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….

Solo to Practice Area Prep

Today after having completrd my two solos in the pattern Tom and I set out to the practice area to prep for the solo to the practice area.

We headed off 28N up north past Greenwood Lake.  All was good – nailed some steep turns and then began heading back.

The return flight was a mess.  Back over Wanaque I called 10m north of the field but proceeds to get lost.  Tom pointed out Lincoln Park airport and some other landmarks but ultimate had to guide me back for a straight in to 28.

Disappointing day but I plan on spending some time with google earth and my charts in hope of doing this last solo soon.