I forgot to blog on my last flight of 2015 so I’m adding this post just to acknowledge that the lesson happened. From the notes it looks like it was just a standard day practicing crosswind takeoffs and landings in the pattern but I don’t remember any specifics because it was so long ago. To make it even weirder the flight was logged in a C-172 titled N6338F but Fischer doesn’t own a plane with that callsign – it is owned by Paramus Flying Club (Also Based at Caldwell) but I’ve never flown in a Paramus plane… I think it was just logged wrong and was either N811JD or N5253R in actuality.
On Sunday my Mom drove me to Fischer and I asked her if she wanted to come up in the plane. She agreed and we decided to go to andover again because it is a scenic little airport but would also give me a little practice on my short fields. We took off from Caldwell in very low winds; so low that the tower cleared us to take off from a runway facing directly away from the wind because it was pointing in our departure direction (so I guess my first take off with a tailwind?). We flew andover (using the GPS this time instead of visual checkpoints) and I tried to fly as smoothly as possible so as to not cause my mom to get queasy. My landing at Andover was smooth and we promptly came back to Caldwell because the guy who had the time slot after mine was having his checkride. My landing at Caldwell was pretty bumpy and I was a little disappointed because my landings have been so smooth recently, but I guess you can’t win ‘em all. It was a short flight but a fun one and my Mom said she enjoyed it as well. Next week I might have my second night flight and we might be going to stewart to see their new runway lights at night (Bob recommends that I get that on GoPro) so I will probably have GoPro feed next week. See you then.
Today was a beautiful day to fly; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the winds were low. Before the flight Bob said that after my last flight (before thanksgiving) he felt comfortable flying to Andover to practice some real short fields (It has a 2000′ runway as opposed to Caldwell’s 4500 and 3700). Bob didn’t want me to use VORs to navigate and pointed out that there were power lines running from CDW to andover so we decided to follow the power lines after taking off. The takeoff was smooth and uneventful and we intercepted the power lines after flying around Morristown’s airspace. On our way to andover Bob pulled the power on me to simulate an engine failure so I picked out a field (Bob told me it actually used to be a grass strip afterwards) and made one circle to get lower and made an approach. We were a little high when we aborted the approach (we didn’t want to get to low) but I think if it was an actual emergency I could have pulled it off with some S-turns flaps or slip. When we got to andover we did 2 landings which were pretty good (no go-arounds). The first one I was able to pull off at the last taxiway (with smooth touchdown) and the second I was able to pull off on the center taxiway (also with a smooth touchdown but this time in only 1000′ of runway). Andover was a cool little airport (very scenic especially on such a beautiful day) and when we were taking off we saw a small STOL piper cub with a cool paint job taking off on the grass on the side of the runway. On our way we tracked route 80 back to caldwell, avoiding morristown’s airspace as we got close to the airport. My landing at Caldwell was also a short field with a pretty smooth touchdown and we were able to land on the second taxiway (B). Over all it was a great flight and I feel a lot more comfortable with short fields now. Bob gave us a bit of a bittersweet piece of news today, telling us that he had gotten a job at a regional airline and he will be transitioning out of being a flight instructor at Fischer. I am very happy that he is going commercial (an exciting transition) but I am also a little sad that I probably won’t be able to be my flight instructor after he gets the job (although he might take some instructional flights at Fischer once in a while). Anyways, I didn’t get a GPS track of the flight so that’s all there is.
Last week my cousin was in town so I invited her to ride along on the lesson I was having that weekend. She agreed so I filled out a weight and balance sheet to account for her sitting in the back and she came with us to the flight school. It wasn’t a clear day but the clouds were well above the ceiling so we decided to fly to Greenwood Lake to show her the abandoned Constellation prop plane that had been turned into a restaurant there. The flight there was uneventful and we landed behind another plane from Fischer. My landing was smooth but the nose wheel touched down first which can damage the plane if done hard enough. We went the full length of the runway so we could get a better look at the Constellation and then taxied back to takeoff. We did one more landing at Greenwood Lake. This touchdown was on the main wheels (good for the plane) but hard and a little bouncy (not good for the passengers). After this landing we flew back to Caldwell and landed. This time my landing was a mix of the good parts of my two previous landings; I landed on the main wheels first and the touchdown was beautiful, a nice landing to end the flight on. My cousin loved it and I loved having her company – I just can’t wait until I get my pilots license when I can do things like this more often. No GoPro feed this time. Here is the GPS track: