I helped out as the "safety pilot" for Dave Goodin on July 20, 2009.
Instrument-rated pilots often help each other this way to maintain currency.
Yes, we were in the air at the time-of-day moment of the 40th anniversary
of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Maybe only a pilot might understand that being in the air
is certainly an acceptable way to mark such a moment in the history of flight.
Anyway, the practice instrument approaches on this flight are
a recurring event for instrument rated pilots, at least
for those who maintain their instrument proficiency.
One pilot who needs to do some required practice approaches and holding
patterns asks another pilot to be safety pilot.
So I was the safety pilot on this flight.
Dave put on a view-limiting device (a.k.a the "hood")
so that he couldn't see outside while flying the instruments,
which accurately-enough simulates flying in clouds.
My job was to look outside to make sure we were flying
safely, such as watching for other aircraft and making sure we were
right-side up and not too low or slow.
If needed, the safety pilot can say "my airplane" and take the controls -
but it wasn't needed.
Quite often, the tradition is that this routine is followed soon
by another flight where the pilots change places.
Then both are instrument-current for another 6 months.
Of course, you have to judge your own flying each time to determine
if you've really gotten enough practice.
If not, you could elect to fly more until you're satisfied.
There aren't very many pictures from during the parts of the flight when
Dave had the hood on.
The reason is because I needed to be looking outside, and only on rare
moments got a chance to take a picture.
On this practice flight the instrument approach procedures Dave chose were...
The minimum requirement for this kind of practice is that the
safety pilot has to be at least a Private Pilot, not even
necessarily instrument rated. Both Dave and I are instrument rated