Aurora State Runway 17 Localizer Approach

This evening was cloudy, rainy, and even more windy than last night, which made for a challenging IFR lesson. I filed an IFR flight plan for the Canby Seven departure, the runway 17 Localizer Approach at Aurora State, and the runway 12 GPS Approach at Hillsboro. We departed from runway 20 and turned left for a heading of 090. Immediately thereafter ATC vectored us around traffic, had us climb to 4,000, then descend back down to 3,000, so there wasn’t much of an opportunity to brief the approach in advance. ATC vectored us to intercept the runway 12 localizer at Aurora and we began the approach. We encountered genuine moderate turbulence during the descent, so it became a great challenge to maintain the localizer course with any degree of precision, and maintaining an exact altitude was nearly impossible. The turbulence made the approach pretty intense. Unfortunately I dipped a couple hundred feet below the minimum altitude along the approach, but we were in visual conditions by that point so my instructor let me make the mistake. I managed to keep us mostly on the localizer course until we reached the missed approach point, at which point I executed the missed approach procedure, informed ATC, and climbed to GLARA intersection. Before we reached the intersection ATC had us climb to 4,000 and vectored us back to the west into position for the GPS approach at Hillsboro.

Hillsboro Runway 12 GPS Approach

The GPS approach went well for the most part, although we had some problems activating the approach on the GPS, so the result was that a full scale deflection of the course deviation indicator represented 1 nautical mile, instead of the standard 0.3 miles during an approach. The air wasn’t nearly as rough as it was at Aurora, so I was able to keep us on course pretty well. When Tyler had me look up at the missed approach point the runway was right in front of us, although we were a bit high on final. I took off the hood, dropped the flaps, put in a side-slip for crosswind correction, flared a bit high above the runway, added a touch of power, and set it down. My homework assignment is to figure out what we did wrong when setting up the GPS to activate the approach. Unfortunately Bendix/King doesn’t have a software emulator for the KLN 94, but they do have the manual in PDF format, so I’ll be sure to get more familiar with the device in the upcoming weeks. Tonight’s lesson was short (1.3 hours) but definitely the most intense lesson we’ve done so far, mostly due to the 45 knot winds and incessant turbulence. Next week we just have one lesson due to Thanksgiving. I also need to put in some cross country time in order to get the required 50 hours, so perhaps I can talk Fred, Dave or Tammy into a joining me for a flight to a distant airport next weekend if the weather permits.

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