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6/25 – Emergency Procedures, Stalls, and Spins

As I progress through my training I’m realizing that I’m not as fluent as I would like to be in dealing with in-flight emergencies and I’m also a bit fearful of spin/stall type situations.  So Tom and I had a session just dedicated to developing this.

We departed 28 to the North and headed towards Warwick.  Once there we climbed to 4500 feet and started with some engine-outs.  I was able to trim to Vg and make shallow banked turns to get the feel of it.  This was a valuable exercise to do at altitude as I feel more comfortable performing this on the ground.

We then worked on power off steep turns to see that the plan could bank 45 degrees and not stall at 65-75KTS.  Again this was valuable to see as well.

Finally Tom asked if was interested in getting into a spin.  I said “yes” and he took me through a right and left spin.  That, in my mind, was one of the most valuable training sessions I’ve had.  To learn that the plane in many cases will fly itself out of a spin is a tremendous learning exercise.  It was also good to feel how much the plane can actually handle.

We headed back to Caldwell after simply doing all of these exercises.  I let Tom know how happy I was with today’s session.  Next time our goal will be to actually execute these power-off landings coming out of emergency situations to feel how the aircraft works.


Cross Country to KMSV

I’m still continuing cross-country training and have been having a hard time with pilotage.  Today I decided to use VOR navigation as a guide.  We hopped into 90559 and I dialed up the HUO VOR 347 TO.  We departed Caldwell and remained under 2500 until we passed the base of Wanaque and we started climbing.

Upon crossing the VOR we headed 345 FROM and continued on to Sullivan County.  It was a nice day so the field was very visible and it was easy for me to pick my checkpoints (i.e. St Joseph Lake).  The field was very crowded so we made a quick touch n’ go before heading back to KCDW.

Our return trip was uneventful and I used the reverse route on HUO to find my way back.  At the base of Wanaque I gave my 10 mile call.  I was asked to announce 5 miles north of the field.  I went over LP Watertank called in and they set me in for a left downwind to RWY 04.

Good flight, good grades.  Tomorrow we got to KABE but this time I will plan on using BWZ VOR….


4.24.16 KCDW -> KPNE

We did cross countries today with a flight out to KPNE.  Or at least we tried.   I managed to get to the course interception point and turned to my heading.  I was able to track a few checkpoints but then picked a wrong landmark and went way off track.  I was on the radio with KPNE and they were fairly annoyed that my radio calls were annoyed.

At this point we were off course and Tom had to get back.  I turned to the course heading back and surprisingly found my way back to Caldwell.  Things in that airspace were absolutely crazy today with random aircraft all over.  They had us in for a left downwind for 28 where we came in.

On about a 1 mile final they cleared a Citation in on 22 for final so Tom grabbed the controls and sipped us right back down the runway.  These types of incidents seem to be frequent and they’re a bit of a buzzkill.

We’ll try this flight again.  I’m struggling with pilotage and will try to do more research on this topic.


4.17.15 – KCDW to KABE (2nd Flight)

This day we attempted a second flight to KABE in 5253R.  This is one of the required cross-countries that I would eventually do solo so it’s important to get this one good.  On departure from 28 at KCDW I started towards my course interception point at the bottom of Lake Parisppany.  Once there, Tom asked what I was looking for in the distance and I mentioned the hospital.  He was referring to something as far out as possible so I decided to use the smoke stacks that are north of KABE.

We continued to the airport.  I was able to handle the Class C entry radio communications and we were cleared for right downwind to RWY06.  Once down I fumbled a little bit with radio frequencies – I wasn’t sure when to switch (if at all) to Clearance Delivery and other frequencies as I had charted.  However, I learned that some towers have CLD/Ground on the same frequency.  Confusing.  =)

On the way back I was able to find my course interception point (reservoir) but had a hard time locating a distant marker back to Caldwell.  I could have used Budd Lake as a distance marker but I did not an I ended up farther east on my return.

It was an average lesson.  For some reason my pilotage skills are not picking up.  Next week we will try a new airport.


4.10.16 – KCDW to KABE

Today was my first flight out of the NJ area to do a cross country to KABE.  I didn’t prep enough – or should I say I focused on the wrong things.  I woke up in the AM and spent 90 mins filling out a NavLog to great accuracy.  I started with the identification of Lake Parsippany as my course interception point and then began to plot a 284 heading to KABE.

Getting to the airport I had a few things.  1 – I was a few mins late to my lesson due to traffic  2 – I was assigned to 38F which I had not flown before.  We departed 28 and as soon as the frequency change came through I got too bogged down in trying to calibrate my heading from the NavLog to where I was going.  As a result I wasn’t focused on the outside and proceeded to get a wee bit lost.  I also was overwhelmed by the radio work.

