You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

Well May 22nd was a big day …. my first trip as Pilot in Command with a passenger.  I had been looking forward to this trip for awhile now, but as soon as I agreed to fly to East Hampton from Bedford, Mass with this very dear friend I got pretty anxious.  There was a new pressure to ensure safety and I had never flown into East Hampton (KHTO) before.  Based on how busy it is I assumed there was a control tower prior to planning my flight, and yikes, it is an uncontolled airport which is also very busy.   Jets, helicopters, multi-engines and then little guys like my Cessna Skyhawk.

So we decided to go late afternoon on the Friday prior to Memorial Day weekend.  Weather was very warm in the Boston area, sunny, hazy day with fairly calm winds.  We expected a smooth 1 hour and 10 minute flight at an altitude of 6500 feet MSL.  The only runway at KHTO that is usuable from a length standpoint is 28/10.  So I was also hoping the winds would cooperate once we arrived.   I was also expecting alot of traffic on a Friday evening of a long weekend.

The start of the flight was uneventful, although when I looked this friend in the eye and described what we would do in the event of an emergency at various stages of takeoff …. the nervousness hit me again.  I like to consider myself a very cautious and safe pilot … but this took it to a new level.  Carrying a passenger and knowing that they are depending on you for their safe arrival is a bit daunting.  But off we went.

I requested flight following, we took off and we were on our way.  I was lucky that ATC allowed me to climb through the Boston airspace immediately so there was little delay getting to cruise altitude.  My friend got his camera out and proceeded to take pictures.  Here are a few: 

 

As you can see from the final approach photo, the winds coming off the south shore were pretty brisk and I should have anticipated it sooner.  So I was blown off to the right and had to compensate on the final.  I was also a little high as the two white lights indicate.  But as my instructor always said … “altitude is your friend” so it that is the least of my worries.

We landed a little fast but that worked out okay with  the strong crosswind and gusty conditions.  What a great day !!