So I figured I’d blog about my recet flight experience. I can easily tell everyone on facebook what happened since I have all 33 pictures from yesterday up. But if I tell this in a blog, itl allow my tweeps to hear about yesterday.
So I arrived about a half hour early at 1800 local for an 1830 flight. Two cadets from my Civil Air Patrol Squadron were supposed to tag along but never showed up. So at 1845 we headed out to the airplane. It is a 1970s era Piper Warrior. It is a 6 cylinder with 180hp. We splitted up the preflight duties to save time.
The airplane needed to be primed a few times before it was started up. On the 2nd turn of the key the engine came to life. The airplane was used many times throughout the day so the engine needles came to life instantly. We called New Haven ground, but it was silent. I noted te wrong frequency so I correctly dialed it in on the radio.
So I was one big happy camper and then we were issued our taxi clearance out to runway 20 for our departure. I didn’t want to hit anything so I asked for a little help in negotiating the tight confines of the ramp area. That was done and we taxied on taxiway alpha and foxtrot to the runway. I performed the engine runup checks without a glitch and was given my takeoff briefing by my flight instructor. We called the tower and were cleared for an eadtboud departure.
The takeoff was smooth and I climbed away at 79 knoylts and trimmed the airplane. In a normal world, a pilot ideally turns their upwind legafter crossing 500ft above ground level. But thanks to all the whiney ass, complaining, anti expansion of the airport fucktards, one cannot make a turn until passing 700ft or the shoreline. (I’d be happy to tell you about those people in a different post)
So I made the turn at 700 feet and pointed my plane towards the Thimble Islands in Branford, CT. I was asked how high I wanted to take the airplane up to. In reality I wouldve loved to go up to 8500 feet but settled for 2500 due to time constraints. After passing the Thimbles, I pointed the plane towards Lake Gallard in North Branford, CT.
Bear in mind it was also a marginal VFR day so it was hazy and such. My flight instructor asked me again what I wanted to do and I said “Well maybe so e touch and goes at HVN.” he suggested the airport in Meriden, CT and I agreed to that. So I asked for a vector to MMK. (I didn’t have the aeronautical chart with me+I’ve only been to MMK a few times) from Lake Gallard it was about a 005-010 heading. I couldn’t see the airport in the haze so I aimed for Meriden Mountain. Close to 5 miles out I made the radio call on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency after dialing in the weather. At that point I saw the PAPI lights and used those as a guide to setup for a left downwind at 1000 feet for runway 18. I continued with the required calls and was given advice to get the airplane lined up for a final at 600 feet agl. I made the turn perfectly and landed just as the stall horn was blaring. (In the General Aviation community, that’s a great landing). We slammed on the brakes and exited somewhere midfield. Another radio call by me was made and we taxied back to runway 18 for a southbound departure back to HVN.
The runway at MMK is only 1800 feet long so a short field takeoff was initiated. I was a little rusty on that so Jan Dunn performed the takeoff and I did the climbout.
The short field takeoff in a Piper Warrior involves two notches of flaps (20 degrees). When entering the runway you don’t stop. You apply full power and liftoff as soon as the airspeed comes alive at 40 knots. The airplane is flown in what’s called ground effect and airspeed is built up to 65. At that point the nose is raised and climb at 79 knots is established. This is where I took over and cleaned upthe airplane. We climbed to 1500 feet and I had the elevator trim dead on so we didn’t lose altitude.
So I couldn’t see HVN at this point so I pointed my nose just aft of I-91S and then towards a steeple in the Fair Haven section of New Haven, CT. I called the tower 10 miles N and was told to report a 3 mile final. I intended to shoot some pics of my neighborhood and so descending towards 1000 feet I juked left and gave control to my flight instructor. After satisfied with the photos I took, I regained control and guided the piper warrior towards the ground. Out came the flaps and the speed was managed at 65 all the way to the threshold. Upon crossing the threshold I chopped the power and aimed for the numbers. My flight instructor loved the landing and we slammed on the brakes again. He wanted to get off the runway ASAP. So we exited the runway midfield and taxied back to the ramp.
For those that may not know, runway 2/20 at HVN is plenty lengthwise for a piper warrior. 5600×150 feet. So we taxied back to the ramp area and commenced with the shut down checklist. I recorded a few numbers that were required for paperwork and tied up the airplane.
10 minutes later I drove hone and ate dinner. I may get the chance to do something similar in September. After that, who knows.
I was back in my element and was cheerful like a little kid with a new toy.