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It was an absolutely beautiful day today at 5500 feet.  Since getting my pilot’s license I have wanted to fly out to the Vineyard.  Can you believe it, I have lived in the Boston area my whole life and have never been to Marthas Vineyard.  I have visited Nantucket, but not the Vineyard …. so now I can say I have been and it was beautiful.   The great thing about to day was that the winds were out of the southwest, so Boston traffic was not a factor and I was able to climb to 5500 feet right from the start and not worry about staying below the Boston airspace.  What a difference than the typical 2500 feet.  The visibility was infinite today so I cruised down to New Bedford and then across Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.  

I contacted the Tower at Vineyard Haven when I was over New Bedford and they said to let them know when I hit the island shoreline …. I did just that and they cleared me into Runway 24.  Here are a couple of photos from my crossing of the bay.

Arrival at KMVY is pretty simple.  They told me exactly where to park, I checked in at the General Aviation desk and proceeded to relax in the restaurant with a hot cup of coffee.  I hit the restrooms, regrouped for my return trip and now know a nice little day trip to take.  The airport has shuttle services and plenty of car rental and taxi services …. so needless to say there is a day trip in my future to sope out the island a bit more …. oh, and did I say how absolutely helpful and friendly everyone was …. and they say we New Englanders are stuffy … not on the islands.    Montauk here we come smily-face

Today I took my first flight in a skyhawk with the G1000 panel. What an incredible amount of tools at my disposal.   The check list was a bit different but if you follow it closely it is pretty easy to figure out along the way.  But the first thing I had to get use to was not spending so much time looking at the instruments and not flying the plane and looking for aircraft.  I am not IFR so visual flight rules apply and reference to instruments is important but not fixation on them.  I will take a couple more flights with my instructor to get comfortable with the avionics.  Some of the most amazing things about the avionics have to do with the redundancy, weather integration, including wind correction angles and proactive autopilot with a “flight director”. 

By the way, here is the aircraft I flew to get my private pilot’s license.

Cessna 6023Y

Cessna Skyhawk 6023Y

I saw this cartoon the other day on another site and just had to share.  I couldn’t stop laughing since I could really relate to this one.

plomp-martin-5a

Today was one of those days that I probably should have saved some money and not gone flying.  I went to the Bruins opening night of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, had a blast, got home at midnight and couldn’t fall asleep.  Then I had a flight at 10 a.m. this morning and didn’t exactly prepare for it.  What I should have done is traffic pattern work, but no, I decided to fly up the coast northbound for Sanford, Maine.   Needless to say I didn’t make it all the way and headed back to my homebase when I reach Portsmouth.  I was tired, the turbulence was significant and it just didn’t seem like fun. 

My recommendation:  always be prepared and well rested !!  It makes for a alot more fun.  Here is the aircraft I flew today and the cockpit.

My next endeavor is to get checked out with the glass cockpit.  I purchased the Garmin NAV trainer for $25 and have used a simulator once.  I am going back to do some more simulation with my instructor so I am not completely overwhelmed once I get into the cockpit and give it a try for real for the first time.  I can just imagine after all the training in a classic cockpit, how odd and counter-intuitive this glass cockpit may seem.  I am also ready to laugh pretty hard when I try to use it as a touch screen !!!  I have already attempted that once in simulation !!