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