Hopefully helpful writings of a career minded pilot, working through the ratings in a Part 61 school while still managing to eat and find time to sleep and work.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

in the system

today i took my first cross country flight as an instrument rated pilot filing IFR. i went to see my folks up in VT, expecting a nice VFR ride, but the early morning fog in KLEB had hung around longer than expected. it was 100 broken when i departed KBED, but expected to lift, so I filed IFR, KBED - CON - KLEB. My clearance was radar vectors to MHT, then direct at 6000. The plane i was in was N6910J, one of the older warriors, but still legal for IFR flight - well, just barely anyway. The DG precessed a good deal, and VOR2 was 3 degrees off, but all within limits for IFR flight. the VFR GPS left much to be desired as well. besides these however, it was VFR the entire way. as I got close to MHT I was given a direct vector of 340 to KLEB. approaching KLEB the tower was reporting 300 scattered on and off as the fog was lifting. as i got close, a plane in front of me got in on the visual 25, and i could see the airport in plain view with only a few puffs here and there in the area. i cancelled IFR and made the smoothest landing I've had in a while into rwy 36 since I was used to that approach. here's the plot:


and some pics:

everything in it's right place

the fog over NH/VT up ahead

On the way back, I decided to file IFR again, despite beautiful VFR weather. I like it, and it's simpler to a degree than flight following, but that's a topic for another post. instrument rated pilots know what i'm talking about :) I filed for 7000 to make sure that weird fear of heights i had in the tomahawk a year back was gone. my clearance was one i didn't expect - cleared to bedford via the 167 radial of LEB, then BASUU, then direct. I read back and went to work on the map figuring out where BASUU was, and plugged it into the fisher-price GPS. (re: regulations - technically it is only for reference and i am required to use my OBS's to find the fix) once all that was squared away i was off.

BASUU turns out is right between Bedford and Lebanon, next to Manchester. After only a few minutes at 7000 i was directed to 5000 then 4000. Bedford in sight, I was directed to the visual runway 5 - an approach I have never made at that airport despite flying out of there for almost 3 years! The pattern was a mess, the controller mistook me for another warrior and put me on a parallel approach with a cirrus who had to break off. i felt bad, but i was only following orders! they also had traffic landing on a crossing runway, 11, so i landed in the first 6-700 feet of the runway (light trainers, yeah!) and had to accelerate off to the first taxiway, E, to facilitate the folks behind me.

Here's the plot for the trip home:


All in all, a great flight. 2.5 hours on the hobbs...the part 61 $$$-suck continues...

on the way home at 7000 - laconia is under there somewhere.

looking west at 7000 on the way home

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