We managed to get into KABE.  I called Approach 20 miles to the west and started to follow directions in.   We did a fullstop landing and they directed us back to to 24 for the departure.  During this time I had to switch navlogs and get ready for the flight back.  The return back was a bit of a mess as I was not prepared for a set course given by KABE tower which through my bearings off.  I also did not plot properly for the way back.

All in all a frustrating flight/day.  I am going to go home, review, and hopefully try this again to better success.  Ugh.

- Sanjay

Cross Country to KMSV – 3/26/16

Today we started dual cross country training with entries into different airports.  Our flight was planned for KCDW -> KMSV.  The flight was uneventful in N5352R which is the plane I fly the least needless to say.

I also decided that this was going to be my first flight to go all digital on my charts (Foreflight) and use an iPad4 now for my charts.  My kneeboard is for this equipment, but I do keep my paper charts as backup.   I did, for this flight, also fill out a proper navlog for the trip just for practice.

We were able to get up to KMSV – as we approached I heard someone on CTAF say they were landing 33 so I assumed this was the active but it turned out that most people were doing left downwind patterns to 15 so I adjusted my flow to get in on 15.  We were able to complete that and with a touch and go departing 15 I was able to identify the ski area adjacent to the practice area and head right back into KCDW.

Tomorrow our schedule is to head to Allentown and I’ve filled out my navlog for it.  This will be my first interstate flight.



Diversions Training – 3.12.16

I haven’t had a chance to do my 3rd solo to the practice area yet.  Tom feels I’m ready but given how busy it has been at Caldwell I’ve decided to come in on a day when it’s less crowded to give it a try.

Instead we began our cross country training today with diversions.   In preparation for hit I had prepared a VFR flight plan to KMSV. Departing 28 we headed up towards KMSV passing Greenwood Lake, the Ski Area, etc.  Once past the ski area Tom asked to go to Sussex.  Using a general course between the highway and ski area I was able to navigate us there.   We passed Sussex and Tom asked to head to Andover.  I managed to fly over Andover without actually seeing it right below me (literally).

The challenge on this day was turbulence.  Definitely a day where trying to orient myself using charts and also keep the plane flying was the most challenging it’s been.  Regardless Tom graded me a 3 on this lesson.  Next up are lessons getting in and out of uncontrolled airports.  That should be exciting.

Solo to the Practice Area Training

Today -

Tom and I went up in 811JD.  Goal today was to finalize knowledge on the different approaches into Caldwell which for some reason I have not been able to gain an understanding to.  Departing 28 I was able to find my way to the onion fields and back.  Checking ATIS over Greenwood Lake I prepared a 10M north call at the base of Wanaque and was instructed for a straight in 22.  Using the Point View reservoir and Lincoln Airport as checkpoints I was able to execute this successfully along with the 5M final report.

At this point asked if I wanted to head to the practice area alone.  I declined the offer though it was great to see Tom was ready to see me do it.  I had still wanted to do one more practice, and mainly, with heavy wind conditions I would rather wait.

We did a touch and go and went to Greenwood Lake where we would go to execute a touch n’ go and try a different approach into KCDW.  My entry into Greewood was a bit of a mess.  I’m not that experienced getting in and out of uncontrolled airports.  Combine the use of RWY 24 (vs. 06) and some choppiness and some extra traffic and I needed Tom’s help with the radio while I attempted to get the plane on the ground.  Touch n’ go was successful and we started our return back to Caldwell.

Over Wanaque received a new ATIS called a 10M NW and was told to do a straight in to 22.  Tom requested ATC a different approach for training at which point they instructed a right base for 22 reporting LP water tank.  Over the tank – we started our descent but were then instructed to just come straight in for 22 due to traffic.

Good day of training.  Next time we’ll do this solo to the practice area.  Exciting.


Transitioning to KCDW Flight Environment

I’m still trying to complete my 3rd solo flight to the practice area and back.  On this training I was successfully able to navigate my way to the onion fields and back – back being right down to the bottom of the Wanaque Reservoir.

At this point I had already checked ATIS and called a 10M north of the field to KCDW Tower.  I was instructed for a 10m straight in.  I was able to go straight past the north of Lincoln Park airport but Tom instructed me to continue past the large Point View Reservoir and then start a southbound track.

All was good at this point with the exception of a few botched radio calls due to the heavy traffic at KCDW.  I’m going to take this lesson continue to plot out paths to/from and the transition to the KCDW environment.  Hope the next one knocks this out.


Another Attempt at the Practice Area Solo Flight

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….