Instrument Flight 28: Things Falling into Place

Most everything seemed to fall into place tonight. The air was so smooth that I couldn’t believe how easy it was to control the airplane most of the time. I don’t remember feeling quite that way before.

First I did a VOR approach and most of the time my heading, altitude, and airspeed were right where I wanted them. I kept thinking I must have forgotten something, because the approach was going too well. I leveled off just above the minimum without dropping below it or climbing a hundred feet like I often do.

The only thing that went wrong was at the beginning when I flew right through the radial I was supposed to intercept. The VOR indicator was fully deflected, and I continued flying away from the radial without realizing it.

When my flight instructor pointed this out, I was able to get back on track, but I still didn’t understand how I could pass the radial without noticing. It seems like this should be simple, but I’m not getting it yet.

Next I did the ILS approach twice, the first time I’ve repeated one. I think the first one went well, and my CFII wanted to see if I could do it again. Both times I forgot to start the timer, but I flew the approach better than I had before.

The last task of the evening was an NDB approach. The plate showed a holding pattern over the NDB, and I did a decent entry, even choosing the correct entry method. Then I realized that the pattern was only for the missed approach, and that I was flying back in the general direction I’d started from, going away from the approach course.

I announced my mistake, as if my instructor hadn’t noticed it. I flew back to the NDB and tried to start over. By then I was too tired to think and flew outbound on a heading parallel to the bearing I needed.

I did the rest of the approach the right way in the wrong place. Inbound I thought I was a few miles out and was trying to intercept the bearing when I was asked to remove the hood to see that I was almost over the airport, still 1800 feet above the ground.

Today: 1.6 hours instrument time
Total: 2.1 hours IMC time
Total: 46.3 hours instrument time

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