You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

Below is an image of the aircraft that I had my FAA checkride in and got my private pilot’s license.  I also got a flat tire once on a training flight … but I will never forget this little guy.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

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I guess I need to explain the title. If you fly around the greater Boston area you are well aware of the great trips you can take out to Cape Cod. The key issue is navigating around the Boston Class B Airspace, affectionately known as “BRAVO”. I am a fairly new pilot and yesterday’s trip was from KBED to KPVC.   BRAVO airspace is fairly large with lots of big and very fast jets.  It also extends 20 nautical miles around the airport and up to 7,000 feet msl.  I typically fly around the airspace or below at 2,500 msl. 

But on this day I also needed to fly at 7,500 msl eastbound over Cape Cod Bay into the Provincetown Airport, so I flew south to Mansfield, once I was outside the BRAVO airspace, I turned to a east heading direct to KPVC climbing to 7,500 msl.  This route took right over Duxbury beach and across the 20 miles of Cape Cod Bay.  At 7,500 msl I had enough altitude to glide to either shore in the event of engine trouble.   What a beautiful day and flight into P-town.  Although my warning for anyone is to watch out for our feathered friends when you get out there.  There were plenty to look for and dodge along the way in the traffic pattern.   My co-pilot was diligently taking photos of P-town, the dunes, the beach and race point.  It was gorgeous !!!

The return trip was even better … we took off on runway 25 and decided we needed to get to 8,500 feet msl in order to cross the bay safely, so I flew down the outer cape to Wellfleet as a climbed to approximately 4,000 feet and then banked back to P-town climbing up to 8,500 feet.  We were heading straight across the bay when my instructor said, “when we get close to shore, why don’t we fly directly over BRAVO to Bedford.  He wanted me to try something I hadn’t tried before …. so we did, and I must say, it was pretty cool flying over the city with Logan Airport below us and the jets taking off and landing around us.  ATC was great, they suggested headings to fly and altitudes to help me get to Bedford even quicker than we had planned. 

All in all, a great day of flying and now I am checked out in the G1000 avionics.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Northeast.  Sunny 75 degrees and a few scattered clouds.  Great day for flying so my instructor and I set off for a flight up the coast of New England.  I was getting checked out in the G1000 glass cockpit which I had flown once before, but today was a bit more on navigation. 

We took off from KBED (Bedford, MA) and flew the following route:  KBEDKLWMKPSMKSFMKPWMKNHZKIWIKRKD

We just navigated from airport to airport using a GPS flight plan, comm frequencies, flight director and autopilot.  The only part of the G1000 avionics that is not exactly intuitive is the airspeed indicator.  Although, I found myself constantly reaching across my instructor to change comm/nav frequencies, when in fact they were right in front of me.  It is amazing the habits you form with repetitive training.  The older Sky-hawk comm/nav radios were on the right side of the aircraft, hence the reaching over to the right.

It was approximately an hour and twenty minute flight with unlimited visibility, to the west you could see the Maine lakes and the Presidential range just beyond.  Snow still atop Mount Washington.  Along the east side of the aircraft an absolutely beautiful coastline.  It is now easy to see from the sky why Maine has more coastline than the state of California !!! So many islands, inlets and beaches … it was beautiful.

The only downside to the flight was the lack of amenities at the Knox County Airport when we arrived …. so we just took off and flew back down the coast and enjoyed the ride.