After a disappointing day yesterday I came home and spent hours and hours on Google Maps, in my home simulator, in my sectional charts, on Foreflight, and every other resource I could find in order to really study the KCDW area and more importantly, the route to and back from the practice area – and the various options that could be offered depending on your entry into KCDW and reporting points.
I woke up on Sunday feeling confident – my sectional charts were marked up correctly, I felt good about my pilotage skills on the way there and back (utilizing the middle little island in Upper Greenwood Lake, and the mountain range that looks like a sleeping lady, etc). We went up in 1JD leaving off of 28 to the north. I managed to get up north, identify the base of Wanaque and direct my way towards the bottom of Greenwood Lake, over the airport, and to the onion fields. Once we arrived I was able to turn us around and navigate us all the way back – once I was at the base of 4N1 I pretty much went directly south to Boonton where I made my call. I was instructed to enter into a right downwind to RWY 22 and nailed it. Luckily I was also prepared for a left base to RWY 04 as well if needed.
All in all this lesson felt really good and upon reviewing videos from the day and duplicating in my simulator I feel confident that I could nail the trip on solo on the next trip. And I’m looking forward to it….