Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Flight to Clarksburg, WV. KCKB

What kind of funny name is North Central West Virginia Airport? North, Central or West, make up your mind. 

It's Wednesday May 9th 2012 and Clarksburg, West Virginia's Airport, runway 21 is under construction, yet the airfield is open to traffic. The flight originated at Allegheny County KAGC with Corey from Pittsburgh Flight Training Center.

The choice of airplane was leaning toward the craft with functioning GPS, as the weather was deteriorating with large clouds and patches of rain, so we settled on N596CS, a 1997 Cessna 172R. The flight itself was rather smooth and the landings, well, if you weren't there to witness.. were nice and soft. Really they were.

The smooth air and wispy clouds sailing by, paired with a beautiful mountainous landscape all attributed to the thrill of taking to the skies.

This was flight number 2 towards AOPA’s Keep ’Em Flying Challenge, it's also the addition of the 18th airport in my logbook.

One interesting thing about the flight is that approach control in the Pittsburgh / Clarksburg area have some sort of issue hearing pilots transmissions on the air, so rather than ask for the usual response to information on the radio they ask for an IDENT on the Mode C Transponder.

Apologies for the lack of visual content to accompany this post, however as the PIC in an airplane that does not have a working autopilot, I felt it more important to keep my hands on the controls. I do have a camera mount on order so I hope do have footage next flight.

Until next time, blue skies and tail-winds!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First flight after my checkride

On a gorgeous and  sunny Thursday morning, April 26th 2012,  Shmuly Rose and I flew Empire Flight Academy's Cirrus SR20 tail number N184PD from at Farmingdale's Republic Airport to Dutchess County Airport in Poughkeepsie NY. This flight served a few purposes for me; 1) to get back in the air, it was my first flight since getting my Private Pilots License (not including ferrying the plane back from the exam). 2) AOPAs Keep ’Em Flying Challenge includes flying to five airports farther than 50 nautical miles, KPOU fits that bill from KFRG. It was my first flight as entry for the sweepstakes. 3) It was my first time in a Cirrus, let alone flying one!

The Cirrus is a sleek airplane, a fast airplane, a force to be reckoned with. At 160 kts over the ground you've got to be ahead of it. Shmuly flew under the hood, practicing his IFR skills while I acted as the safety pilot. A quick taxi back to runway 24 at KPOU and we are on our way back to Farmingdale. 1.3 hours on the Hobbs and we are back on the ramp at republic. So long until my next flying adventure.

Below is a short video of the landing back at Farmingdale.

Photos below courtesy Shmuly Rose:

World's most expensive Kipa, delivered by private airplane

The world's most expensive Yarmulka, a Johnny Walker Blue Label
insignia bearing Kipa, was delivered today at N82 Wurtsboro Sullivan
County airport, the Oldest US Soaring Site.

The story goes like this:

At 6:55am the alarm rings. Too tired to get up, but, hopefully I'll bring a friend along for the flight and I have a mission. So the morning begins, shower, pray make breakfast, and head out. Still no response from Doobie. What he doesn't know is that he's about to  miss out on an amazing adventure. Had I known before I would have invited someone else. Walk to the train, er, run, er, walk fast, as usual its a 15 min face paced walk and the train could come early and doesn't wait for no one. When you get there, the platform might be closed. You may have to board from the other platform, you need extra time. Only the southwest staircase (one out of four) were open today.

I text Eddie, "I'm on the train". It's a big day for many reasons; I'm getting checked out in a new airplane today. N6059D is a C-172-SP, fully loaded. And Eddie is the owner, so I need to impress. It's also my first time flying into a non-towered airport. (OK my first intro lesson when I had no clue what was going on, and in a glider, but the glider doesn't have a radio regardless. So those don't count).

Eddie loves the G1000, and he is teaching me to take full advantage of it. I learnt a ton today, how to set up a flight plan, how to alter it and how to use the auto pilot.

RWY 1 at Farmingdale’s Republic Airport KFRG is in use, straight out departure, call approach and request Class Bravo clearance. We are approved. Eddie asks if ______ is the controller. No. _____? no. ______? no. finally the guy says who he is, and we all start laughing on the radio. Eddie is a controller at NY approach and these are his boys. He gets an update on who is working the shift and we carry on our way. Direct N82. What's in N82 Wurtsboro Sullivan County Airport, you ask? Well for starters it is the oldest Soaring site in the United States. Dan is the Airport Manager and I am going to meet him. I have a special delivery and it should be hand delivered.

The view is gorgeous. And once you learn to use the autopilot you actually get to enjoy it. The Hudson river, the hills, the mountains, lakes, trees, houses, mansions.... Up and over the mountains N82 is behind a mountain. You wont see it till you are over the mountain. I'm pretty sure I was looking at Resnik and saying that's got to be it. Calling Unicom, it seams the operator is on vacation. So we follow a low wing into the field for what would make sense is the active runway, RWY 5, it's the one with the Instrument approach. Although the locals prefer 23 when possible, especially because they are usually towing gliders, and off the departure of RWY 5 is another mountain. When we taxiied in, Sabastian a pilot from Florida who just moved to the area and is looking for work gave us the heads-up that they chewed his ear off for landing on the wrong runway. No sweat I came to meet the manager. We will square it out. 

Wurtsboro has two L19 Bird-Dog's for towing gliders, both are being used. Lots of students. We see some cool gliders, and a powered-glider with the cowling off so we can see the engine. After he takes care of a few tows we meet Dan at the hangar, Hey whats going on blah blah.. Eddie might come back to get his glider license. I tell Dan I brought him a gift. His face brightens as he switches it for his baseball cap. The world's most expensive Kipa!! I show Eddie around the airport and we head off. (Is it important to mention that i got a root beer at the airport? and a patch?)

The way back was much of the same, we practiced steep turns in both directions. I'm more comfortable with the left turn. I think because I can SEE the ground. The only real difference is that this time approach makes us descend below class bravo after we enter it. Landings at both airports were butter smooth. I'm not sure if Eddie was helping on the controls but I don't think so. He is impressed with my flying and I like his airplane. I like how he embraced the technology available to us. Till now my instructors never let me use the auto-pilot. I flew from Farmingdale to Groton CT and back in actual IFR by hand!!! So it is a different world. We get back and tied down the airplane.  Take a few photos and chow till next time.


(this post is copied from an older blog I had so the date is incorrect)