Posted by: Brian | September 25, 2010

X-Country to Cape May, NJ

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve last been able to talk about my progress.  I did fly last weekend, as well as today so I’ll talk a little about both.

Last weekend, I ended up working soft field and short field takeoffs and landings.  Additionally, I reveiwed turning stalls and slow flight, with some hook work (fly by instruments).  I spent four hours at the airport in total, logging just over two full hours in the air.  We ended up taking a break after a solid hour of short/soft field takeoffs and landings.  Those were interesting.  It was really my first exposure to actually doing them (I had a short field takeoff demonstrated to me by another instructor during one of my progress checks).  I did have a bit of a rough time with them initially, but think I grasped them by the end.  I am sure that I’ll have a lot more time to practice them later.  During our break, I filed another flight plan for Deale, our training area, for the stalls and slow flight.  The type of stalls we did were a bit new to me; they were turning stalls (whereas before I’d just pitch straight up).  The turning stalls can be more dangerous if you aren’t alive on the rudder pedals.  They were rough at first, but slowly came together by the end.  On the way back to Freeway, I worked on instrument work (with the “foggles”).  To be exact, I’d place my head in my lap and my CFI would get me disoriented then tell me to ‘recover’ from whatever bank and pitch we were in.  Actions vary based on if it’s a climbing turn or descending turn.  It’s amazing how your body lies to you when you fly by instruments.  Unfortunately, JFK Jr’s body lied to him as he was flying in IFR conditions when his airplane went down.  Learning this skill is extremely important that I take very seriously.  I have heard many pilots exclaim that they do not focus on [basic] instrument lessons because they say that they’ll never find themselves in those conditions.  Weather can move quickly, though, and you just never know.

Today I was able to take my wife up with me as we flew to Cape May, NJ.  My day actually started last night with the flight planning.  I got up at 6am to get a weather briefing so that I could finish my planning for the 8am flight.  It was a great day to fly.  We got to the airport, did the pre-flight inspection and away we were.   The winds were light and out of the west.  It was a quick 40-45 minute flight to Cape May.  Our ground speed was about 130 Kts, however, due to some nice tailwind.  If we were to drive to Cape May (about 10 minutes from Atlantic City), it’d be about a 3+ hour drive.  The winds at Cape May were 13 Kts out of the southeast, with gusts up to 18 Kts.  We landed, and then taxi’ed back to the Runway 28 holdshort line.  Cape May was interesting – it used to be a Naval Air Station but currently doesn’t have a tower.  It seems like it should be big enough for a tower (both runways are 4998′ x 150′).  There was a beautiful Cirrus Jet, with an executive parking area with limousines waiting (not on me, unfortunately).  There is a cafe there with a good breakfast from what I understand, which I’d like to fly out for someday.  Once we got back into the air, we headed straight back to Freeway Airport, landed and parked it.

I think Laura had a good time.  I am really looking forward to the day I can take both Laura and my daughter up with me.  I fly again next weekend.  We are focusing on diversions for the next flight.  That means that I’ll plan for Cape May and be diverted in flight to another airport.  Where will he send me…?

~ Brian

Hours Logged: 44.0 hours


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