Yay! First time in the Bravo airspace today! Hearing that over the radio was almost magical.
I just went for a cross country with my CFI on Thursday because 1. I was missing him 2. I wanted to do some instrument time and go through the Class Bravo. Well, I didn’t accomplish any instrument time sadly. It wasn’t too sadly though because it was a gorgeous day and I much rather look around. I got to see the City from the North, which was great!
The morning of the flight the weather was looking pretty good. I originally wanted to go to Sky Manor but it was marginal there and wasn’t getting any better. I picked another airport in the North of New Jersey (still having to cross into the Bravo) Essex because it was a little more than 50nm away. I got to the airport and my favorite airplane ever was just finishing up getting her engine replaced. She wasn’t ready for me! So we ended up taking the other 152 which I flew last time. I told him of my plans about Essex and he shot back to me Greenwood Lake is 50nm away, has a restaurant and a Constellation there! I was down with that and we’d grab lunch there.
We pulled out our iPads and played with Foreflight finding the best way to go. Very different from initial training where we tried to not use iPads. He has a Stratus so we could get even better GPS in the airplane on our iPads. It was a lot of fun using Foreflight more and seeing what it can do.
The winds were calm and we were taking off runway 14, taxiing to it he said we should have requested runway 1 just to save us time. I have to remember to keep that in my back pocket if the winds are calm and they have us going to the furthest away runway.
Took off and soon enough we were talking to NY Approach. He didn’t let us climb past 2500ft into the Bravo at 3000ft but we changed frequencies pretty quickly and he said ask the next controller for higher. Over the Long Island Sound I was cleared into the Bravo! I definitely did a fist pump. Kept in a 500fpm climb until 4500ft. Got a lovely view of New York and New Jersey. Our VOR wasn’t really working correctly so I just flew a heading to Greenwood Lake and used some pilotage.
Randomly over New Jersey hills we dropped like 100ft at least. I raised out of my seat. It was very random since it was clear above us. Our transponder wasn’t reporting altitude either to ATC, they were nice enough to let us stay in the airspace until our descent a few minutes later.
Hills are TRICKY! I wasn’t seeing the lakes like they are on the sectional because the hills were hiding them. It made spotting the airport a bit more difficult, but I totally spotted it before my CFI, very proud of that.
I was coming in fast, too fast I thought. It’s a shorter runway than I’m used to 2500ft versus the close to 7000ft I’m used to. I wanted to go around but my CFI told me I was fine and I ended up landing it pretty good. If he wasn’t there I would have gone around though.
We stopped and ate lunch together. Some bonding time! It was interesting to hear some stories about student’s progress. I’d love to know more about it and experience teaching. One day! We also visited the Connie that was at the airport and checked out the cockpit and then headed back.
We didn’t go through the Bravo on the way back because of the transponder. Stayed around 2000ft and followed an arc of water towers that kept us perfectly outside the Bravo, pretty neat trick! Love navigating like that! I can’t wait to take a friend that way.
My landing wasn’t great on the way back, I did balloon back up but it was soft both times the wheels touched the ground. We were late in coming back, I felt bad for the student after me (who I actually follow on Instagram, so it was nice to actually meet him!) I ended up walking to the train myself since I had like an hour because I missed the earlier train. I walked passed the approach end of the active runway so it made my walk infinitely better.
I thought I was 3 hours further into cross country time (forgot to subtract that pesky night XC) so now I’m at 11.5 hours. Still a long way until that 50xc for my instrument. I do want to do a lot of that not in training because I think it would be more valuable to me to be doing it without an instructor and under the hood. I just have to save the money and fly!