Solo 150nm Cross Country – Waterbury & Sullivan

Caldwell to Carmel VOR to Waterbury to Sullivan to Huguenot VOR to Caldwell

What a beautiful day for flying. Today I completed my multi-leg solo cross country. I met bright and early with my instructor. Once he reviewed my flight plan and we double checked the weather he signed me off. The first leg was from Caldwell to Waterbury. I like flying in this direction because it takes me over the town where I used to live, pretty cool seeing it from above. I took off and maintained 2,500ft to stay under the shelf of the Bravo. I made contact with NY approach and received flight following. Once I squawked the code it was business as usual. The frequency was surprisingly quiet for such a nice day but I guess with the cold coming in and the holidays people fly less. I tracked Carmel VOR to and from to find Waterbury.

Flight Plan Solo Cross Country

At about 10mi out I began my descent and told NY that I had the airport in sight. I called the tower and notified them I was 8mi SE of the field and they gave me a right base for 36. After thinking about it for a few seconds I realized that didn’t make sense so I called the tower back and tried to clarify. I realized I told him my position was SE when in fact I was SW. So after I told him what my ACTUAL position was he cleared me for a straight in 3mi final.

Solo Cross Country – Sullivan County

Caldwell CDW to Sullivan County MSV via Huguenot VOR

You mean I can actually go places with this plane by myself? The other day I did my first solo cross country. It was incredible, I would definitely put it right up there with my first solo. There is just something different about leaving the pattern and heading to somewhere far away (well 54mi). I did it in a Cessna 172SP which was equipped with a KLN-94 GPS. I programmed my destination into the unit but then shut the screen off so I can rely on the VOR navigation. After taking off from Caldwell I tried to raise NY on the radio for flight following. However I could not get them. At first I thought something was wrong with my com but after tuning in the ATIS for Caldwell I was confident my systems were functioning properly. So I ended up flying there without flight following. It was a perfectly clear day so I just made sure to be extra vigilant about scanning for traffic.

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I didn’t even see any other planes along my entire route there. I did have a bit of trouble tracking the VOR on the way to Huguenot but eventually locked it in. The winds aloft were also stronger then forecasted. I was only making 89kts for ground speed. I began my descent to Sullivan when I was about 10-12mi out, I also made the first call in on CTAF at that point. The AWOS radio told me surface winds were [email protected] so I chose runway 33 for the landing. I made the approach for a downwind entry but ended up making it very short leg so I was almost immediately turning on base. Of course I was making frequent calls with my position through out the entire time in. Once I was on final I determined I was a bit high so I chopped the throttle and let it sink. This runway has a 4 light PAPI so determining my glide height was pretty simple. The landing was smooth and short. I made the first turn off but that isn’t saying much because it was quite far up, the runway is large at 6300×150.

Dual Cross Country – Waterbury

Today my instructor and I flew a cross country to Waterbury Oxford OXC via Carmel VOR CMK. The weather cooperated beautifully.Winds aloft were about 15-20kts from the west. I wrote up my flight plan and began writing the times down as we took off.

After departing Caldwell we requested permission to change frequency and contacted NY approach. We then asked for flight following to Waterbury at 3,500ft. We then tracked Carmel VOR to then from to get to the field. Waterbury airport is in a seemingly quite area with some large homes surrounding it. When we were 10mi out we contacted the tower and were given a Left downwind to runway 18. Given our approach from the west we requested a Right downwind for 18 and were granted. The landing was pretty good. The final approach was a bit high but I corrected for it and came down for a fairly common non-eventful landing.

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We taxied back and departed to the west to head back to Caldwell at 4,500. Or at least that is what I thought, my instructor had other things planned. After crossing the Hudson he instructed me to maintain a north west heading. This took us over the higher terrain of Harriman Park area. It was the first time I noticed turbulence from the drafts over the mountains. He then instructed me to find and land at Warwick Airport N72. I had been to an EAA fly in at this airport before so I was familiar with the layout. After some searching I found the pond that is right next to it. The problem with that pond is that the runway runs directly into it. Compared to Caldwell this runway is tiny, 2100’x28′ with a water hazard immediately at the end of the threshold. So with some coaching from my instructor we made a nice short field landing. We had to back taxi on the runway and immediately departed back to Caldwell. It was a great day for flying and I was happy with my performance overall.


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