October 13, 2006
In addition to maintaining this blog I also contribute for Chicagoist.com. There I concentrate on covering sports but from time to time I will post an article about aviation as it relates to Chicago such as the Air and Water Show or in yesterday�s case about general aviation restrictions around major cites like Chicago.
In the aftermath of the tragic aviation accident involving Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stranger there has been a ton of negative press for General Aviation. Many are asking whether General Aviation should be more closely restricted around our big cities. For Chicagoist I wrote my opinions on the matter. I was happily surprised to see that I received many positive comments in reply to my post many who realize this was an accident but not much more.
Having flown the Hudson River Corridor, safely, this past Spring I would hate to see unnecessary restrictions put in place that would prevent such flights in the future.
I invite you to check out the article on Chicagoist.com.
October 8, 2006
With fall setting in across northern Wisconsin, the trees were starting to turn which made for a beautiful view from the ground but even more spectacular from the air. Having not flown an official cross-country flight in over a year, I decided to fly one. A cross-country flight is any flight to an airport that is at least a straight-line distance of 50 nautical miles from the origin airport. Flying out of Cherryland Airport, I selected Wittman Regional in Oshkosh, WI as my destination.
I awoke early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan while getting a weather briefing so I could complete my flight plan. I arrived at the airport around 8am and was airborne by 8:30am. Shortly after takeoff, I contacted the Green Bay Flight Service Station to open my flight plan for the trip down to Oshkosh which was scheduled to be a short 43 minute flight. After opening up a flight plan, I contacted Green Bay approach and advised them that I wished to transition through their airspace en route to Oshkosh, which they approved. At the same time, I asked if they could provide flight following.
When flying VFR a flight plan provides some protection in case of an emergency by allowing the FAA to know where you were going, when you expected to be there, where you might have diverted to and a few other vital pieces of information that could help them in case of an emergency. Another great service for a VFR pilot is flight following. If air traffic controllers have capacity, they can assist a VFR pilot by providing radar monitoring services. They will advise of any traffic along the route and keep an eye on your position during the flight.
As I approached the midway point of the flight, Green Bay, I took in a great view of Lambeau Field � Home of the Green Bay Packers. While overflying the town of Green Bay I could see Lake Winnebago and the cities of Appleton and Oshkosh off the front of the plane�s nose. A few minutes later, Wittman Regional Airport came into view. I informed Green Bay approach that I had Wittman in view and requested permission to change radio frequencies to contact the Wittman Tower.
During the Oshkosh Airshow, it becomes one of the busiest airports in the world. Today, it was quiet with only a few other planes in the area. I touched down close to my estimated time of arrival. During the flight down I had a headwind but the trip back proved to be quicker with a nice tailwind. I climbed up to 5,500 feet for the flight back to Sturgeon Bay and enjoyed taking in the beautiful fall colors and the great scenery of northern Wisconsin. It was just one of those perfect days to fly where the air was smooth and the view was wonderful.