Monday, December 05, 2005

Return to Flight

*drumroll, please*

On Saturday, the IFR Pilot returned to flight. A magnificent 1.7 hours total, including 3 approaches, 4 landings, .9 under the hood, and some time safety piloting for JP, who takes his IFR checkride on Wednesday.

Popped over to MFD to fly the ILS 32. Did that twice. Both times were somewhat pitiful, and certainly not up to PTS standards. Chasing needles the entire time, but I suppose that's to be expected after a couple months of not flying at all. When JP flew the same approach -- from the right seat, no less -- he pretty much put me to shame. But, the IFR Pilot was pretty sharp too when he was just a couple days away from facing the Dreaded Designated Examiner.

After a low approach, the IFR Pilot reclaimed the Pilot Flying duties for the VOR 10 into BJJ. We were cleared direct PTATO, one of my favorite local intersection names. If you look at the plate, you'll see that this is not an approach you'd really want to fly in actual without the GPS as backup -- or better yet, fly the GPS overlay. At PTATO, you're about 38 miles from the BSV VOR and so the movement of the needle is pretty slow. Even at the MAP, you're 28 miles from the VOR.

JP said that the IFR Pilot busted altitude, but I countered that the airport was in sight before the descent below MDA! A smooth landing ensued, giving the IFR Pilot enough confidence to fly 78S back to home base's 2350' by 35' runway.

Both of this week's Angel Flights cancelled, so the IFR Pilot is looking for new excuses to go flying. Anyone got any new excuses that will pass muster with the boss?

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