Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 26 - Solid IFR Approaches

Today was going to be the long IFR cross country.  Route was going to be Pontiac to Muskegon via the MIGGY2.GETCH transition then to Grand Rapids airport and back to Pontiac via the RRALF3 arrival.

We were going to fly N3553M which has a GFC 500 autopilot so we were going to check out the autopilot functionality.

With a cold front rolling in from the west it was not to be.

So might as well get up and do some actual IFR approaches.

Winds and MVFR conditions prevailed at Pontiac and as we got up to 3,000 feet we were in the clouds and some precip and bumps. After a bit got into some smooth air in complete IMC.

On to Flint in the clouds, did the RNAV 27 approach into Flint and broke out just above minimums to see the runway right where it was supposed to be.

Went missed, flying runway heading and up into being vectored for the ILS 27 at Flint.

Did that approach, then the clouds lifted a bit as we went missed, and went to do the VOR 18 Approach and circled to 27.

Did the chop and drop and did a rather too-fast base on the circle to 27 but brought it around and got lined up and did a low approach over the runway before going missed and then climbing out.  Need to work on that.

Then off to Pontiac and the localizer back course to 27L.  Used the autopilot to fly back to Pontiac, then for the localizer approach.  Overall it did good on the altitude and initial headings but couldn't grab the localizer back course so hand-flew it in and did a good landing with a gusty crosswind.

Overall good approaches, completely IFR conditions throughout with some bumps but found smooth air for most of it.

That's 1.9, with 1.6 actual, and 4 approaches in IFR conditions.


B said...

Kinda nice to break out and be lined up and at proper altitude and on glide slope, innit?
That's the way it was on my approach (the second time) coming back from the Renfair....just above minimums.

Yer getting there. It will expand your options and make you a safer and better pilot. Plus yer insurance rates will be lower.

Aaron said...

B: Yes it is a really neat feeling to break out and have the runway environment in sight after being in a white puffy cocoon of nothingness. I think I'm getting there, but it's certainly taking a long time to get there. Already feel safer and better, which is a good thing.