Nose down. 1200 fpm descent. At 1000' we are only about 1.5 miles away. I pull the throttle to idle, drop full flaps and execute a forward slip down to the PAPI glideslope. Now I adjust the throttle to maintain a 70knot approach speed. When it is clear that I'll make the runway, I pull power to idle and we flare...still floats a bit longer than I like, but we still manage to touchdown gently on the aiming marks. I retract the flaps and apply the brakes. We make the first turn at A5.

Taxi back and tiedown were uneventful.

1.5 hours on a beautiful day. With 1.3 under the hood. Another great day of flying!

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