Steve Rossiter is an ATP/CFII in both helicopters and fixed wing; flying two tours in Vietnam and two tours as an Army Instructor Pilot (one in helicopters and one in airplanes). He has been a CFI and professional pilot for over 50 years.
There is the old saw about getting your Private Pilot certificate, that it “is a ticket to learn,” meaning that you’ve just gotten the little slip of paper that lets you learn to be a better pilot. I totally buy that. I didn’t count on forgetting some of the things I learned, though. To get […]
After a fun evening and morning spent with family and friends, my copilot and I reconvened a little before noon at Republic Airport for the return trip back to the Mid Atlantic. Aircraft fueled and preflighted, we set off north this time. The plan was to circumvent the busy NY airspace around JFK and LGA airports from the northeast and fly down the Hudson River from the north heading south before flying back home.
The airwaves were quieter on Easter Sunday and the air smooth as we made our way south. There was not a cloud in sight but sadly haze still clung around the area preventing crisp, crystal clear photographs and videos. We flew southbound reporting all the check points along the way: Alpine Tower, GWB, Intrepid, Clock and Statue of Liberty. We descended lower to 800 ft as we practiced our turns about the point over the Statue of Liberty.
Tracing the eastern New Jersey shore past Long Beach Island, Atlantic City, Ocean City and Sea Isle City we landed at Cape May, the southern tip of New Jersey a little after 2:00 pm. Cape May Airport (KWWD) is a general aviation airport with 2 major runways.
Once a Naval Air Station, it is currently a civilian airport and houses the Aviation Museum in Hanger 1. The Flight Deck Diner is located in the main terminal building and open daily from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to check the operating hours of the restaurant, after feeding the aircraft at the self serve fuel station, my copilot and I headed home, sans any veg(ham) burger. If you did get one at Cape May, drop me a line 🙂
Derby Day. Check-ride Anniversary. And most importantly the simply joy of flying!
May is always memorable. I got my Private Pilot Certificate. Three years later I got my Instrument rating.
“I hope we will be done by 3:00 pm, ” said Wanda, “I wan’t to watch the Kentucky Derby”
“I hope so too,” thought I. “With positive results.” For it was the day of my private pilot check-ride and I wanted to get home without a pink slip!
It was also Derby Day. And getting home to watch the race would be good too…
I did make it home in time to catch the race that day. That was 16 years ago!
As it happens, Derby day is tomorrow this year (5/6/2017).
Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?
Take your pick!
“The year 2000 marked not just a new decade but also a new century. The previous century saw the birth of powered, heavier-than-air flight and the amazing development of this world-changing technology. The 20th Century also saw the horrors of two world wars, the Great Depression, the tension of a cold war, the Civil Rights movement, the space race, the spread of democracy, the rise of the internet, and significant advancement for women.
It is unlikely the first decade of the 21st Century will be considered any type of Golden Age. September 11th, 2001 — more simply known as “9/11″ — was a day of tragedy, keenly felt by all of us for whom flying is an integral part of our lives”
Quoted from the April 2017 Aviatrix Aerogram
Flying was lighthearted, fun and innocent until 9/11. That changed everything. Not immediately, but in the months and years following that tragic event. Living in California the impact was not as strong, but still prevalent. I am more cautious of what I say and how I behave in the wake of 9/11.
Although I flew three or four times back in 1998, my first official flying lesson was in August 2000 and I got my private pilot certificate in May 2001, and Instrument rating in May 2004. Although I started my first round of Commercial flight training in fall 2006, I am yet to complete it.
I had a terrific support group with members from my local 99s chapter (SLO99s). Several of us learnt to fly at the same time. We did cross-country flights together, interacted with controllers and other pilots to organize events: we sponsored discovery flights, mentored high school girls, supported airport day events such as Tower Tours, organized safety seminars, and sponsored scholarships.
Fun Flyouts from the 2000s
- Flew the legendary Palms to Pines Air race from Santa Monica, California, to Bend, Oregon, and back. What a fantastic trip!
- Flew into Edwards Air Force Base, organized by the San Fernando Valley 99s.
- Flew to Lancaster Airport for the Southwest Section (SWS) Meeting, visiting NASA Dryden and Scaled Composites and surreptitiously touching SpaceShipOne before its historic first flight into space and history.
- Flew to Catalina Island. What fun we had landing at this airport!
- Flew my first foray into the clouds after getting my instrument rating to Watsonville for lunch with the SLO99s.
- Flew to Columbia for another memorable SWS meeting, camped under the aircraft, and got a chance to fly a Taylorcraft.
- Flew to Van Nuys under instrument flight rules and flew my first standard terminal arrival route (STAR) after getting my Instrument rating, making it to another fantastic SWS Meeting. Visited Jet Propulsion Lab.
- Flew the San Francisco Bay tour several times with friends and family members.
Note: A version of this appears in the April 2017 Aviatrix Aerogram