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Flight Log – Back to the country

April 3rd, 2011 · 3 Comments · Gaming

Last weekend didn’t work out so well for a flight. I did fly, but it was just a small flight in the Dodo that I just had to do after spending almost 2.5 hours getting FSX to run again after it randomly corrupted a file on me. I loaded it up all the way into a flight, then realized I had forgot to reset the texture resolution in the config file and shut the game down to make the change up to HD resolution, and when I tried to load the flight again the game would crash to desktop. I finally has to uninstall and reinstall the Dodosim application twice to get it to work again. After all that I no longer had time for my flight but at least did some practice runs in the Dodo to make all the effort of getting FSX working again worthwhile.

Today was a great return to the skies, however. I had three new airports modeled, although one of them was rather impossible for me to visit given that the published length of the runway is a mere 980 feet, coupled with 50 foot trees on either approach end to the runway. For the record, the landing distance for a Cessna 172 with 50′ obstacle clearance is 1,525 feet! Yea, not going to happen 😛 But the other two were more than adequate for my aircraft.

Here is the flight plan for this trip.

My main concern for today weather-wise was reports of mild turbulence over northeastern NJ, coupled with some winds up to 17kts. Turns out the winds were a bit less, at 14kts, but the mild turbulence was indeed present, and for a light aircraft like mine (both in terms of design and the amount of weight I was carrying, which mainly consists of fuel) even mild turbulence can bounce me around a good deal. In fact this is why I always carry a full load of fuel so the weight can help offset the lack of passengers and keep me more stable in turbulence. Other than the turbulence, it was a beautiful day for flying with temps in the high 50’s and only partly cloudy skies with a high ceiling.

You may notice that I have a newer-looking aircraft. It’s the same one, I just took advantage of the services offered at KBLM to get a fresh coat of paint. Nice isn’t it? I like it.

My first leg from KBLM to 92NJ was a roundabout trip to extend the mileage as close to 60nm as possible given that the straight-line distance between the two airports is only 44nm. I didn’t want to go too far out of my way or mess around much with the NYC Bravo airspace, so the extended leg is 5nm short but close enough. From takeoff until I was established on the radial towards SBJ, the turbulence was indeed a bit rough, bouncing me around a good deal. I hit several updrafts as well that caused me to cut back on my throttle to near 50% in order to stop climbing, only because I was cruising a mere 500′ below the Bravo shelf. Overall though I managed to stay on course and at altitude and things did smooth out considerably as I approached Solberg VOR to where I could rest just one hand on the yoke and gaze out the windows a bit. Descent, pattern and landing at 92NJ were all routine, although I did come out of my final turn farther right of the runway than I normally do. I also found my landing light off after landing although I distinctly remember turning it on as I lowered flaps and turned on my fuel pump on the downwind leg, so I guess I didn’t turn it off after takeoff from KBLM?

After taxiing back and resetting my instruments for the next leg, it was back into the wild blue yonder. I circled the airport as I climbed to 3000′ before heading south along the Delaware River to overfly KTTN Delta airspace and then began a nice easy 500 ft/min descent to 1400′ to slide under the Philly Bravo airspace by the time I reached it. Timed it just right, leveling off at 1400′ as I was passing over 3NJ6 at the very edge of Philly Bravo airspace (with a floor at that location of 4000′ but it gets down to 1500′ along my flight path eventually so why not hit the deck early?). After intercepting the VOR radial towards my final destination of C01 I first had to cross over Cross Keys. What I didn’t think of at the time I was planning however is that Cross Keys has a skydiving field which happened to be in my direct line of flight. Luckily I realized this in time while in flight and managed to divert around the airport, but in the future I should take better notice of the skydive icon affixed to airports! My pattern and approach to Southern Cross was much better – although I forgot to announce on final over the CTAF at least I had my landing light on this time, heh heh. Landing was spot-on and I taxied off the runway to park at the tie down area.

Flight time wise, I arrived at 92NJ 7 minutes early (time-adjusted for late departure) and also arrived at C01 7 minutes early (time-adjusted for early departure). So it’s good to see that my flight time estimation skills are still pretty on the mark.

Overall a very satisfying flight! Next weekend I will have as many as 5 new airports to visit that I will be designing over the coming week. Look forward to it!

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