Click here to see video from the sideview camera.
XC 5 Solo Timeline
As usual I’m sure watching the entire video isn’t for everyone !!!! So below is a timeline so you can pick out the landings or the BEAUTIFUL trip down the Susquehanna River. I have provided a little commentary here and there along the way within the timeline.
Route: Carroll County Md to Frederick Md to Hagerstown Md to Lancaster PA to navigation beacon Roast to navigation beacon Troyz to Carroll County Md. 200 nautical miles.
00:37 Takeoff from Westminster, Md KDMW.
Cruising to Frederick Md at 2800 ft.
06:15 Visual Checkpoint: Lehigh Cement Plant.
09:45 Calling Frederick Tower for entry to Class D airspace.
14:15 Cleared to land, midfield.
16:10 Final approach for Runway 5 Frederick. BEAUTIFUL base leg over the rock quarry. To bad I didn’t have my side camera running as it would have given a look directly down into pit.
17:35 Google Earth track of my pattern work. Base and Final turns need to more square and I overshot Final ever so slightly. I’m a work in progress.
17:40 Takeoff from Frederick Md in route Hagerstown Md KHGR.
31:08 I realize my radios aren’t set up correctly and somehow my frequencies list that I typed up in XLS is wrong; then I realize I had the formatting set wrong and it was rounding the three decimal frequencies. I look up the frequencies and get the radio set up correctly then head into Class D air space for Hagerstown.
36:05 Quarry on right is a visual checkpoint, I intended to be on the right side of it but close enough; I had this checkpoint so that I could correct my course to approach at the angle I wanted for purposes of lining up on the runway.
38:55 Turn to Final and landing at Hagerstown Runway 27.
41:06 Google Earth track of my pattern work. Much better, nice even turn onto final.
41:12 Takeoff from Hagerstown enroute to Lancaster.
47:17 I cut out some footage as all the open farm land looked the same. Here I approach the Susquehanna River and prepare for my approach to my third Class D airport of the day.
50:42 The US 30 Bridges come into view; these are a visual check point so that I can find the airport and know my relationship to the runways, I am right where I want to be.
52:10 As I was listening to the radio crossing the river the automated system was telling me to expect one of two runways. One being the long runway and the other being the shorter runway; everyone coming in was being assigned the longer one. However he assigns me the shorter runway for spacing and the number of planes he had it coming in. Though the runway is plenty plenty long for my airplane it requires more concentration because it is half as wide and half as short as the longer runways that I’ve been using, you don’t have forever to float and stop.
Also as you will hear in a minute there’s another plane coming in on the longer runway and in this configuration his intent is for me to land and stop before I cross the other runway otherwise he has to call that other plane off if it is on short final. You will hear the tower controller say that the winds have shifted and that I now have a tailwind and that the other plane needs to be prepared for a last-minute go around.
54:45 The conversation starts with the other plane I was speaking of as I am preparing to turn towards the runways. Being so inexperienced I know I cannot let this distract me from what I need to be doing and just have to concentrate on me and doing the right thing. The other plane is wanting a different runway for whatever reason. Also she seems to be impatient with me not taking the absolute most direct quickest route to turn onto final.
I have to listen to this for situational awareness but I am taking my commands from the tower, also I am new going into towered airports and it takes experience to know when to turn towards the numbers on the runway and get your spacing right so that your final approach is not too short and you miss the runway. I was making my approach to the runways with 90° turns as you would add a non-towered airport. In hindsight I should have cut the corner and made two shallower turns which would’ve put me more direct into my final approach; however again I am gaining experience and better to have a slightly long approach than to miss and fly directly over the airport at low altitude which would be dangerous.
As your listen from here to my landing the pilot goes on and on; the controller finally tells her (read between the lines) to either get in behind me or follow his directions.
56:09 Google Earth track of my pattern into Lancaster. I’m not trying to be critical of the other pilot just that the controller knew I was a student pilot and we had been communicating and I feel that he knew exactly what I was doing. From her perspective it may have looked like I was a different plane heading south adjacent the airport and that she possibly was not seeing the traffic the controller was speaking of; we all got it worked out.
I’m a little slow on the radio and slow to turn into runways. I was having a little bit of difficulty judging my distance to the airport as at this altitude the runways and roadways were all blending together. The controller gets me turned in and I’m good after this.
56:20 my Base, Final, and landing into Lancastor; this is my best landing of the day. You can hear the controller advise that the winds have shifted just before I land giving me a tailwind which is the last thing you want when landing. He advises the other plane to prepare for a last-minute go around if I cannot stick my landing. I guess I need a little pressure to tighten up my landings because this one is very nice. I’m down the centerline and stopped within 2000 feet and prior to the other runway so that the other plane can continue to land as cleared.
You can see just before I land the wings bank right then back left as I’m getting a tailwind from a 45° angle from the rear meaning I have to dip my right wing into the wind and step on the left rudder to land on the right main rear first. This is where I touch down only on the right main tire then the left main tire then the nose gear.
1:01:45 Take off from Landcaster Pennsylvania. My planned route is a departure to the southwest towards the Susquehanna River windmill power plant then south down the river to the US 1 Bridges before it dumps into the bay system, then west back to Westminster Carroll county Maryland.
However due to traffic and runway assignment the controller gives me a right turn departure putting me heading north northwest. So I head up north and decide to take a slight detour, swinging around onto the river about 8 miles north of my intended location as I did not want to over fly the power plant at such a low altitude.
1:13:30 back at the Susquehanna River. This is a beautiful section of the flight down the river to the US 1 Bridge.
What can be done on the iPad with the professional subscription service for ForeFlight and a pressure altitude GPS receiver (Stratus2) is incredible. I can’t find it on the video but somewhere about halfway down the river I see 3 planes on my iPad screen ADS-B in/out collision avoidance that are about my same altitude coming at me in different directions.
I keep an eye on them and change altitude slightly going down two hundred feet. Hey couple minutes later the other two planes are not an issue however the one plane is at my same altitude head on. I have no way of knowing if he has any sort of radar or collision avoidance and I do not hear him on the radio.
I turn on my landing light to make myself more visible and move to the right directly over the river. Unlike driving when flying you pass and divert to the right instead of the left. I keep an eye on him and as we approach within 1 or 2 miles he makes a gentle bank crossing in front of me heading west. Not necessarily dangerous but it was interesting to see my iPad work as it did since this plane did not have anything more than a basic GPS.
1:31:00 I begin a gentle turn to the west towards Carroll County Regional my beginning and ending place. You can see the US 1 Bridge, Dam, and powerplant on my right.
1:45:40 The ride from the river to Carroll County is beautiful but a lot of the same farmland, fields, and small towns. Here I fly over Prettyboy Reservoir, one of my visual checkpoints, to make locating the airport by visual reference easier.
1:53:40 I enter at a 45° angle then parallel the runway: I’ve entered the pattern to land at Carroll County Regional.
1:54:30 I turn onto base and then final landing Runway 16 Carroll County.
1:57:00 Google Earth track of my pattern work into Carroll County Regional. I get a little closer paralleling the runway than I want so you can see me work my way out then my turn to base and turn to final look pretty good though I was a bit shallow turning into final.