December 31, 2004 - January 1, 2005
We had emergency trip late New Years Eve. We had to fly from Middletown to Dayton (about 15 miles away) to fill the tanks so we could fly to Iowa City. I got to fly another ILS to minimums at night. The Dayton weather was 200-foot and 1/4 mile. Even with years of experience, the concentration is intense and the thrill is still there when the approach lights appear just 200 feet below.
New Years afternoon, I returned to Middletown. The weather was unchanged. I flew the localizer approach into Middletown. The minimum descent altitude is 400 feet above the ground. The automated weather was reporting 200 feet and 1/4 mile visibility. My plan was to fly the approach to minimums very slowly (90 knots) and hope I would be able to see straight down. If I flew just to the left of the localizer centerline, I could spot the runway. Its 6000-foot length would be enough to use the first 3000 feet for the descent and the last 3000 feet to stop. Fortunately, everything went according to plan. The passengers didn't see the runway till we were rolling out!