Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 17 - Approaches - Now With Extra Holds!

So for Lesson 17, I was paired up with Aaron as my instructor.   I have no issues recalling his name.  Nice guy who knows his stuff, as is the case with most Aarons in general.

Did the run up and loaded the GPS with our plan for Flint and the VOR 36 approach with a circle to 27 and then the foggles went on.  Had to hold a bit back from the runway as a Citation jet was in font of us really blasting his engines so we gave him plenty of space.  Then a solid takeoff and we were on the way to Flint and I talked with Detroit Approach and then Great Lakes Approach.

It was all sorts of busy at Flint, so Great Lakes Approahc put the kibosh on the VOR 36 but had us do the VOR 18 approach with a  circle to 27 in sequence with a lot of other aircraft, each at its own set altitude and each one was sent out on a full procedure turn and only allowed back inbound to finish the turn when cleared to do so.  Kinda neat to hear them manage the traffic like that.

That went quite well and then we went missed to save everyone time and let others land, and then did the ILS 27 with vectors.  Again, it was a pretty busy approach but I did it pretty well and went missed again - this time prior to the missed approach point as the controller wanted us to go missed a half mile from the runway threshold for spacing.   No problem.  A little over-correcting still, but I'm getting better and apparently all my corrections are in the correct direction each time, which is a good thing.

Then back to Pontiac for the 27L circle to 27R with 27L still out of service. 

We went to GUZVY and did the full hold there, and as we had completed the hold, Tower got on and instructed us to remain in the hold for traffic.  This is how i found out that if you hit the OBS button on the GPS it suspends the approach and sets you up for the hold again, which is kinda neat and makes doing the hold again a piece of cake.   Very good to know.

So we did the full hold again, and then got cleared for the approach and landing.

It was a very nice landing if I say so myself. 

Aaron stated I'm doing pretty good but need to not over-correct quite as much, though he saw that I was correcting myself a lot which was good,  and really focus more on the Attitude Indicator.  My radio work is apparently really good and I seem to know what I'm doing, which is good to hear.

That's 1.7 with 3 approaches, 1 landing, and 1.4 simulated instrument time.


Old NFO said...

I would suggest you practice holding without the GPS, doing it the old fashioned way by timing. Better to know how to do that than rely on GPS which can/will fail at the worst possible time.

Pigpen51 said...

I know nearly nothing about flying, other than it is MUCH more complicated than just sitting in your seat and applying throttle and steering. However, I have enjoyed reading about your journey from beginner to quite advanced student flyer. Even from my limited knowledge, I am learning a lot about the mechanics of flying, and some of the things that are needed in order to be a success in the air and on the ground.
Also, I just wanted to add my thanks for your blog and the diverse topics that you bring to those of us who read, with everything from flying to shooting, to legalities that you explain in both legal terms and also in terms that are easily understood language. Living in western Michigan, I find much of the things that you speak to, are relevant to me, and easily applicable to my life and situation.
Again, thanks for your blog and the time you take to post. It is very helpful and appreciated.

Aaron said...

Old NFO: Yep, I've done timed holds quite a bit noiw, and they're actually kinda fun, sorta. The GPS was great for getting me back to the hold after we had already left it and then got sent back to it.

Pigpen51: Thank you very much! I appreciate the feedback and glad the blog is of interest.

Rick said...

I see NFO covered what I was about to say about disabling the GPS - that's real world stuff. So on to the next:

At Pontiac for 27L, assuming you were to break out at the VDP, couldn't you simply sidestep to 27R? CTL can be tricky sometimes. In fact, wouldn't the approach to 27L with CTL to 27R involve a right pattern? The pilot may want to decide a left pattern (crossing the 27L centerline).

Aaron said...


If we disable the GPS, the RNAV approach goes out the window.

It really is a sidestep maneuver but the preferred terminology that Detroit Approach and Tower uses is RNAV Approach 27L circle to 27R.

In short, follow the GPS glidepath advisory down to hit circling minimums, which basically ends up with you on a long straight in final to 27L, and with the runway environment in sight you sidestep over to 27R and land straight in. Easier and quicker to do than to explain.

Rick said...

Understood. Thank you.