Dual Night X-Country Complete! (Updated!)
I arrived at the airport a little early, in order to make sure that we get everything in together for a on-time departure.
The weather couldn’t have been better: clear skies, great visibility, and light winds. Not only would this be my first x-country night flight, it is also the first flight in a fuel injected 172 – good ole GIST. It is Toronto Airways newest plane, a 2001 172S. As such it is $30/hr. more expensive.
I brought some snacks for the ride over, which my FI was overly enthusiastic about (girls and chocolate seem to mix pretty well). I also brought my camera and as predicted in a comment I made earlier, the photos didn’t turn out too well. I only snapped two or three and just put it away.
Our flight took us to Kingston via Oshawa and the Campbellford VOR. We had to head north to avoid Trentons military airspace. I asked my FI if we could use flight following on the way there since I’ve never used it before. She agreed and handled the radios for me on the way over.
She gave me this tip when requesting flight following: End your request with “workload permitting”. Since technically the terminal/centre controllers don’t have to honour your request, adding the “workload permitting” clause just greases the wheels a bit. It worked.
Honestly though, if they denied our request, it would be a shocker since it was 9pm at night and pretty quiet on the radios (then again, it’s Pearsons prime time…. so who knows).
With the super smooth air, and the airplane trimmed, there really was no effort involved at flying the plane. Which was great because it allowed some good star gazing and sight seeing (saw a shooting star!).
We got handed over to Trenton Terminal, then did a quick touch and go at Kingston on runway 25. It would have been awesome (to demonstrate ‘black hole effect’) if we were able to land runway 07 as the approach path takes us right over water. However, departing from 25 over the water was good practice as you had to rely on your instruments to ensure that you were climbing.
On the way back, we sqwaked 1200 and tuned to 126.7Mhz for a quiet flight. London Radio came on and asked us to confirm our ETA and if we had prior permission to land at Buttonville. My FI and I both looked at each other, smiled and said “affirmative”. I guess the FSS guy didn’t know that we were flying a school airplane (the school also owns the airport).
This was a great flight, mainly because of the conditions and the company. I didn’t find it as difficult at finding Buttonville coming from the east as I did the previous time. My FI reminded me to use the landmarks (I specifically used the intersection of the 404 and 407 as a guide).
After 11pm, the Tower at Buttonville closes and becomes class “E” airspace. There is a guy manning the radios on 124.8. It’s a MF, and we were the only ones there, so we did a right base for runway 33.
I have about half the hours I need for the rating now.