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Flight log 2/17/2011: The forecast was right! Winter was going to take a day off on Thursday so I decided to book my old friend 4757t for some flying time. Now what to do and where to go? Due to the weather in the Northeast I haven’t flown much so I decided to request a Safety pilot from the flying club for some IFR work. Mike D responded first so after a few emails we were scheduled for a flight at 4:30PM.

I filed KMMU to KMGJ on fltplan.com printed my nav-log and grabbed the iPad. The winds were favoring 21 but it would be late enough to fit in for a practice ILS3 approach to what traffic might be around, if not we could always break it off and circle to land.

The flight:

The weather was ideal for this mission, temps were around 60F with the last of the hazy sunlight fading quickly as we get ready to depart.  As I taxi onto the runway for a line up and wait I feel tired. It has been a long week, working 60+ hours a week has a way of waring you down over time. I think to myself, “if I am too tired and don’t do well I will cancel IFR and just head to Lincoln Park for dinner with Mike”. A nice option when it’s VFR. “Morristown runway 23 winds calm 80 knots in the climb flying the Morristown 5 departure 210 after 500 and 160 after 2000, landing strait ahead if not reached 1200 feet (1000 AGL)” is my internal dialect. Cleared for takeoff, I add power along with a healthy dose of right rudder to keep the airplane lined up with the center line, I count to myself, 1,2,3  as I add power allowing the engine to slowly come to life, she misses a bit at first but within a second things are normal. Power set, a quick scan of the engine instruments confirm what I know by feel and sound, 57t is making plenty of power and all is well. Airspeed comes alive and before I can complete the thought we are at rotation speed. A slight nudge of the yoke, a little more right rudder and 57t pitches up into a climb attitude. The gear pump kicks in for a split second to maintain pressure in the system as the nose wheel lifts off the runway. Quickly, the mains are off. A scan of the airspeed indicator and a small pitch change gets us climbing at our target airspeed of 80 knots for this configuration. A second later I confirm “positive rate of climb” tap the brakes and put the gear up, with a clunk and an amber light we are confirmed “gear up”.

At 500 feet I put the JeppShades on and confirm that Mike my safety pilot is looking for traffic. Turn 210 heading as per the Morristown 5 departure procedure. Contact NY departure. I can’t see a thing, but I know its a nice night. The airplane is doing what I ask of it and nothing more. We barely have the cabin heat on and it’s comfortable.  At 1000 feet I pitch for 100knots, pull the power back to 23 inches and set the prop to 2400 rpm for the cruse climb. ATC has us turn to a vector heading and climb to 4000 feet. A little chop as we pass 2800 but it soon goes away. A quick scan of the engine monitor confirms we are below 400 degrees CHT. I feel a bit behind the airplane but at the same time my scan is good and I am doing well considering it’s been a while.

A little rusty:

I am instructed to precede direct Sparta as I am leveling off at 4000 feet and reconfiguring the airplane for cruse flight. Power set 22 inches, Prop 2200 rpm, mixture leaned a bit, cowl flaps closed. Confirm CHTs are all in the mid 3s.  I select SAX from the flight plan in the KLN89b and press direct, enter, enter. I start to turn to my new heading. Just then I realize that I let my altitude slip by 100 feet. I start working on that. Just then ATC chimes in “57t what’s your on course heading to Sparta? (that’s my clue that I am not doing something right and I better fix it soon) 310 I reply.. ATC.. roger.. (that’s his way of saying “hay buddy get on your game or out of my system”).

Time to knock that rust off! I hunker down and follow my training. It’s mostly a change in mindset, don’t let the airplane fly you, you fly the airplane. Heading bug set 310, fly the heading, hold altitude, set trim to relieve the forward pressure needed as the speed increases. Confirm the heading is getting you what you want by checking the TRK vs DTK on the GPS (this is allot more accurate than centering the needle and waiting to fly off course before rejoining the course with a wind correction angle). Now that’s much better, back on my game. Soon I was tracking outbound from SAX on the 029 degree radial at 4000 feet and setting up for the ILS3 at Orange County KMGJ.

Soon after, we were vectored for the ILS3 and instructed to report established on the approach. I overshot the localizer at first (forgot to reset the DG before starting the approach), but soon enough I was back on track. It wasn’t my best ILS but I brought it down to minimums and the runway was where it was supposed to be, so all in all I did pretty well.

After shooting the approach we decided to stop by Lincoln Park for dinner. This was my first time flying into Lincoln Park in at night and only my second time landing there in the 182RG so I had to be extra careful. Turned out to be a great little addition to our flight. I am happy to report that The Sunset Pub and Grill has gotten even better. I had the Chilean sea bass special, it was great and the service was quick and attentive. It’s nice to have a good fly in spot close to home.

 

The video picks up on short final for our low approach. The airport is known to have a large dear population and even though it’s winter I wanted to be extra careful (the last thing our club needs is a bent up airplane due to an encounter with a dear), ho yea, its fun too. After the low approach I flew the pattern and landed on runway 19.

As you can see from the video I was offset a bit to the left of center line during the approach. This is an old habit of mine. I think it has something to do with where my eyes are looking during the approach. If I focus on the problem I can nail the extended center line every time. I will make it a point to do so on my next approach.

After dinner Mike and I departed Lincoln Park for the 4 minute flight to Morristown and ended the night with a good landing.

Flight description: Morristown NJ to Lincoln Park n07 after shooting the ILS 3 at Orange County KMGJ

Aircraft: Cessna 182RG N4757T

Pilot: Mike Bennett

Flight rules: IFR / VFR

Weather conditions: VMC Night

Winds: Out of the south at 5knots 30 knots at 3000 feet

Ceiling: Clear.

Safety Pilot: Mike D.

Flight time: 1.8

Until next time; happy safe flying everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to read about our latest adventure. Please feel free to add your comments below.

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  • Nice when the Air Traffic Controller can give you the gentle nudge. Even better when us pilots realize it for what it is like you did, a signal to clean things up. Nice work!

  • Mike Bennett

    Thanks for the comment Todd. Did you start your ifr training yet? Hope all is well.

  • Good post, always a bit of extra pressure knocking the rust off. If I haven't shot an approach in a while I feel like I'm behind as well but the scan kicks in and the flow starts. We catch back up quickly and start thinking of the next steps ahead for the flight. I know I'm on my game when I feel like the plane is in slow motion and I'm looking for things to do or repeating my mental checklists for enroute and the approach. Hope we can catch up soon now that the wx is starting to warm up. Pass along a hello to your co-pilot Steven.

  • i don’t know anything about the post but the video is very attractive, watching taking off and landing throug cokpit is really interesting, franklly i never saw such video or any stuff like that. now give me some time so i can read the rest of it:) hope that will be interesting too

  • Yes you must read the article. Its good, but i would say that writer must keep this a little bit short. So that more and more readers can read that.

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda