Sorry I haven’t gotten around to posting recently – anyhow, I just wanted to update some progress that I have made.
First off, two weeks ago, I was able to complete that long attempted dual (meaning with my instructor) cross country flight, to Sullivan County International, in Monticello NY (KMSV). I already wrote about that flight in a previous post, so there’s not much new to add, other than the fact that it worked out really well. We made it round trip in just over an hour and 15 minutes. Turned around on the runway at Sullivan, and came right home to Caldwell. However, there was one minor issue, and that was actually finding the airport as we got close to it – I had a hard time picking out Sullivan from the rolling hills and farmland that dot the Catskill region of NY. Therefore, I set up a “lost” procedure – meaning, I circled while I identified my location, so I could narrow in on the airport. Finally, I spotted it, entered the traffic pattern, and made a landing. Getting back to Caldwell was a breeze. Just to recap, this was the route:
Next up, was a dual cross country to Allentown/Lehigh International Airport (KABE), in Allentown, PA. This flight was really helpful, as it allowed me to practice my radio communication skills. In addition, Allentown is a fairly large airport, with approach control, so I got the hang of flying into a busier field. The flight itself went very well – I took off from Caldwell, and quickly transitioned through Morristown’s (KMMU) airspace. Within a short period of time, I was ready to contact Allentown Approach control, about 20 miles out from the airport. In a busier airspace environment, approach control will actually vector you in and out of the field, meaning they will say, for example: Cessna 1493E, descend and maintain 3,000, turn to heading 320. Basically, they want to make sure you stay clear of other aircraft, and additionally, are trying to maintain a flow of traffic going into the airport. Before I knew it, I was lining up for the approach for Allentown’s Runway 24. Again, the challenging component of the flight to Allentown, was finding the airport itself. Unlike, Sullivan County, the problem here was differentiating between highways, mazes of cement, and the airport – picking out a runway amid a jungle of pavement and buildings is challenging. Anyhow, the landing was fine (it was a calm day). Again, we taxied right back to runway 24, took off, and were vectored out of Allentown’s airspace. Inbound to Caldwell required calling Morristown as well, so I transitioned through their airspace, entered a base leg for runway 4, and landed back at Caldwell. Second dual cross country done.
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY’S!!! Immediately after completing the KCDW-KABE flight, my instructor signed my logbook, and endorsed me to fly my solo cross country flights. Therefore, I will be making three solo cross country’s as soon as possible, weather permitting.
1. Caldwell to Sullivan to Caldwell (50 NM approx)
2. Caldwell to North East Philadelphia to Caldwell (50 NM approx)
3. Caldwell – Sullivan – Allentown – Caldwell (150 NM total approx)
Stay tuned for posts on these flights…this is a major step forward in my path to the private pilot certificate!