Today, I had my lesson with another instructor, Mike. The airport was pretty dead for a Saturday, most likely due to the weather. It was very cloud & rainy. Ceilings were very low, and even if we did go out, there was no guarantee we would be able to land back at Morristown, so we decided not to fly and just do some simulator work.
The flight school has 3 excellent simulators, I believe they are made by a company called SimPro, or that is the name of the product, I’m not totally sure. After some planning using my sectional chart and Airport/Facility Directory, Mike set me up inn a ‘Line up and Wait” position on runway 23 at Morristown (KMMU). I decided I would fly do Dutchess County Airport (KPOU), in Poughkeepsie, NY, one of my favorite airports. I would takeoff runway 23, and track the Sparta VOR, then turn to the east to track Carmel VOR, then a turn back to the North and track the Kingston VOR until the airport was in sight. After taking off runway 23, I tracked the Sparta VOR with ‘Flight Following’ from ‘New York Approach’ (Mike was played traffic control while I flew), at an altitude of 2,500 feet. After reaching Sparta, I flew (I believe) the 120° radial outbound, deciding that when I had the Hudson River in sight, (about halfway between Sparta and Carmel), I would begin tracking Carmel. Upon reaching the Hudson River I decided I would make a slight change in plan. Dutchess County is just East of the Hudson River, so I decided I would just follow the Hudson River North at 3,500 until I had the airport in sight. So I told “Flight Following” (Mike) about the turn and altitude change, he approved so I executed my new plan.
After a few minutes of following the Hudson, Mike turned to the second computer that has the configuration settings for the sim, made a few clicks, then suddenly, visibility went extremely low. So if you were in clear skies, then it got cloudy, of course you would turn around to get back to the clear skies. So I made a 180° standard rate turn and got back to clear skies, so I told “Flight Following” the problem and that I am unable to continue to Poughkeepsie. I took a look at my chart and I chose Stewart, just a few miles north and off the west side of the Hudson, except the problem was that the clouds aren’t going to magically disappear. They would be there whether I went to Poughkeepsie or Stewart. So I took another look, and decided to go to Westchester County Airport (KHPN) in White Plains, NY. I stated my intentions, then followed the Hudson south, then east a bit to White Plains. I came in on the right base for runway 29, so I made a pretty good approach and landing. I stopped the aircraft, and took a short break for some water, and to plan where to go next. I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before, so I decided to go to Long Island Mac Arthur Airport (KISP) at 3,500 feet, via the Deer Park VOR.
Mike started me on Runway 29 in White Plains, which when climbing out puts me very close to the radial I needed to follow to Deer Park. I requested flight following again, and also requested clearance to the class Bravo airspace since I will be flying in it (The class Bravo starts at 3,000 feet). So the flight was flown as planned. Upon reaching Deer Park, I flew about a 040 radial to the airport. “Tower” had me enter a left downwind for runway 24. So I flew the left downwind at 1,200, although I didn’t know the true traffic pattern altitude, as I failed to check that before flying. I turned final, I put in full flaps and descended towards the runway, when “tower” told me “Cessna 222SP, traffic on the runway, go around”. So The first thing you always do is get your power in. So I went full throttle, raised the flaps and then replied with “Going around, Cessna 222SP”. He told me to make left traffic back to Runway 24. So I turned Crosswind, then downwind, during that time, Mike looked at the chart, and told me traffic pattern altitude is 1,100. So I flew 1,100, Put in first notch of flaps when I was abeam the numbers, second notch of flaps after durning base, then last notch of flaps on final. So again, I descended towards the runway, when Tower told me “Cessna 222SP, go around, cow on the runway.” (Gotta watch out for those cows, never know when one will wander onto the runway). So again, full power, flaps up, then confirmed that I was going around. But this time, as I ascended above the runway, Mike reached over, and pulled the Mixture all the way out, making the engine go out. So immediately, looked for best place to land. There was a field straight ahead, so I decided to go there instead of turning back to the airport. So I told the Tower (Mike) my intentions, then I cut the power and the fuel. This is where I made a mistake. I cut the power before a lowered the flaps, so I would be landing there without flaps. Oh well, too late. I glided to the field at 65 knots (Best glide speed fort eh Cessna 172), and landed.
I thought today was a good lesson. I did pretty good, the simulator allowed me to learn some new stuff, and brush up on my current skills. The simulator is always fun to fly in on rainy days like today was.