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Dinner flight to Hamilton NY Attempt 1 (divert to Lincoln Park)

On Monday 6/7 my friend and fellow flying club member Stephen asked if I would like to fly to Hamilton NY for dinner on Friday night. As I am always looking for a chance to fly under the hood and check out new places I agreed.

The original plan was to leave work and head directly to the airport but since I left my camera and change of clothes at home I stopped by the house on the way. As soon as I got in I saw my son. I was hoping to avoid running into him since he always makes me feel bad about flying without him. What can I say, he loves spending time with his daddy and his daddy loves spending time with him. Sure enough, after checking with Stephen to make sure it would be ok to take my son I quickly got him ready and ran to the car just in time for rush hour traffic!

On our way to the airport I called Stephen and asked him to get the airplane ready. I wanted to fly IFR on the first leg since there was an overcast layer at about 4000 feet. As I pulled into the airport Stephen informed me that he was still waiting on fuel and on top of that my overcast layer was quickly breaking up.

After getting fuel we were running about an hour and a half late. I got the airplane ready and contacted clearance delivery. While waiting for our clearance we did our run-up at the ramp and finally received a clearance but it wasn’t the clearance I had filed (listed in flight as the most used ATC route). Instead we got a route that ended with “Buffalo direct”. I refused that clearance since our destination was east of Syracuse and nowhere near Buffalo. They gave me a new clearance that required passing seavy intersection at 9000 feet. We accepted, and once with departure we were cleared to 9000 and given vectors, at first EAST and then WEST all while climbing. 25 minutes after departure we were back at Morristown at 7500 feet (7300 feel agl). Finally we were cleared to fly a 320 heading while still climbing. By the time I was approaching Huguenot VOR I checked in on our eta. It was showing an additional one hour and forty five minutes and this was after forty minutes of flying (so much for my one hour and twenty five minute flight time).

After a quick look at the time and an evaluation of “why are we going anyway?” I made the call to cancel IFR and land at a local airport (Lincoln Park) for dinner. The only problem was that I was at 9000 feet but only 14 miles from the airport. While receiving VFR flight following I started some lazy figure eight turns all while descending at 600 feet per minute (to keep my son happily asleep in the back of the airplane).

We landed at Lincoln Park and had a great dinner. Stephen even discovered a great place for a hamburger. I find Lincoln Park a real fun place to fly into. There is a great restaurant on the field “The Sunset Pub and Grill” that is frequented by many of the non flying public. These people just love looking at airplanes and this shows real promise for general aviation in my view. I get a real kick out of the interest that people have in what we do and I do my best to support that interest and excitement. After doing my best to look like a “professional pilot” and representing GA to the best of my ability (taxing with minimal power settings and being smooth with the airplane) I shut 9SP down and walked to the restaurant while waving to our fans. A few people asked where we came from. I paused and laughed a bit when I told them that we flew from Morristown Airport (less than 10 minute flight from Lincoln Park). When some of them gave me that “why?” look. I then explained what had happened and that we had gotten some really cool pictures from above the clouds.

After dinner I made the call to fly back to Morristown but first I wanted to go around the pattern again for another landing.

I continued my “professional pilot” routine including a smooth startup of 9SP. Too many pilots start airplanes with a great roar when they mistakenly set the throttle setting to high during the startup. I learned a little trick to avoid this from my flight instructor Jeff. I pull the throttle all the way out. Set my finger ¼ of an inch back from the stop and push the throttle forward until it just touches my fingertip. The startup is sure to be as smooth as your car. After we taxied by the people eating outside and completing the run-up I preformed a short field takeoff and a brief trip around the pattern. I landed a bit long but smoothly and on centerline (one point deduction for missing my intended landing spot). On the way back to Morristown I setup the localizer 23 and showed Stephen how to intercept and fly the ILS. I also demonstrated why you are never vectored in that close during an actual approach as the localizer and glide slope are very sensitive when within 2 miles of the runway threshold. The approach worked out well and I even flew the ILS 100 feet below DA to see how well I could keep it going. It worked out well and ended with a nice landing. All in all a good time! Click here to view the rest of the pictures from the flight.

Aircraft: Cessna 172sp
Flight Rules: IFR / VFR VMC
Route of flight: Vectors to 9000 feet.
Total time billed: 1.3 TAC
Total time logged 2.0

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