Hey everyone. How are you guys doing? I hope your summers are going well and you are enjoying the time off to relax. Mine is going well here in Connecticut. I am just trying to balance my work with some free time, and so far things have been going pretty well.
Since I wrote last, I have continued working regularly during the week, and have been able to do some pretty fun things through that. A few weeks ago, I flew my bosses to a meeting we had to go to in Massachusetts. Previously, we drove to the airport we were meeting at which took nearly 4 hours, but by plane it was a mere 45 minutes. It was a bit gusty that day but on the way up we were doing almost 200 knots over the ground—very fast for a small airplane! It was a fun flight.
At the airport, not all that much new has been going on. We did our annual foam and dry chemical tests on our secondary fire truck, which is always fun. We are able to actually flow foam and the halon chemicals right out of the truck, which is something that typically doesn’t happen. The downside to this, of course, is having to restock these chemicals in the truck which can take some time without enough help. Luckily, we got it done in no time at all.
Perhaps the highlight of the past few weeks though was the “dinner flight.” Basically, the fixed-base operator (FBO) on the airport sponsors what they call a dinner flight once a month during the summer. On these flights, every single one of the flight school’s planes departs for a pre-determined destination—that usually translates to 20-30 people altogether. This month, the decision was made to fly to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY (on Long Island) and eat at an on-airport restaurant there, before splitting back up into our planes and flying the Hudson River VFR Corridor flight along the island of Manhattan. What a great time it was.
The restaurant we ate at was called the 56th Fighter Squadron Group and was really a fun place. Both the theme and the food were phenomenal. We had almost a whole room to ourselves due to the number of people in our party. Almost as soon as everyone was finished eating, the power went out all of a sudden and did not come back on. That made things interesting as it was getting dark, but we soon left and got back into our planes to continue our adventure.
Flying the Hudson River Corridor is something that I would put up there with seeing a shuttle launch and seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. It is truly breathtaking, especially at night. The lights of the city are so bright and you can see nearly everything from the air. We proceeded down the river to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, circled the Statue of Liberty a few times, then headed north up the East River, crossed the island at Central Park, and continued back to New Haven along the Hudson River.
Aside from the beauty of the city, the complexity of the airspace is fascinating. I was glad to have a flight instructor with me that had done the flight several times already, because knowing where to go and where to be and what altitude to be at is a challenge, especially if you can’t get a clearance into the airspace and subsequently must remain below it. Luckily, due to the time of the night, we were able to get a clearance into the Class B airspace. By the end of the night we had talked to: New Haven Tower, Republic Tower, White Plains Tower, Kennedy Tower, LaGuardia Tower, New York Approach, and Newark Tower. Seeing the planes going back and forth up and down the river was like a road: I had never seen so many planes in one place at one time. Still, it was an incredible experience.
Well guys, that’s all I have for you this time. Like always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
Talk to you soon,