This was one of those training flights with a fun element mixed in to make it interesting allowing me to practice some instrument flying and practice giving young people flights by testing it out on my two young boys; only the youngest ended up in the pictures because the older one was acting as cameraman. It also served to add XC (cross country) and PIC (Pilot in Command) hours to my logbook; both necessary to move onto the commercial pilot certificate.
We flew from Carroll County Regional Airport KDMW to Reading PA Airport KRDG. The instrument flight routing took us along Airways (invisible roadways through the sky) connected by VORs (VHF Navigation radio stations) acting like mixing bowls connecting various airways. We departed Carroll County Regional KDMW to a VOR named EMI. Then onto an airway named V457 through through VINNY (an intersection of an airway) to a VOR named LRP. LRP was our IAP (Initial Approach Fix) for the instrument approach RNAV (GPS) RWY 39. Instrument routing and approaches can be flown by instrument rated pilots requiring no visibility outside the airplane, through the clouds or darkness, down to the minimum altitude above ground specified on the approach procedure aka Plate. This all depends on how the aircraft is equipped and the training and proficiency level of the pilot. In this instance I was flying an airplane that could use the LNAV MDA minimums of 740 mls/1 mile visibility or 397 ft agl (MSL mean sea level and AGL above ground level). This all means that with this approach I can fly through the clouds at cruise altitude and then shoot the approach and descend down, pop out the bottom of the clouds 397 feet above the ground, and the runway should be right in front of me and I in a position to land. If I get to that point and am not in a position to land or can’t see the runway I must “go missed” as specified on the plate. In this case climb straight ahead to 3000 feet to YEWSU intersection then turn Left to 303 degrees and fly to DUMMR intersection and “hold”. If you have ever flown an airline and get close to your destination and start circling then you have been in holding. Once I go missed, I would contact ATC (Air Traffic Control) and let them know I what I was doing. I would then get routing to try again or divert to a different airport with better weather.
On this day is was clear skies with unlimited ceiling; no clouds, so flying instruments was just for practice with the safety element of being able to see if I look out the windshield.
After landing we took off again and circled back around landing on runway 31 just to get another landing in the books.
They also as do many have an excellent restaurant. We had a great lunch at Klinger’s at the Airport and then looked thought the historical displays before flying directly home to Carroll County Regional Airport.