You recently needed to take extended travel to destinations beyond the practical range of your trusty Cessna Cardinal RG. Your avionics shop just took in some useful trade-ins that are much better than your aging radios, so you left them your Cardinal for a modest upgrade. This is your first flight with the new stack. The day is forecast to be light-ish IMC and it’s a good day to hit some of your favorite SoCal coastal airports.
Your round-robin flight departs Van Nuys, CA (KVNY), with plans for approaches at San Luis Obispo (KSBP), Santa Barbara (KSBA), and Santa Maria (KSMX).
Departure from KVNY goes well. You’re direct to the Paso Robles (PRB) VOR. You use the time en route to get used to your new radios. KSBP reports light winds from the south, two miles of visibility, and 800 overcast. Approach gives you a heading to intercept the PRB 196-degree radial. Heading south, you then get a vector southwest.
A few minutes later and a few miles offshore, you get the clearance, “Proceed direct FRAMS. Maintain 4000 until established. Cleared ILS 11.” Before you have a chance to read back the clearance, ATC adds, “You are number one for the airport. Keep your speed up. Traffic to follow is a medevac Citation, six miles in trail.” You decide to fly the approach with gear and flaps up at 130 knots until a mile outside the FAF. Then, you’ll configure and slow to 80. So far so good.
Everything is set up for the approach, but there’s no glideslope. ATC confirms it is working, so you conclude you’re going back to the shop. A note on the ILS 11 chart instructs you to use the procedure for the LOC 11 if there is no glideslope. You advise ATC and request an approach clearance for the LOC 11. You are cleared for the approach and told to contact the tower at DOBRA. You quickly review the LOC 11. You’re confused about what the descent rate should be, but you’re on your way while trying to stay ahead of the situation.
You’re not worried about the weather as you plan to miss anyway. What could possibly go wrong?