Saturday, July 16, 2011

VOR/DME and GPS approaches

Today I took to the skies in N376DC a Diamond Katana with my instructor Nick Carter (No, not the Backstreet Boy).  It was really hot outside and the plane really didn't want to climb much at all.  I rotated at 45 knots but the thing didn't want to fly until it got to almost 60 knots.

Immediately after takeoff I put on my view limiting device (known as Foggles) and instrument training began.  I was given vectors (by my instructor) to clear Provo's class D airspace and then direct to Fairfield VOR.  I was instructed to hold over Fairfield VOR.  Being at only 8,500 feet and the mountain at 7,000 the turbulence from the wind was ridiculous!  It was so hard to do the hold correctly.

Then I was cleared for the VOR/DME 13 approach into Provo.  That wasn't so bad.  Out over the lake the air is much much calmer and made for easier flying.  Upon reaching the missed approach point, we executed a missed approach and turned off to go and fly the GPS approach.  Not hard really.  Just gotta make sure to but the VOR on GPS mode and fly the needle.  While on the approach and about 2 miles north of WAVIT (the Final Approach Fix), a Cessna Citation X called in announcing he was on the approach.  Since we were very slow compared to him, tower had us do a 360 to get out of the way and then resume our approach.  All went well.  We executed a missed approach and flew back to Spanish Fork.

The interesting part of the whole bit had nothing to do with us, but with that Citation Jet.   Tower told him to report WAVIT inbound and he forgot to do so.  He then also proceeded to land without a landing clearance!  That's a huge mistake!  That can have pretty bad consequences.  Tower realized what happened and then issued him a landing clearance after he had already landed.  Since Provo doesn't have a radar yet, there is no way to see that the jet landed before the clearance was issued.  That pilot better go and give the controller a nice sum of cash or maybe a dinner or something because he totally saved his butt.

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