New York’s Easternmost Airport
Sometime during the winter term, I realized, I really needed to have a golden goose at the end of the tunnel, if I were to keep my sanity and survive the semester. Gert and I had talked about flying the Hudson River corridor again some time. “Let’s fly to Montauk Point as well,” he had said. And I was hooked. I have fond memories of driving here eons ago with my sister and even making the trip a couple of years ago when I visited my friend who had relocated to Long Island City from the West Coast.
This was the golden goose I needed!
Although rallying other pilots to join us failed, my copilot Gert and I set off, bright and early, with an ambitious plan to fly the Hudson river corridor and land at Montauk for lunch. It was one of those rare days when my plans were unfolding flawlessly.
Right on cue, a few minutes past 8:00 am we pointed our nose East flying through the WHINO gate, before turning north-east and flying contentedly at 2,000 ft skirting airspace and making it on time to our first pit stop of the trip.
Arriving at Monmouth Executive (KBLM) by 10:30, we refueled, stretched our legs and were off again by 11:00 am heading towards APPLE intersection and the mouth of the Hudson river. There was some haze and scattered to broken clouds above 7,000 ft. A new addition to the special flight rules area over the Hudson River is the perpetual temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) over Trump Towers from surface to 3,000 ft.
In comfort we headed northbound up to GW bridge and headed back southbound to circle the Statue of Liberty. Other than some helicopters flying scenic flights, it was perfect day to enjoy the New York skyline. After three loops, we headed back to APPLE and circumvented the JFK Class Bravo airspace and headed east tracing the Long Island coastline seeking an occasional clearance from Class Delta airports along our way and in good time landed at Montauk Point by 1:30 pm.
Although we had planned to grab some lunch at Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe, we took the advice of the Airport personnel to visit the Inlet Seafood instead. Located just a half mile away and sitting at the tip of the inlet, it provides some fantastic views and both outdoor and indoor seating, and some excellent seafood alternatives. If you are vegetarian like me try the Cucumber Avacado Sushi and stay clear of the Beetroot and Fresh Greens Salad!
All photographs courtesy of Gert. Heading north from the South, right seat is the best spot for photographs!
Flying season in 2016 didn’t get started till almost March for me. Although I love to fly on January 1st, this was one of the years when I couldn’t. My first fun flyout of the year was a $500 lunch with the Flyout group (FOG) at Williamsburg, VA.
I have been yearning to fly in a foreign country. I finally checked off one item on my bucket list when I flew in Sydney, Australia in April.
In May, the FOG again made a successful flight to Chester County for lunch. We had a huge turnout on an incredibly fine late Spring day. And in June and July, we flew to collect stamps for the VA Ambassador program: 11 more!
After years of trying, I finally made it to Niagara Falls! Another bucket list item: Check!
Weather hasn’t been all that cooperative this fall, but we did fly down to Tangier in October for lunch and stamps. What a beautiful fall day!
The year is almost wrapping up, and although I didn’t fly to the Bahamas or Oshkosh, it has definitely been a fun year!
Have a Very Happy New Year!
Highest commercial airport in North America with scheduled passenger service
Answer: Telluride Regional Airport (KTEX), Telluride, CO.
Monday Morning Inspiration
My flying this year has been limited to a stray, once a month flying. But it has been incredibly rewarding, and more inspirational, than the previous year.
As it happens, it’s almost finals week!
Although I have flown to Tangier Island at least a couple of times before (See Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Tangier Again), each time I missed getting my VA stamp. Although Gert and I had comfortably made it to Niagara Falls in August, I still wanted to plan a fall flyout to Tangier, since I obviously have missed getting my stamps the previous times!
It was one of those rare days when we departed right on cue and arrived 30 minutes earlier than planned since Pax River was not too busy to let us cut across their airspace for a direct flight into TGI.
Lorraine’s was the only restaurant open in October which was great since that is the restaurant I had selected for lunch. After getting our VA Ambassador stamp, we headed into town for lunch, just ahead of a group of 10-15 people arriving from Hampton Roads!
Lunch and a pleasant walk back to the aircraft, we headed out for three more stamps: Hummell, West Point and Tappahannock. Three new airports to fly into, especially Hummel, a good short field practice. With four more stamps, we headed back home right on schedule. It was one of those rare, but incredibly beautiful and fun fall days of flying, enjoying nature and just the joy of flying for flying’s sake.
What an inspiring and incredible day!
Never get tired heading out to Tangier… finally got that coveted stamp!
Video courtesy Gert
… hmm.. i.e. in a Simulator!
Even though the full motion controller was turned off (and I didn’t actually fly :-)), it was still neat to be in the right seat, and watch the aircraft fly an approach into Denver International Airport with precision. An RNP Approach, at that, which I will never be able to fly in the C172 🙂
A Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure is an advanced Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedure that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation with additional on board monitoring and alerting. To fly one of these procedures it is necessary for both the aircraft and aircrew to be certified to fly. RNP approaches enable precise 3-D paths in congested or noise sensitive airspace, and through difficult terrain. In addition, they provide stabilized and fuel efficient approaches, for aircraft and aircrew certified to fly.
The RNP approach to runway 34L into KDEN provides minimums based on the capability of the aircraft and aircrew from 0.1 to 0.3nm. Starting at HIMOM at 11,000ft, the B757 programmed to fly the RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 34L approach smoothly maneuvered to MCMUL before easily navigating the radius-to-fix (RF) leg to TUGGL at 7,700 and the final approach fix at WINTR and landing smoothly on the centerline on 34L.
One word. Awesome!
Believe it or not…. I survived the first year of the PhD program. Almost.
If I make it through this week.
True I might not have a life. I have ignored family and friends. But what an extraordinary adventure.
I have been adjusting my adventures, to include more fun flying, hiking with coworkers, and interaction with friends.Sneaking away for a two week adventure down under, one of those weeks spent exploring New Zealand with my sister.
And one revisiting old stomping grounds in my favorite city: Sydney!
It’s all good. Soon I will be out in Daytona for Residency II.
One day I will have a life.