Be the Boat

A boat flows with the waves as they come and go. Rocks make the waves crash. So, be the boat. That’s the advice I got today from my instructor. He was referring to my tight grip on the controls during takeoff. A few fingers will do and help the plane flow with the wind rather than fighting it… just like a boat. Next time, I’ll be the boat.

I took a 6pm lesson today and I logged a night landing out of the deal. Night flying is great. Everything is illuminated and it’s much easier to see other traffic. We did some hood work, where I put on blinders and flew the plane based on just the instruments. We also did some slow flight at 45 knots.

I’m getting more familiar with the landmarks. We head out north towards the onion fields. When we pass Greenwood lake on our right, we know we’re out from under the Class B overhang, meaning we can climb up above 3000 ft. There’s the Wanaque Reservoir to look out for, too. A bit more north there are two small mountain peaks on the right, a gap and a mountain range to the left. Looking out to the right, there are two water tanks right next to each other. One’s an old style tank and the other a new style – hard to miss.

On the way back, it was dark, but even then there were some good landmarks. On the southwest side of Greenwood Lake is the Greenwood Lake airport. Beyond that, there are two rows of lights that essentially point you right to Caldwell if you fly between them. I’m getting my bearings a little more now with these landmarks to help.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.4