Monday, October 25, 2010

East Coast Journey (Day 3)

Today was the most varied (and most intense) day of flying I have ever had!  The day began as a leisurely morning sightseeing flight with Avanni (and her Daddy).
Avanni and her parents (Ronak and Sapna)
As you can see, Ronak got the hang of aerial photography pretty quickly as we flew over Patriots stadium down to Rhode Island and back:


After dropping them back home in Norwood, the drama began.  The first leg was up to Sanford, ME, which was mostly in IMC and light rain.  This landing was state # 29, and involved a GPS approach down to within 300 FT of minimums.
After a quick stop at the cockpit cafe and another weather briefing, I realized I needed to change my route entirely.  Instead of Sanford > Lebanon > Rutland, I ended up going Sanford > Concord > Montpelier.  Weather really forces you to be flexible!  Enroute, was more light rain and total IMC.  This was the view most of the way:
The landing at Concord was another instrument approach to within ~ 300 FT of minimums.  I felt so proud of myself.  (Little did I know what was coming on the next leg!!)
After fuel and another weather briefing, it was time to go Concord > Montpelier.  This involved a flight, where I entered the clouds shortly after takeoff and didn't see the ground till I was on my final descent.  Aside from being the largest continuous segment of IMC I have done, it also involved an flying an LPV approach all the way down to the published min!  This is what it looked like when I finally broke out of the clouds:
I was sooo happy to see the runway!

Other than sunny FL training  days, I have NEVER before flown an approach like that.  (As I result, I know believe that there really is no substitute for "actual IMC")

The actual route flown so far is shown below:

Upto 31 states now!!

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